What Causes Dogs to Lick the Air?

What Causes Dogs to Lick the Air?

If you see your dog licking the air or snapping at imaginary flying bugs, it may just be a habit they’ve picked up, but it could also signal a more serious issue. Some dogs lick the floor, furniture, or their empty bowls incessantly, even when there’s no food left. Licking the air might indicate hunger, but if it becomes excessive, it could point to a compulsive disorder or an underlying medical problem. Your pet could be in discomfort from a sore tooth or experiencing gastrointestinal issues. Liver disease, partial seizures, anxiety, boredom, nausea, inflammatory bowel disease, and canine cognitive dysfunction are all potential causes.

Reasons for this behavior could also include:

  • A foreign object in the mouth
  • Compulsive disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Boredom
  • Nausea
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Canine cognitive dysfunction

While dogs often lick people as a sign of affection or to explore their surroundings, frequent or excessive licking warrants a vet visit.

Why Dogs Lick the Air

Since licking is a common behavior in dogs, determining whether it’s a behavioral issue or a medical concern can be challenging.

If your dog is licking the air excessively, seeking veterinary advice is crucial to rule out any underlying medical conditions. A vet can conduct a thorough examination to identify the root cause and provide appropriate treatment.

Preventing Air Licking

To prevent your dog from licking the air, consider the following:

  • Ensure the new diet is not causing allergic reactions
  • Check for objects stuck in the teeth from chewing sticks
  • Manage stress if a new pet has been introduced
  • Provide toys and chewies for stimulation
  • Ensure regular exercise to prevent boredom
  • Feed high-quality veterinary-approved food and provide fresh water
  • Keep vaccinations up to date

By taking preventive measures and addressing any underlying issues promptly, you can help your dog avoid compulsive behaviors and maintain their overall health and well-being.