Why Do Dogs Lick Their Noses? 10 Reasons Explained

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Noses? 10 Reasons Explained

A dog can obtain important sensory data from his nose. It serves as your dog’s body’s cooling system during times of strenuous activity and extreme heat, making it an essential organ.

Now the question comes when you see dogs lick their nose calmly, without no reason, or very vigorously to the point where you are concerned about the behavior.

Why do dogs lick their nose? Some of the reasons for this behavior in dogs include being stressed, having an injured or infected nose, seizures, having something in the nose, etc.  

If you are confused, consider the following ten reasons why dogs lick their nose.

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Nose? 

  • Your dog is stressed

One of the most typical reasons dogs lick their nose is because they feel stressed about something. A simple example might be bringing a new pet home, arriving home later than usual, or when it is raining heavily with thunderstorms. 

Dogs might also become anxious if they haven’t been properly socialized with people. It could also happen if you don’t give the dog enough attention.

Another issue is age; older dogs tend to lick their noses due to cognitive impairment, accompanied by symptoms like frequent barking, pacing, and bathroom accidents.

  • Your dog has a nose injury

Your dogs are susceptible to traumatic accidents all the time. For instance, the nose may have been cut by a sharp item, bit by another dog, or injured during a fall.

The scabs on your dog’s nose may itch, which may be the cause of their tendency to lick their noses while they recover. Most nose wounds will heal on their own.

Keep a watchful eye on open wounds to ensure they are healing and not getting infected; if they don’t, consult your veterinarian.

  • Your dog is allergic to something

Have you ever noticed that dogs lick their nose while sniffing whenever they are taking a walk? Then your dog could be allergic to something.

While not all dogs develop allergies, some are more vulnerable to environmental allergens such as dust, pollen, fungus, etc. If you suspect the canine has an allergy, see your veterinarian about possible treatments.

  • Your dog is infected

One of the leading causes of dog nose infections is unhealed wounds. There could be a foul odor and discharge coming from inside.

If you clean the area frequently, many diseases are relatively simple to treat, but if it is confusing, you can take the dog to a vet.

  • Your dog is having a partial seizure

Some dogs get partial focal seizures even if they’ve never had anything like it before. Most of the time, these mild seizures keep your pet awake, but they cause them to lick their noses.

These episodes are short-lived in the majority of cases, but if you observe that they happen frequently, talk to your veterinarian to rule out epilepsy and determine the reason for the behavior.

  • Your dog might be experiencing nausea

Another reason dogs lick their nose is probably because they feel nauseous. The same argument holds for humans because when we get a little queasy, we lick our lips to eliminate the excess saliva in our mouths.

Sometimes they may be feeling nauseous due to something they ate. Therefore, it is always best to contact a veterinarian if you observe any of these symptoms combined with others, like constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting.

  • Your dog has something on his nose

Your dog has returned home after wandering the backyard or the neighborhood. Then you see your dog licking his nose from time to time. It is most likely due to the grass in his nose.

Take him to the vet immediately so that the grass may be safely removed if this is also accompanied by sneezing, sniffing, or aggressive actions that make you worried.

  • Your dog could be dehydrated

Another reason dogs lick their nose is because they are dehydrated, especially if you are living in a warm environment.

It might happen after a long dog walk. Therefore, be sure to keep your dog hydrated at all times, before and after such activities.

  • Your dog is experiencing dental issues

Your dog may be trying to show you that they are in pain by licking its nose excessively. Dogs frequently experience oral discomfort, but it’s simple to look for indicators of periodontitis or stuck debris.

Dogs with oral pain occasionally develop swelling beneath their jaws and tongues, where the salivary glands are located.

  • Your dog may have a nasal tumor

It can be a shock to hear, but having a nasal tumor can also be one of the reasons why dogs lick their nose. Nasal adenocarcinoma is the most common nasal tumor seen in dogs.

Keep a watch out for any accompanying symptoms, including loud breathing, fatigue, coughing, and losing weight, so that you can start treatment as soon as possible.

Why Does My Dog Keep Licking Her Lips And Nose?

A dog may lick his lips or nose for several reasons. While this behavior is frequently your dog’s way of communicating, there could occasionally be an underlying health issue.

If your dog licks his lips following a meal, it is clear there is nothing to be worried about. What if he does it other times, though?

Your pet may lick his lips and nose more frequently if there is an issue that causes oral discomfort.

Other problems that could result in inappropriate lip licking include some neurological illnesses and metabolic conditions that often cause nausea.

It also includes obsessive-compulsive behavior, cognitive impairment, and other diseases like seizures.

The only method to stop your dog from constantly licking his lips or nose is to find the reason for the problem. If you can’t find out what’s wrong on your own, make sure to discuss it with a veterinarian.

Dogs lick their noses when they are entirely normal. Still, it may also be a worrying sign, so try to remain calm and understand your dog’s body language in instances like this.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner.


  • Dominic Parker

    Dominic P. is a dog behavioral researcher who graduated from the University of Surrey and holds BVMsi (Hons) in Veterinary Medicine and Science. He has been around dogs since childhood and has unconditional love for dogs. It makes him become a researcher instead of practicing as a veterinarian. Dominic enjoys his work and likes to share his findings with dog parents to give them a better understanding of dogs’ behaviors.

    [email protected]

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