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Why Does My Dog Lick the Air: 8 Reasons & What to do!

It is natural for anybody to wonder why dogs lick the air. Before you become very concerned, you should understand the causes of this.

Why does my dog lick the air? 

Dogs lick the air for different reasons, some of which have major health impacts. Natural causes involve thirst and hunger. But pathological causes include stress and anxiety, nausea, and dental disease. There are more like gastrointestinal disorders, or compulsive disorders. 

Do you want to learn more? We’ve prepared an entire guide to address all of your questions specifically for you.

What are you waiting for? Let’s get this started!

Is it Normal for Dogs to Lick the Air?

Humans may not always understand what dogs are saying or doing. In that case, when your dog tastes the floor or licks your hands, it’s entirely natural. But licking the air might seem unnatural to you. 

Dogs lick the air for a variety of reasons.  For instance, improving smell, communicating fear, stomach discomfort. 

Occasionally, quick instances of air-licking are not a reason for concern. But you must be on the lookout for changes in the duration or frequency spent licking.

What Causes Dogs to Lick the Air?

There are several reasons why your dog may lick the air, the effective treatments are numerous. 

Talk with your vet to determine the underlying reason for your dog’s air-licking. It can help you choose how to effectively treat the condition if treatment is even required.

Below is a list of 8 logical reasons why your dog licks the air.

Reason 1: Enhancing Their Smell Sensitivity

We all know dogs have a strong sense of smell. Your dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than yours. Thanks to 125-250 million olfactory systems in their nasal. Which is only 5-6 million in our nostrils. 

The olfactory system organ is responsible for this enhanced ability to smell. This organ is found inside a dog’s nasal passage. It’s also found on the roof of the mouth behind the front teeth. It enables them to detect fish or beef so quickly.

Whenever dogs curve their upper lip and flare their noses, they’re finally opening their vomeronasal organs. They will do that in order to get a better scent of their environment. 

Dogs may boost the amount of fragrance given to this delicate organ by licking the air. Which directs far more odor particles to the brain.

Reason 2: Anxiety and Stress

Sometimes a dominating or dangerous dog might unexpectedly attack you. In that case, there are several actions that signal surrender or appeasing in the dog world. 

One of these actions is licking. You can observe your dog licking the air when you talk harshly to them or look at them. This is a sign that they recognize you are in authority. 

Avoid eye contact and talk in a hushed voice if your dog often licks the air. This may reduce their anxiousness enough for them to quit licking. Depending on the source of the stress or considerable anti-anxiety activities and vitamins are necessary.

Reason 3: Teeth Pain and Dental Disease

A loose or uncomfortable tooth can alter your dog’s biting posture and lead them. At that time you can notice them licking the air. Because they attempt to move or lessen the discomfort. 

That’s why during yearly checkups, inquire about your dog’s oral health. 

Dogs, like humans, require dental treatment, especially expert cleanings. Schedule a dental exam if your dog has bad breath or licks the floor frequently.

Reason 4: Ingestion of a Foreign Object

When dogs eat food like popcorn, it can get stuck in their jaws. In such cases, they may appear to be licking the air. Before the licking stops, the item may need to be removed under anesthesia. 

Is your dog gnawing on a bone and immediately licking at the air? Then Look for debris lodged between their jaws or on the roof of their mouth. 

Allowing your dog to chew on anything that might break or fracture can cause oral wounds. And also hazardous digestive conditions that may necessitate treatment.

Reason 5: Gastrointestinal Disorders

Dogs lick the air to relieve sickness, which could be a sign of a larger problem. When your dog has gastrointestinal problems, a change in diet is what your dog needs most.

Take an appointment with the veterinarian if your dog’s air-licking is accompanied by nausea. 

A recurrent unsettled tummy might be triggered by anything as simple as food intolerance. But also can be a sign of pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, or other GI diseases.

Reason 6: Skin Problems

Dogs with itchy skin will lick or bite at their skin to ease the itch. When dogs are unable to reach the itchy area, they might lick it to relieve itching.

Skin disorders that cause a dog to lick, it frequently remedied with pest control treatments. A food allergy diet test, or the inclusion of omega-3 fats in your dog’s diet.

If you’re seeking omega-3 fat for your dog’s diet, here are a few that come recommendable:

Product 1
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Now that you have got omega-3 for your dog, remember to give it in moderation.

If your dog’s air-licking is accompanied by itching skin, consult a veterinarian. Talk to them about parasite treatment and other itchy-relieving options.

Reason 7: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Perhaps your dog’s air-licking began as a result of fear but has now become more regular. It could have escalated to an obsessive habit that they’re unable to stop on their own. 

Consult your vet to see whether your dog’s obsessive licking is caused by an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Reason 8: Dysfunction of the Mind

Canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) is related to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. It’s expected to afflict an average of 14% aged 8 years and older with rising incidence.

Repetitive activity, including licking, biting, and spinning is one of the numerous indications of CDS. If you suspect your dog has CDS, consult with your veterinarian about other signs.

These are all the 8 reasons why your dog licks the air. Let’s talk about what we should do if we notice too much licking. 

What Should You Do If You Notice Your Dog Licking the Air?

To begin, assess whether the air licking is just a specific behavior reaction to stimuli. Such as anticipating food or displaying submission. In this case, the activity should be irregular and respond to the environmental or interpersonal signal.

Whether the habit has suddenly appeared and you note that its regularity and length are atypical. Inspect your dog’s mouth to see if there’s an easily removed foreign item or injury. In all circumstances, the behavior should cease after the item has been removed or recovered. 

In the event of injuries, you must examine it daily to ensure that it’s not contaminated. But you should take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup. They’ll instantly determine the source of the problem like air licking or your dog’s humping tendency or something else.

It’s a good idea to record videos of dogs because they won’t display the behavior at clinics. If your vet discovers health issues but your dog remains the same, get expert guidance. 

How to Stop Extreme Licking

The underlying reason will determine how to avoid licking. Among the alternatives are:

  • Keeping circumstances that bring undue worry and tension to a minimum.
  • Offering high-quality, nutritionally balanced food.
  • Providing a plethora of high-quality, long-lasting playthings as well as regular exercise time.
  • Avoid trash and garbage exposures.
  • Consider the suggestions of your vet for yearly checkups and dental treatments.
  • Brushing your dog’s teeth every day.


Question: Why is my dog licking himself before going to bed?

Answer: Licking before going to bed can be an attention-seeking activity that typically works. When your dog slurps, you respond by giving him attention, even if it’s bad attention. 

Question: Why do dogs lick the air while they scratch themselves?

Answer: Love and friendship are communicated via scratching. Your dog appreciates physical touch with you since it strengthens your bond. Scratching his butt is just another way of bonding with him.

Question: Is it possible for dogs to have a favorite person?

Answer: Dogs frequently select a favorite person who matches their activity level and attitude. Certain dog breeds are more inclined to bond with a single human. Increasing the likelihood that their favorite person will be their only person.

Summing Up

We hope we’re able to answer all the questions concerning why my dog licks the air.

If your dog constantly licks the air, try to stop him. And take him or her to the doctor to rule out any medical issues. 

Hope to see you at another one!