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One day all of a sudden you notice that your dog is continuously licking his lips & it looks like the dog got some peanut butter on the nose. If you notice this type of behavior then you may think that it’s completely okay, but over the time you may notice that the dog is doing this all the time & becomes uncomfortable, this is when the problem starts. Now the main thing is that, dog licking is normal & natural but if he licks all the time then that’s not something good.
What does it mean?
Dogs generally show subtle signals to show that something is wrong since they can’t talk to their beloved owner. If your dog feels threatened, anxious or insecure then he/she will lick his lips all the time. Sometimes dog have some serious problems like poisoning, nausea, allergies or oral discomfort & they start to lick. Also dogs do this because of stress, confusion and fear.
Why dogs do this
Your dog always wants your love & attention. Most of the times dogs lick to exhibit affection toward owner & they learned licking means showing love from their mother since puppyhood. Dogs believe that licking will make the bond stronger. So whenever your dog licks your face it means he/she wants strengthen the bond with you.
All dogs respect their owners. Dogs love to follow social orders. Many wild dogs use face licking to show respect & submission to their leader. When your dog sees you as a master they try to show respect toward you.
What to do.
If you see your dog is licking too much for more than a week then you should take your dog to vet. The vet will take some initial tests, after that he can recommend a complete blood count, urinalysis, fecal test or serum chemistry to make sure that if there is any problem or not. If your vet thinks that there is any digestion issues, then he will recommend ultrasound or x-rays. The vet can also recommend MRI or CT scan if those test are inconclusive.
In case, if the dog have gum or dental problems then it’s better to take him to vet dentist, because they are expert in oral surgery & dental care. If the vet find out bloat from the diagnosis then he will recommend emergency surgery to overcome the problems.
In normal cases, if the problem is less sever, vets generally prescribe antibiotics to stop any bacterial infection. If your vet finds out that & lip licking is a behavior problem then he will surely ask you to go to dog behaviorist.
Since lip licking is generally a submissive gesture, your dog might be trying to stop aggressive behavior by licking lips. If you notice that your dog is showing this behavior even if there is no problem & no food around him, then it’s quite suspicious, & you look around for possible threat which might be making your dog insecure.