Why Your Dog Licks the Air

Why Your Dog Licks the Air

Your dog probably licks everything, including your hands and face, their food bowl, toys, and fur. However, have you witnessed them licking the air? Dogs lick the air for a variety of reasons. While some of them are cute, others could give rise to worry.

Licking air might be a sign of happiness in your dog. Some dogs lick the air when they are excited about upcoming treats. Some lick the air when receiving an extremely satisfying scratch or pet. In essence, they are letting you know how much they value the work you have put in.

A dog's major sense is smell, and air licking contributes to it because of the Jacobson's organ found in their mouth's roof. Dogs can inhale more odour, including pheromones (the specialized odour molecules contained in biological odours), by drawing air into their mouths and towards the opening of Jacobson's organ.

Sometimes air licking could signal fear to cognitive issues in dogs. Dogs may lick air due to anxiety, upset stomach, and foreign bodies in the mouth. Air licking could also be a compulsive disorder – when normal behaviours are repeated so often that they interfere with the dog's ability to function.

Speak to your vet if your dog licks air too often so they can help you narrow down the cause and decide on appropriate treatment.

Back to blog