Why Does My Dog Lick The Air?


This is a question I was asked by one of my clients recently so I thought I do a little research and see if I could find out the answer. Dogs seem to lick the air for several different reasons. Sometimes dog owners think it’s their way of getting a kiss but actually it can be a lot more serious than that.

One of the reasons your dog might be licking the air is that he has something wrong with his mouth. He could have something caught between his teeth something wrong with his gums and even something stuck to the roof of his mouth like a stick for example. If your dog will allow it take a look in his mouth and see if you can find anything that could be causing him to lick.

Another reason for licking the air could be nausea. Has your dog eaten anything that could have upset his stomach? Have you noticed your dog eating grass? Has your dog thrown up or acted like it needed to throw up?

Sometimes with dogs that have obsessive behaviors licking at the air is really a common occurrence and it’s not serious at all. Dogs, just like human beings can sometimes have psychological issues that cause compulsive obsessive behavior.

My research also found that a dog with this behavior could be suffering from acid reflux just like human beings. In fact some dogs are switched to a bland diet and given Pepcid to alleviate the problem.

It appears that dogs with this type of a problem sometimes also suffer from pica. Pica is an illness where dogs eat things that they shouldn’t. The list can include everything from dirt to rocks to sticks and of course this can cause some indigestion and nausea.

Quite often the problem seems to come and go meaning it may last for a couple of days or couple of weeks and then disappears again. I really feel that if your dog is suffering from this problem and it’s gone on for a while I think it would be time to take your dog into your veterinarian for a good examination. The examination should include a good oral exam to make sure there aren’t any dental problems going on as well.

I hope this article helped answer the question and maybe even has given you some ideas on why your dog seems to be licking the air.

Do you need help training your dog?  If so visit us at  and give us a call, or for our out of town readers  .

Until next time,


P.S. Does you dog have some behavior problems? Do you need some advice from a Canine Behavior Specialist?  If so CLICK HERE now!

About the Author: Wayne Booth is owner of  in Nashville, TN.  Wayne has been teaching people how to become Professional Dog Trainers since 1990 and he is the Training Director ofCanine Behavior Specialists Network.

Brain Training For Your Dog

Interested? Find out more here