Top 3 Reasons Your Dog Constantly Licks His Lips and Swallows

Dogs that are constantly licking their lips and swallowing most often are affected by some sort of sickness or injury. Here are the most common causes that could lead to this compulsive licking and swallowing behavior.

1. Your dog has dental problems

Dental issues such as tooth abscess and gum disease may cause dogs to constantly swallow because of the pain and discomfort. In addition to the excessive licking, you may notice other concerning symptoms such as inflammation around the gum and bad breath.

2. Your dog is suffering from nausea

Dogs might feel like they are about to throw up when they feel nauseous. This can result in the constant swallowing and licking of the dog’s lips. Nausea can develop for a number of reasons. It could, for example, be a consequence of a dog eating too quickly or licking something unpleasant. They could be licking their lips constantly to get rid of the unsavory taste. It’s also worth confirming that your dog isn’t dehydrated. It will make the dog’s mouth feel a lot drier than normal. This causes the dog to lick his lips and swallow the excess saliva.

3. Your dog Has ptyalism

If your dog is licking his lips excessively and swallowing, it could be the result of ptyalism. The simpler term is hypersalivation and it refers to the flowing of excessive saliva. Central nervous system disorders and oral cavity disorders are some of the many reasons that may cause ptyalism.

What to do if your dog keeps licking his lips

You need to take the dog to the vet so they can diagnose the underlying cause of the excessive licking and swallowing. In the meantime, make sure your dog hasn’t consumed or licked anything that could be toxic or irritating. Check their mouth in case there are visible signs of distress. This may include lacerations and ulcers. It might be necessary to hold off on feeding your dog until he gets checked. The vet will give you the appropriate advice.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


  • Tara Mizell | 28/07/2021

    My dog eats grass about every other day and he swallows all the time and I’m just worried

  • Tara Mizell | 28/07/2021

    My dog eats grass quite often and he swallows extra and I’m just worried about him

  • Tara Mizell | 28/07/2021

    My dog won’t eat dog food he only eats dog bones he will not eat no dry dog food or wet dog food

  • Carol Harris | 27/09/2021

    My dog keeps swallowing. She has been doing this for a very long time. I am so worried about her. Sometimes, she is so tired. She could do with someone looking down her throat while she is asleep but this can cost a lot of money which I can’t afford.

  • B Davies | 27/10/2021

    If you can’t afford to look after your dog and take him/her to the vets when needed you should consider giving them up for adoption. Most vets don’t charge for a checkup- its only if they administer something you might be charged and even then they will work with you to come up with a payment plan. Don’t let your dog suffer – call your vet.

  • Mike Ash | 26/05/2022

    B Davies, that was an incredibly rude and insensitive answer. Someone came here looking for advice because they’re concerned about their pet and you can only respond by insinuating that they can’t look after their pet. I don’t know where you live but in the U.K. (where she lives – since she mentions pounds), you have to pay for check ups. Even routine ones can cost £70 which is around USD90. So maybe consider answering the question rather than pontificating.

  • mrs c harris | 02/03/2022

    How dare you. I can look after my dog. I have taken her to the vets a lot of times but they dont have the items they that they have to use. I have had all this explained to me. It will cost over 3000 pounds and I can’t take insurance out because of her health issues. The cheek to tell me to give my dog up for adoption. I look after her more then myself and I do not let her suffer.

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