If you notice your dog licking their lips, you might think it’s normal. After all, dogs usually do this when there is food around them. But what do you do during the times when there’s no food around? Is there something your dog is trying to tell you?
Here is a quick guide on understanding what your dog might be communicating with you every time they lick their lips.
What Is Lip Licking?
To put simply, lip licking is when your dog licks their lips. They might also lick their lips while making licking sounds. Lip licking is usually done at the corners of the lips, even though the tongue may or may not touch the lips.
What Does Lip Licking Mean in Dogs?
There are times when dogs lick their lips whenever there is food around them. They might be because they are starving and don’t have access to food yet. In this case, the lip-licking should stop once they have food.
Unfortunately, there are times when your dog licks their lips even when there is no food in front of them. This licking might be a sign that something is bothering them.
1. The Dog Is Stressed
If your dog starts licking their fur or lips, it might be because of stress. Stressed dogs find it hard to sit still, and they will try to get a grip on things. Sometimes, licking the lips is the dog’s way of asking you to do something to make them feel better.
2. The Dog Is Appeasing You
There are times when dogs lick their lips when they come to you after doing something that you might not find okay. The dog might be feeling guilty and wants to be forgiven. They might also be your dog’s way of telling you that they feel bad about what they did.
3. The Dog Is Confused
Whenever your dog licks their lips, it might be because they are confused about something. It could be something you said or did. There are times when dogs tend to avoid eye contact with their owners. Instead, they will lick their lips to ensure that they are not getting in trouble.
4. The Dog Is Sick
If your dog licks their lips all the time, it could be because they are sick. If your dog is sick, they might lick their lips because they want comfort—just like sick people. Some dog breeds might also lick their lips because of allergies.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Has a Lip Licking Habit?
Here are some of the best things you should do as a response:
1. Give Your Dog Space
If your dog has a habit of licking their lips, it might be because they are not comfortable. Try to make them feel more comfortable by giving them space and leaving them in a nice place to stay.
2. Redirect Your Dog’s Attention
If your dog is licking their lips, they might want to do something. Give them things to play with or play with them yourself. Whatever it is, it will redirect their attention and make them forget about their previous worries.
3. Take Your Dog to the Vet
If you are convinced that your dog is licking their lips because of stress or sickness, it would be best to call a vet. You can ask the vet to examine your dog to know if your dog is sick.
Getting to know your dog better is one of the best things you can do for a better relationship with them. Furthermore, learning what your dog is communicating to you every time they lick their lips is essential because you will be able to tell if there is something wrong.
Learn more about how to care for your furry friend through Dog Obedience Training. We offer free resources on how to train your dog and help them have a fun and happy life.