My Dog Keeps Smacking His Lips
Food is one of the most powerful motivators of dogs. When they smack their lips, we assume that it is simply a sign of hunger or anticipation of food. But when a dog is continually smacking his lips - unrelated to food, the smell of food, or even the thought of food - it is obviously the sign of something else. To find out what that something else is, examine your dog and ask a few questions, and you may be able to solve the problem.
What to Look For
Your first step should be to put on a pair of rubber exam gloves and perform a thorough oral exam using the technique described in “My Dog Is Drooling Excessively”. Follow your oral exam with an assessment of your dog's recent dietary, urine, and bowel history.
Also check your dog for signs of dehydration. Grasp a handful of skin at the scruff of your dog's neck. Lift it up as far as it will stretch, then release it. A well-hydrated dog's skin will snap briskly back into place, while that of a dehydrated dog will return slowly to its original position, forming a “tent” in the process. If this test seems inconclusive, inspect his gums. Wet, slippery, reflective gums are healthy. Dull, sticky gums confirm dehydration.
What to Do
Once you have answered a few questions, you should be well on your way to explaining your dog's lip smacking behavior.
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