It is incredibly concerning when your dog is shaking and excessively licking their lips. Is it a sign of discomfort or pain? Is something stuck in their throat? Or is it a behavioral issue?
Let’s delve into the reasons behind dog shaking and licking lips, what to do, and when to seek help.
Here’s why dog shaking and licking lips happens
Dog shaking and licking lips happens due to stress, illness, excitement, mouth irritation and allergies. It is important to pay attention to your dog’s behavior and try to identify any triggers or any other symptoms they may present to determine the underlying cause of the behavior.
Is it normal for dogs to shake and lick their lips?
It is normal for dogs to shake and lick their lips, depending on the situation and frequency of the behavior such as excitement. However, if your dog is shaking excessively or persistently licking their lips in the absence of an obvious trigger or context, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue or behavioral problem.
Causes of dog shaking and licking lips
Stress or anxiety is a common cause of shaking and lip licking in dogs. When anxious or stressed, a dog may show a range of behaviors, including shaking, panting, pacing, and licking their lips.
These behaviors are the dog’s way of trying to cope with and alleviate the feelings of anxiety.
There are many different things that can cause anxiety in dogs, such as separation from their owners, unfamiliar people or animals, loud noises, or unfamiliar environments.
It is important to pay attention to your dog’s behavior and try to identify any triggers that may be causing their anxiety.
In some cases, shaking and licking of the lips in dogs may be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
When a dog is experiencing an illness, they may exhibit a range of symptoms, including shaking, lethargy, loss of appetite, and licking their lips.
Licking of the lips is a dog’s way of trying to cope with the discomfort, pain or stress caused by the illness.
Excitement in dogs is expressed in a range of behaviors, such as shaking, wagging their tail, panting, and licking their lips. These behaviors are a dog’s way of expressing their excitement and anticipation.
A dog can become excited due to the presence of their favorite toy, the opportunity to go for a walk or run, or the prospect of receiving a treat.
Pay attention to your dog’s behavior and try to identify any triggers that may be causing their excitement.
When a dog has something stuck in their mouth or is experiencing pain or discomfort in their mouth or throat, they may shake their head or lick their lips in an attempt to remove the irritant or alleviate the discomfort.
Different things can cause mouth irritation in dogs, such as foreign objects stuck in the mouth or throat, dental disease, infections, or allergies.
Allergies can cause shaking and licking of the lips in dogs. When a dog is experiencing an allergic reaction, they may have a range of symptoms, including shaking, scratching, sneezing, and licking their lips.
These behaviors are the dog’s way of trying to alleviate the discomfort caused by the allergy.
There are many different things that can cause allergies in dogs, such as food, environmental allergens, medications, and insect bites.
It is important to pay attention to your dog’s behavior and any accompanying symptoms, and to consult with a veterinarian if you noticed these concerning symptoms.
What to do and when to seek help
Observe your dog’s behavior
First, pay attention to when your dog is exhibiting the behavior and what other symptoms they may be experiencing. Take note of any triggers that seem to cause the behavior.
Pay attention to your dog’s body language and behavior, and look for other signs that they may be experiencing discomfort or distress, such as panting, pacing, or trembling.
Check if your dog has swallowed a foreign object. If you can see something stuck in your dog’s mouth or throat, do not try to remove it, instead, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible or find your nearest pet emergency clinic.
If your dog is displaying shaking and lip-licking behavior due to excitement, this is normal dog behavior. Return their affection by petting them or engaging them in calming activities such as a leisurely walk.
Consult with your veterinarian
If you are unable to identify the potential cause of your dog’s shaking and licking of lips or if the behavior persists, consult with your veterinarian. This is because the behavior can be due to an underlying health condition.
The veterinarian will conduct a full examination, determine the underlying cause and develop a more comprehensive plan to address your dog’s behavior.
If it is a behavioral problem due to stress, they will also guide you on ways to stop the behavior and may also recommend an animal behaviorist for training needs.
A veterinarian should also be consulted regarding your dog’s shaking and licking of lips when:
The behavior is new or sudden: If your dog’s shaking and licking lips are sudden or out of character, it could be a sign that there’s an underlying issue.
The behavior is accompanied by other signs of illness: If your dog is exhibiting other signs of illness or discomfort, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or signs of distress, such as panting, pacing, or trembling, seek veterinary care.
The behavior is persistent: Also talk to your veterinarian if your dog’s shaking and licking of lips continues despite your efforts to address the behavior.
Pre-existing medical conditions: If your dog has pre-existing medical conditions, such as kidney disease or diabetes, that could be causing the behavior, consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment.
Key Takeaway: Dog shaking and licking lips
Lip licking is normal for dogs, however persistent or excessive lip licking alongside other concerning behaviors such as shaking requires veterinary attention.
If you notice your dog showing this behavior frequently or for extended periods of time, consult with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.
Addressing the underlying cause of the behavior and providing appropriate care ensures that your dog remains healthy.