Why Does Your Pet Lick Its Lips?
Fido May Not Just Be Eyeing Something Tasty
I catch my kitten licking her lips all the time, especially when she is eyeing something tasty (she’ll try to eat anything edible), or after she has just eaten. Why do dogs and cats lick their lips? There are several reasons.
Pets may lick their lips in anticipation of a tasty treat. Luckily, I can tell when my kitty is about to pounce on my food; the licking of the lips is a telltale sign that she is preparing for a snack. (Hey, animals are like natural vacuum cleaners – they will clean anything off the floor or your plate!)
Pets may lick their lips when they are experiencing anxiety. Yes, dogs and cats have anxiety, just like we do. What do you do when you are anxious? Many people have a nervous habit, such as twirling their hair or tapping their feet. For animals, it’s licking their lips. Other signs of anxiety in your pet may be yawning, panting, and avoiding eye contact.
Pets may lick their lips when they are nauseous. He may have eaten something that doesn’t agree with his stomach or – worse – something toxic; if he starts drooling and licking his lips to get rid of excess saliva or – if you have a dog – eating grass (which makes dogs vomit), he may have nausea. If you think your pet may have ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian or the animal poison control center at 888-426-4435. There is a consultation fee, so try your vet first.