Why Do Pugs Lick Their Lips So Much And What It Means

It’s not unusual for Pugs to lick their lips and nose excessively. If you’ve ever seen your Pug do that, you might have asked yourself “why do Pugs lick their lips so much?” We’ll be answering what causes this behavior and it’s NOT the same as the constantly licking of lips in humans.

Why Do Pugs Lick Their Lips So Much?

A dog licking lips constantly is a form of doggie communication, a form of body language, or a sign of medical issues such as nausea, stress and etc.

We’ll discuss this more in detail below, this way you’ll be able to understand why your Pug is constantly licking their lips.

why do Pugs lick their lips so much

What Is Excessive Licking Of Lips In Dogs?

dog constantly licking lips
There are several reasons that a Pug will lick their lips.

Before you can diagnose what’s going on with your Pug’s excessive licking habits, you first have to understand what this means. Licking and Lip licking is normal behavior for dogs.


Some dogs tend to lick more than others. Some dogs will lick their owner, their paws, nose, furniture, doors, the floors, and etc. If your Pug licks a lot, you’ll notice they will lick their food bowl clean and push it around the floor.

Related: Why Do Pugs Lick Their Paws?

Heck, my Pug used to lick the air all the time like she was trying to catch a fly with her tongue.


If your Pug rarely licks or only does it on occasion, then your dog is most likely just anticipating food, especially, if they see you eating something.

What Does It Mean When Dog’s Lick Their Lips?

Now that you know the difference between normal and excessive canine licking behaviors. Let’s take a look at what your dog may be trying to communicate to you.

These are some of the possible reasons your Pug is constantly licking their lips.

Attention Seeking

Pugs love their humans and they will do anything to get your attention. Yes, this means that they will engage in lip licking behaviors to get you to spend time with them.

This type of lick lipping behavior will usually happen when you haven’t given your Pug a lot of attention or they’ve been left home alone for long periods of time.

Oral Problems

Pugs are prone to dental problems, especially, if you neglect proper hygiene. It’s not unusual for dogs to lick their lips if they are dealing with canine periodontal diseases such as broken teeth, inflamed gums, tooth decay, and foul odor.

They may even have something stuck in their mouth and they are trying to get it out.

If you think that your Pug is dealing with teeth problems, contact your veterinarian as they will be able to resolve any dental issues your Pug is dealing with.


This causes your dog’s stomach to become enlarged due to gas, from the accumulation of food or fluid. This condition usually happens quickly without any warning.

If you notice your pooch is licking their lips, vomiting, drooling, and pacing nervously, you need to take them to their regular veterinarian or an emergency animal care clinic immediately.


If you’ve ever been stressed, then you may have picked up some bad habits like picking or chewing your nails. A stressed dog will lick their lips to help keep them calm in a stressful situation.

Dogs will also lick their lips when they encounter an animal or person that they perceive as a threat. Pugs are not usually an aggressive breed, however, it’s best to give your dog some space in a stressful situation.

A stressed and fearful dog may end up biting you, even if they are not known to be aggressive.

When my Pug got stressed or scared, she would put her tail through her legs and look so pitiful.

Anticipating Food

Pugs love to eat and they seem to know when dinner time rolls around or get excited when they see you eating something.

This is the most common reason that dogs will lick their lips. The great thing is that it’s easy to distinguish this type of licking compared to the other types.

According to Patricia McConnell, when a dog is licking in anticipation of a meal, they will lick the side of their mouth. You will most likely notice an increase in salivation.

It’s no different than when humans think about a big juicy steak when we’re hungry. Our mouth waters and it makes you want to lick your lips.

They Have Something In Their Mouth

If your dog swallows something toxic, it can cause them to develop ulcers in their mouth. Dogs love licking the floors and come into contact with toxic cleaning supplies, furniture cleaners, and et.

Ingesting these harsh substances will cause your dog discomfort in your dog’s esophagus and this will cause them to lick their lips in search for some relief.


Several species of mammals will lick their lips when they are feeling a low level of anxiety, including dogs.

Pugs are prone to separation anxiety and according to this study, it is not uncommon for dogs to constantly lick their lips when they have been left home alone for long periods of time.

In some cases, the anxiety will become so severe that it will cause your dog’s body to shake uncontrollably until they are reunited with their owners.


Dogs can become parched just like humans. If they do not have access to freshwater, they will eventually become sick and their body will lose fluid.

This can will eventually cause your dog to lick their lips because their lips become cracked and dry.

Behavioral Issues

Lip smacking has been known to be a calming signal for many dogs to help with stressful situations. If your dog is constantly getting in trouble for digging, chewing or peeing in the house, they may constantly lick their lips as a calming mechanism.

Your pooch may have just picked up this behavior because it helps them stay calm, especially, if they are being house trained.

Just like people, some dogs develop bad habits that are hard to be broken.

Should You Be Concerned If Your Dog Won’t Stop Licking Lips?

It really depends. As I mentioned above, licking is a common canine behavior and most of the time there is nothing really to worry about.

If you notice that your Pug loves licking you, their paws, or legs, you can get them to stop with the right training. First, make sure that they do not have any wounds on their paws or legs, as dogs tend to lick their wounds to help them heal.

Once you realize that your dog just has the bad habit of licking, you will want to treat the issue. If you choose to ignore it, the behavior will just become worse.

How to Treat Your Pug’s Lip Licking Problem?

If your dog won’t stop licking lips and you’ve started noticing raw spots on their body from the licking, it’s time to contact your veterinarian.

Especially, if this behavior just suddenly started happening overnight for no apparent reason.

Final Word On Why Do Pugs Lick Their Lips?

When a Pug licks their lips, it’s usually just a sign of submission. Canine lip licking is a dog’s way of preventing a threatening situation from escalating.

Pugs tend to lick quite a bit more than other breeds, at least my Pug did. Your Pug is most likely anticipating food or just looking for attention from you.

However, monitor your dog and make sure that they are NOT dealing with any of the underlying medical problems.

If your Pug has just developed this habit overnight, then you may want to contact your veterinarian. They will be able to tell you what’s causing this unusual behavior.

Related Articles That May Interest You:

Why Does My Lick The Air?

References And Further Reading

PetPlace – Dr. Debra Primovic – DVM – Is Your Dog Licking His Lips? This Could Be Why

Physiology – A. Zucker, S.D. – Renal and Endocrine Response to Water Deprivation In Dog

Black Pug Site