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Drop-In Visits. In-Home Training. Digital Training. Ask a Vet. Community Guidelines. Compare Pet Insurance Plans. Help Center. Become a Caregiver. Become a Walker. Become a Sitter. Log in. Prepare for unexpected vet bills. If you notice your dog licking the air or biting at imaginary flying insects it could just be a bad habit they have developed, but it could be something more serious.
Some dogs also lick the floor or furniture or lick their bowls obsessively even when there is no longer a single crumb left inside. Licking the air can also indicate hunger but if it becomes excessive then it may be a of a compulsive disorder or even an underlying medical condition.
Your pet may have a sore tooth causing discomfort or he may be experiencing gastrointestinal problems. Liver disease can sometimes cause this behavior, as can a partial seizure. Other reasons this may be happening include environmental triggers and:. A foreign object in his mouth. A compulsive disorder. Suffering from anxiety. Inflammatory bowel disease. Canine cognitive dysfunction. Although dogs often lick people to show affection or to investigate things in their surroundings, when it becomes more frequent than normal it is a good idea to get a thorough check-up with a vet.
Vet bills can sneak up on you. Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup. Because licking is a typical behavior in dogs it is not always easy to diagnose whether it is a behavioral problem or indicative of an underlying medical condition. Some of the reasons include:. A Foreign Object in his Mouth. Your dog may have got something caught between his teeth, or if he has been chewing a stick it may have got caught on the roof of his mouth.
Try to see if you can see or feel any foreign objects that may be causing discomfort. A Compulsive Disorder. Like people, dogs can also develop compulsive disorders where they display repetitive behavior. Some dogs can develop compulsive disorders because they are bored or stressed or it may be an attempt at attention seeking. Suffering from Anxiety. If something is upsetting your dog and making him anxious, the best bet is to find out what it is and try to eliminate it.
It could be a loud neighborhood noise that is stressing him out or possibly the introduction of a new pet. Sometimes air licking is a result of boredom so make sure your dog gets enough exercise and provide an interesting environment to stimulate him. If a dog is feeling nauseous he will often start to lick his lips or other surfaces before vomiting.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Licking the air can indicate some kind of gastrointestinal problem. The obsession with licking things is also called "excessive licking of surfaces," or ELS. A Canadian study which tested 19 dogs with ELS found that 14 of the 19 dogs had gastrointestinal diseases ranging from irritable bowel syndrome and chronic pancreatitis to gastric foreign bodies and giardiasis.
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. If your dog is elderly he can develop canine cognitive dysfunction which is a bit like Alzheimer's in humans. It can result in the onset of air licking and other repetitive behaviors. If you notice that your dog is licking the air excessively then it is best to seek veterinary treatment because it could very well be caused by an underlying medical condition.
A vet can do a thorough exam to get to the bottom of the likely cause and eliminate others. It is best to give your vet a thorough picture of how your pet has been behaving and if possible, capture the activity on video. Alternatively, provide a detailed description of what your pet has been doing, including when and how often, and if there have been any changes in the household. If your dog is medically fit, the vet may treat him for a compulsive or behavioral disorder.
Medication may be prescribed or a vet might suggest consulting a behaviorist to help manage the problem. If the air licking is not that severe, it may be worth trying to distract your dog. When he starts to lick try to distract him with a ball or a toy. Or take him for a romp in the garden. There could be a of reasons why your dog is licking the air and there are a few things you can do to prevent it. The symptoms of compulsive disorders can be expensive to treat. To avoid high vet care expenses, secure pet health insurance today.
The cost of treating your dog for air licking will depend on the reason causing it and whether there are any underlying medical conditions. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!. Unknown severity. Has Symptoms. He started licking anything tonight including the air. Michele K. Thank you for your question. That can sometimes be a of nausea in dogs, or anxiety. If it is something that continues to happen, it would be a good idea to have him seen by your veterinarian.
It may be a very short-term thing that he does, however. I hope that all goes well for him. Was this experience helpful? After about a half hour he went to sleep. That is a lot of fat for your dog to have eaten, and my worry at this point would be that his pancreas may be inflamed. The therapy that you have been doing at home is pretty much all you can do at home, and if he continues to vomit, shake, or seems uncomfortable, then it would probably be a good idea to have him seen by a veterinarian.
They will be able to check his pancreas level, examine him, and see if he needs further treatment. All rights reserved. Prepare for unexpected vet bills Compare Insurance Options. What is Licking Air? Other reasons this may be happening include environmental triggers and: A foreign object in his mouth A compulsive disorder Suffering from anxiety Boredom Nausea Inflammatory bowel disease Canine cognitive dysfunction Although dogs often lick people to show affection or to investigate things in their surroundings, when it becomes more frequent than normal it is a good idea to get a thorough check-up with a vet.
Compare plans. Why Licking Air Occurs in Dogs Because licking is a typical behavior in dogs it is not always easy to diagnose whether it is a behavioral problem or indicative of an underlying medical condition. Some of the reasons include: A Foreign Object in his Mouth Your dog may have got something caught between his teeth, or if he has been chewing a stick it may have got caught on the roof of his mouth.
A Compulsive Disorder Like people, dogs can also develop compulsive disorders where they display repetitive behavior. Suffering from Anxiety If something is upsetting your dog and making him anxious, the best bet is to find out what it is and try to eliminate it. Boredom Sometimes air licking is a result of boredom so make sure your dog gets enough exercise and provide an interesting environment to stimulate him.Tonight lick u
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