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We have an affiliate relationship with and receive compensation from companies whose products we review on this site. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Lips When Going to Sleep

Dogs exhibit a myriad of behaviors that can leave their owners puzzled and curious. One such behavior is the act of licking their lips when going to sleep. While it may seem like a simple and harmless action, there are underlying reasons as to why dogs engage in this behavior. In this article, we will explore the possible explanations behind this intriguing habit.

One possible reason for dogs licking their lips before sleep is to moisten their dry lips. Just like humans, dogs may experience dryness in their lips, especially during the night when their bodies are at rest. By licking their lips, dogs are essentially moisturizing them, providing comfort and relief from any potential discomfort.

Another explanation may be that dogs lick their lips as a form of self-soothing behavior. Dogs often use licking as a means to alleviate stress, anxiety, or even boredom. The act of licking releases endorphins, which can induce a sense of calmness and relaxation. Therefore, when dogs lick their lips before sleep, it could be their way of comforting themselves and preparing for a restful slumber.

Moreover, the behavior of licking their lips can also be attributed to the anticipation of something pleasurable. Dogs have a keen sense of smell and taste, so they may be licking their lips in response to the delicious scents and flavors they have encountered throughout the day. This anticipatory behavior could be a way for dogs to savor the memories of pleasant experiences before drifting off to sleep.

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Additionally, dogs may lick their lips before sleep as a result of a physical or medical condition. For example, certain gastrointestinal issues can cause dogs to excessively lick their lips, as it may provide temporary relief from discomfort. If you notice that your dog is persistently licking their lips, it may be wise to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems.

Now, let’s address some common questions related to this behavior:

1. Is it normal for dogs to lick their lips excessively when going to sleep?
Occasional lip licking is considered normal, but if it becomes excessive or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is recommended to seek veterinary advice.

2. Should I be concerned if my dog licks their lips during sleep?
Licking their lips during sleep is typically harmless. However, if it is accompanied by other unusual behaviors or health issues, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian.

3. Can dogs lick their lips due to anxiety or stress?
Yes, dogs often use licking as a self-soothing behavior, so it is possible for lip licking to be a response to anxiety or stress.

4. Should I try to stop my dog from licking their lips before sleep?
If the lip licking is occasional and not causing any harm, there is no need to intervene. However, if it becomes excessive or problematic, consulting a professional dog trainer or veterinarian may be beneficial.

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5. Are there any home remedies to help with dry lips in dogs?
Providing fresh water and ensuring a balanced diet can help prevent dryness in your dog’s lips. Additionally, applying a pet-safe lip balm or moisturizer may offer relief.

6. Can lip licking be a sign of nausea in dogs?
Yes, excessive lip licking can be a sign of nausea or digestive issues in dogs. If you suspect this is the case, consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

7. Is lip licking in dogs ever a sign of pain?
In some cases, dogs may lick their lips as a response to pain or discomfort. If you observe other signs of pain or if the behavior persists, seeking veterinary advice is recommended.

In conclusion, dogs licking their lips before sleep can have various explanations, including moisturizing their lips, self-soothing, anticipating pleasurable experiences, or even underlying health conditions. While occasional lip licking is generally harmless, it is important to monitor the behavior and consult a veterinarian if any concerns arise.