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Why Does My Dog Lick the Air?

January 18, 2021
Why Does My Dog Lick the Air?

As a dog owner, you may notice your dog licking the air or even biting something invisible. While such behavior it sometimes looks entertaining and innocent. However, the reasons for licking the air may imply serious health problems.

You may have noticed that your canine likes to lick different objects, including furniture or your feet.

In some cases, licking behavior is signs of hunger; however, if you understand that it is an obsessive licking, visit a vet.

Main Reasons for Licking the Air

You should know when licking the air is normal for your dog to understand when it is time to go to a vet. So, here are three situations when it is okay for your dog to lick the air:

  • Almost all dogs tend to lick their noses regularly. When licking its nose, your pet is trying to moist it so that it can better smell any object around;
  • Another reason for licking the air is when a dog is trying to remove some food remains from its mouth. Also, your canine starts licking its lips and the air to prevent dribbling while expecting to have meals.
  • Finally, licking the air can be just a flehmen response that is a reaction to strong scents.

However, many reasons signify some problem behind the air licking. Here are some of them.


Response to such allergic agents as blossom dust, a particular food, or any of the environmental agents that can cause allergy.

As a result, your canine has itchiness all over its skin, mouth, or ears.

In some cases, constant scratching, foot licking, or even ear inflammatory processes are also characteristic of some allergy.

If you assume that your pet has some allergy, consult with a vet.

Dental pain

Dental pain is typical among the toy breed dogs who suffer from dental illness. One of the symptoms that indicate such disease is air licking.

The dog owners should keep in mind that unless they are dentists, it will be hard for them to know for sure whether their pets suffer from dental disease or not.

X-ray examination is the most effective way to tell if there is any dental problem. For that reason, a vet examination is recommended.

Gastrointestinal illness

Air licking is a symptom of nausea or gastrointestinal pain. It appears when a condition is either mild or moderate.

Apart from licking the air, other symptoms include appetite loss, vomiting, and weight reduction.

For that reason, your dogs will need a blood test, and only a vet can do this.

Neurological illness

Focal seizures result in behavior changes. A dog can act strangely and perform some repetitive actions. Air licking, as well as gum chewing, can be a symptom of focal seizures.

As in the case of any serious illness, you cannot make a diagnosis. The first thing to do is to have a consultation with a vet neurologist.

Behavioral issue

Air licking can also be a way to attract the attention of the owners. You can say that your canine has behavioral issues if air licking is not characteristic of it when you are not around.

Even though it is hard to define the trigger of behavioral problems, it is still possible. If you have doubts about whether the issue is behavioral, you better visit a vet.

Preventative measures

When your beloved dog does not have a habit of licking the air, you would like to know if there are any methods to prevent this in the future. As you can see, the number of reasons is rather significant.

Thus, what you can do is be attentive to your pet’s behavior and analyze the possible causes. If your pet started to lick the air soon after the new chow, perhaps, it is allergic to some of the components.

Maybe, you moved to a new place, and your dog undergoes stress, that’s why every dog should have a dog spot like a large dog house.

In any situation, you must be attentive to the changes, and if they seem to be disturbing, then you should react quickly.

The multi-purpose recommendation is as follows:

  • a dog should have healthy food and freshwater
  • a friendly environment
  • enough activity
  • quality medical care (including preventative measures as vaccination).