Dog Lip Smacking
Dog lip smacking usually happens at night. Dogs can smack their lips when they are hungry and see or smell food. However, when dogs continuously do this even without the sight, thought or smell of food, then it may mean other things. It can be an underlying symptom of a more serious problem.
- Stress. Dogs, too, can feel stress and one way for them to calm down is through lip smacking. Lip smacking is mostly common at night. When a dog also growls in the presence of other dogs, it means that he does not want to be bothered.
- Pain. When a dog is in pain, it will habitually smack its lips to alleviate the pain. Lip smacking is a coping mechanism for pain, just like stress.
- Dehydration. Dogs can continuously smack their lips when dehydrated. To check if a dog is dehydrated, try pulling the skin of the dog, if it forms a “tenting” or when it takes time for the skin to go back to its original position, then the dog is dehydrated. Dehydrated dogs also have dry, sticky gums. Make sure to always have water for the dog, to prevent dehydration from happening again.
- Gingivitis or other oral infections. Dogs with slippery, moist and reflective gums have healthy gums; otherwise, he may be suffering from gingivitis and other oral problems. It is best to bring the dog to the veterinarian for further tests and help the dog with his gum problems.
- Medications. Chemicals and other drugs taken by dogs can result to changes in behavior.
- Liver and kidney disease. If the dog is neither in pain, dehydrated, have oral problems, and has not taken medications recently, then lip smacking may be caused by a systemic disorder. Veterinarians have to do series of tests on the dog for proper diagnosis.
The best way to stop dogs from smacking their lips is to find out the reason that causes it. If the dog is under stress, then make sure to provide a comfortable environment for the dog. If he is in pain, has oral problems, has just recently taken medications and has systemic disorders, then it is best to see a veterinarian. If the lip smacking is caused by dehydration, then always provide the dog with water.