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Why Does My Dog Keep Licking the Air [7 Major Reasons + Solutions!]

Dogs participate in a variety of activities that people find endearing.

But, some might be confusing.

As a pet owner, you shouldn’t even ignore any minor unusual activity of your dog.

Why does my dog keep licking the air?

Hunger and thirst are common causes. Dogs lick the air to improve their ability to detect items they are intrigued by. Another one is to express fear and alleviate digestive trouble. Medical issues like dental discomfort, swallowing, or GI issues can also be dangerous.

This is a concern that you must acknowledge. As a result, I’ve segmented each reason into specifics.

Isn’t it enticing? For additional information, check out my article!

Is Licking the Air Natural for Dogs?

Dogs lick the air for several reasons. It could improve their sense of smell, communicate nervousness, and calm digestive problems. 

Air-licking on rare, short-term occasions is not a reason for concern. You must keep an eye on your dogs if they continuously lick the air more than usual. 

7 Reasons Why Dogs Lick the Air

Given the wide range of probable causes, the treatment options are diverse. It will give you a better idea of how to address your dog’s air-licking issue if any.

Mentioned lists are some of the reasons why your dog may lick the air:

Reason 1: Natural Causes for Licking the Air

There are multiple reasons why your dog keeps licking the air. And some of the reasons are incredibly minor or natural habitats:

  • When a dog feels hungry, they try to lick the air. Curiosity, eagerness, and stomach acid may trigger this response.
  • Dehydration may induce dry throat and licking. You may treat your dog with watermelon in summer to quench its thirst.
  • Several dogs will lick the air when given something gooey like peanut butter.
  • They might lick the air if you itch them inaccessibly. 
  • Dogs typically react to natural scents like urine, blood, or excrement. The vomeronasal sensor is exposed by creasing the nostrils and twisting the top lip. This permits animals to sniff a place or object fully.
  • Several dogs lick for fun or relaxation.

The following reasons are very natural causes that you don’t need to feel anxious about.

Reason 2: Unusual Cognitive Habits for Licking the Air

Like humans, your dog might have a psychological issue you aren’t aware of. If you notice any, I would highly suggest you consult a veterinarian:

  • When puzzled, worried, or nervous, dogs lick the air.
  • Any canine activity might be publicity grabbing. Your dog will take into account how you react to their licking activity. Certain dogs will do this to get your total concentration.
  • Recurrent behavioral patterns characterize compulsive disorders. They don’t seem to have any apparent purpose. However, some say they help relieve tension in dogs. Some dogs sniff the air compulsively. 
  • Lower engagement with the owner and insomnia can also be symptoms of canine cognitive impairment.

Mentioned issues are just as important as your dog’s hunger. You should provide prescribed medications timely.

Reason 3: Boosting Odor Sensation

Your dog has an odor sensation power of 10,000 to 100,000 times higher than yours. Their nostrils consist of 125-250 million olfactory neurons.

The vomeronasal organ is responsible for this enhanced odor sensation. Behind the front teeth, this organ is found within a dog’s nasal passage.

When dogs twist their upper lip, they activate their vomeronasal organs. 

By licking the air, dogs may send even more scent-carrying particles to the mind.

Reason 4: Dental Discomfort and Sickness

A misplaced or sore tooth might alter your dog’s biting pattern. It leads them to lick at the air to relocate the tooth or relieve the discomfort.

Like humans, dogs need expert dental deep cleaning. Schedule a dental checkup if your dog has terrible breath and drools excessively. 

But avoid treating ice-cream to your dog after seeing swallowed gum. This will put your dog in more danger.

Reason 5: Unusual Objects in the Dog’s Mouth

Food trapped in their teeth may need to be removed under anesthesia.

A dog munching on a twig or bone abruptly licks the air. Look for trash lodged beneath their teeth or on their tongue. 

Chewing on materials that might shatter can induce severe injuries and gastro difficulties. These may even require surgery.

Reason 6: GI (Gastrointestinal) Issues

The GI tract, which runs from the mouth to the anus, is affected by gastrointestinal symptoms. Maybe your dog licks the air to relieve sickness, which is a sign of a medical problem. 

If your dog’s licking is caused by nausea or GI difficulties, a change in food or prescription drugs may help.

See your vet if your dog’s air-licking is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite. It can signify pancreatitis, IBS, or other GI problems.

Reason 7: Problems with the Skin

The itch is relieved by licking, biting, or scratching the skin:

  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Dogs may mentally scratch an itch after being reprimanded for licking
  • Flea prevention items
  • A food allergy diet trial (adding omega fatty acids)

Following symptoms may frequently address skin conditions that trigger licking.

Talk to your vet about parasite management if your dog’s air-licking and skin itching.  

Your doctor might prescribe medication depending on your dog’s medical records.

Things You Need to Do if Your Dog Keeps Licking The Air

Take your dog to the vet if he is licking the air excessively. It might be a symptom of a severe health problem. A vet may do a comprehensive assessment to determine the reason. 

It would help if you did not wait too long in such cases. Take your dog to a vet before it has a partial seizure or gastrointestinal condition.

It’s ideal for providing your veterinarian with a detailed account of your pet’s behavior. If possible, provide them with a videotape. Additionally, describe your dog’s behavior, such as when and how frequently it occurs.

Suppose your dog’s healthy; the veterinarian may medicate him for the obsessive-compulsive syndrome. A veterinarian may provide treatment or advise a psychologist to handle the issue.

If your dog is licking the air, try distracting him. Divert attention to him with a ball or toy when he begins licking. Or let him loose on the lawn.

Prevention of Extensive Licking

The fundamental reason for licking will determine how to eradicate it. Among the possibilities are the following:

  • Keeping circumstances that bring worry and tension to a minimum.
  • Feeding a slightly elevated food that is nutritionally balanced. You can treat your dogs with fruits like berries that contain antioxidants.
  • Providing a variety of high-quality, long-lasting play items and regular exercise time.
  • Avoiding trash and rubbish pollution.
  • For annual checkups and dental treatments, follow your veterinarian’s advice.
  • Cleaning your dog’s mouth on a consistent schedule is recommended.

Well, you need to consult your veterinarian. But the following ways can cure minimal problems:

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We hope you found this information helpful in your search.


Why do dogs lick the air when they scratch themselves?

Your dog values physical contact with you since it strengthens your relationship. This shows that your dog is having fun with you. Scratching his tush will make him sound happy and prompt him to lick the air.

Why does my dog lick the air when excited?

What looks like air licking is your dog inhaling a solid fragrance. They appear to be licking the air as they try to get rid of it. They can generally solve this issue on their own.

Why does my dog flick his tongue like a snake?

A dog licking his lips or flipping his tongue means he’s anxious in a social scenario. Another reason might be reacting to other dogs’ or humans’ unease.