Why pugs lick their lips
Dental problems, irritation or discomfort. Pugs are prone to dental problems due to having crowded teeth. Sometimes if a dog has a tooth that is bothering them, or inflamed gums, they may lick their lips in an attempt to relieve the pain or discomfort in their mouth.
Stress. Sometimes licking their lips is a nervous behavior. Yes, dogs can have nervous behavior similar to how people might bounce their leg or play with their hair. One of the ways some dogs cope with stress is to lick their lips. If you notice your dog licks their lips around other animals, while in the car, during thunderstorms, etc these are good reasons to suspect it’s an anxiety-based behavior. If it’s a stress response, you may also notice other signs of anxiety in your dog such as putting their tail between their legs, whining, crying or trying to get away from whatever is upsetting them. Pugs are especially prone to seperation anxiety, so you may find that your pug licks their lips a lot when left home alone.
Related post: Can pugs be left home alone all day?
Anticipating food or a treat. Dogs’ mouths can water when they are excited about getting something tasty. If you notice your pug licking their lips around dinner time or near their bowl, it could be the expectation of getting food.
Something stick to their mouth. If your dog gets something in their mouth that shouldn’t be there, they may lick to try to remove it from their mouth. For example, if your dog gets a piece of grass or hair in their mouth, they might lick to try to clean their teeth or tongue.
Nausea. Sometimes dogs will lick their lips in response to nausea. Nausea is more likely if you’ve recently given your pug new medication, switched dog food brands, or given them table scraps.
Partial seizures. Sometimes dogs can have partial seizures where they retain some degree of consciousness but may stare off and lick or snap at the air, as if trying to catch a fly. If you suspect seizure activity could be possible, be sure to see your vet.
Are they licking their lips or their nose?
Sometimes it’s tough to tell if your dog is trying to lick their upper lip or if they’re actually aiming for their nose. If your dog is actually licking their nose, they may be congested or have something stuck in their nostril. Pugs often have very narrow nasal passages so they can get stuff stuck in there, sometimes!
If your dog has something stuck in their nose, you may find them sneezing, rubbing their face against furniture, and/or inhaling deeply or reverse sneezing in an attempt to clear their airway.
You can purchase a baby nasal bulb to use on your pug, to help clear any congestion.
When does pug excessive licking become a problem?
I’d recommend making sure that the licking isn’t caused by a medical problem such as seizures or a dental problem. If the licking is caused by an infected tooth or gum disease, you’ll want to get that problem taken care of. If your dog is having seizures, that is important to seek medical treatment for as well.
If your dog licks their lips in a self-soothing way, that isn’t necessarily a problem. It all depends on how excessive it is, and whether it causes any skin issues. If they lick so frequently that they are getting their skin irritated or infected from constantly being wet, that would be a real problem. They do make anxiety medications for dogs that you can get from your vet. If their licking doesn’t cause skin trouble, it’s probably nothing to worry about.