Why Do Dogs Lick Their Lips?

There are different types of behaviors that are quite common in dogs. Lip licking is one of these common behaviors. Some people think that a dog licks his lips just as a habit. But being a dog owner, you must know that it is not just a habit. If your dog is licking his lips, he is trying to communicate something to you. Given below are some of the most common reasons why dogs lick their lips:

Expecting a Meal:

One of the most common reasons for a dog to lick his lips is a meal expectation. Some dog behaviorists have further added to it that the lip licking is also linked to the increased salivation. If you see your dog licking his lips, you should know that he is expecting a meal.

Appeasement Gesture:

Another common reason for the behavior is for soothing someone. When a dog perceives someone as a threat, one of his reactions is trying to soothe him. He may start licking his lips and gazing away. It is a calming signal that is linked to its native attitude. He starts licking as a signal to let others know that he does not want any conflict. But it varies from one dog to another. Some dogs prefer the appeasement gesture in such situations whereas others may decide to fight the threat.


The appeasement gesture is more common in situations where a dog gets confused. For example, if you command your dog to do something and he does not understand it, he may start licking his lips. It is more common in under training dogs and puppies.

Separation Anxiety:

Dog behaviorists have observed that the dogs who have developed separation anxiety also lick their lips. You should observe your dog closely to know if he has separation anxiety problem and how he acts while you are away. The more time you will spend away from your dog, the more lip licking is expected from the dog.

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