We all agree that “Dogs lick, that’s what they do.”
This is generally true, and the act of licking is to enjoy tasty spills or just to let you know he loves you with wet kisses!
Dogs are just like humans when they burp. It’s to release excess air in their stomachs.
Burping and licking are therefore normal behavior.
However, like anything in life, normal behaviors can sometimes deviate to becoming inappropriate especially when it is excessive.
The same goes for dogs. It is not uncommon to see them licking and burping become excessive.
When burping and lip licking become overly excessive it may be that you are feeling nauseous, has dental problems, is stressed, or has these health problems:
- Digestive problems
- Dental problems
- Stress or anxiety
- Pain or irritation
- Inhalation or ingestion of foxtail
- Intestinal parasites
On the extreme, they could be suffering from canine bloat which is a life-threatening condition and is one of the most common causes of death in dogs.
Be cautious and have your pet get examined by a vet.
What Are the Reasons Your Dog Keeps Burping and Licking Lips?
1. Stress and Anxiety
Dogs will lick their lips as a sign of appeasement when faced with perceived threats.
It is a calming behavior that dogs display when they are nervous, scared, or anxious.
By licking their lips, they are sending the message that they do not prefer to face their fear.
If your dog licks his lips every time you get home, you’ve probably scolded him several times in the past when he saw a pool of urine that he left behind while you were gone.
Your dog cannot relate her scolding to what she did hours before, so he may be afraid of you every time you come home.
Lip licking can develop into a neurological habit similar to the nail-biting behavior of humans.
2. Sign of Pain
In some cases, animals focus on excessively licking a specific part of their body, indicating that it is sore or painful in that area.
For example, dogs may lick a joint affected by arthritis or lick their paws if they have a spike or other wound.
The licking usually does not resolve until the offending cause has been addressed. Take your time to find out possible pain points.
3. Sign of Nausea
If your dog licks and swallows, he is likely to be nauseous.
Feeling nauseous could make it drool and may lick his lips and swallow to get rid of saliva.
He could also eat grass, which is a natural way for dogs to make themselves vomit.
Licking and swallowing could mean that your dog has eaten something that does not suit his stomach, or worse, that he has eaten something toxic.
4. Dental/Oral Diseases
Dogs can lick their lips (especially after eating) if their teeth hurt or have an oral disease (affecting the gums, tongue, or other parts inside the mouth).
The best way to assess this is to have a veterinarian carry out a dental exam.
5. Gastrointestinal Upset
Dogs that dig through the trash or garbage, often experience burping from a gastrointestinal upset.
These dogs may tend to burp up liquid, vomit once in a while with occasional pancreatitis or blockages.
6. Dry Skin
Just as humans can suffer from dandruff, dogs can suffer the same.
Dandruff is mainly due to dry skin and letting it aggravate can cause skin irritation in dogs.
The origin of dry skin can be related to a dog’s diet, inappropriate shampoo options that dry out his skin, frequent baths, certain parasites, and hormonal problems, to name a few.
Dealing with the underlying cause of dry skin will help solve the licking.
7. Skin Infections
Skin infections often make a dog lick itself continuously.
However, skin infections are often secondary to other problems such as allergies or self-trauma.
If the infection is more than superficial, eliminating the underlying problem may not be enough to solve it.
Alternatively, specific administration such as topical cleansing, ointments, or in some cases oral antibiotics may be required.
8. Discomfort in the Mouth
If something is wrong with a dog’s mouth, it can cause mouth pain and discomfort.
Homeowners should look for signs of:
- Things embedded in the mouth
- Tooth decay
- Periodontal disease
- Swollen salivary glands
In particular, owners should look under the dog’s jawline or the dog’s tongue for swelling.
These are the sites of the salivary glands.
If these areas appear swollen, this could be an indication of a buildup of fluid in the surrounding tissues, known as a salivary Oligocene.
Parasites (fleas, lice, and mites) are the most common causes of licking and scratching in household pets.
Don’t rely on being able to see them with the naked eye. Although they can be seen at times, it is not uncommon for them to be overlooked.
Even when you search for fleas with a flea comb and find none, this does not guarantee that they will not be present.
Some parasites can only be seen with specific tests and when viewed under a microscope.
10. Anal Gland Problems
The anal glands are a pair of glands on each side of your dog’s anus.
They contain secretions that intervene in the distinction of odors.
In some animals, the anal glands can become overfilled (affected) or infected, which can be extremely painful and annoying.
As a result, some dogs lick the anus (or the sides if they cannot reach the anus).
They can also run off their underside along the ground and a fishy smell can be observed.
This could be a condition that is aggravated in animals with underlying skin sensitivity.
What Is the Cure for Burping and Licking Lips?
When you can see that your dog is burping and licking a lot more than usual, it’s a sign of an ailment.
The first step is to make an appointment with your vet to discuss the problem.
Our furry friends are their best when they are healthy and happy.
The signs of excessive burping and licking mean they are not well and need to be treated quickly.