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Why Do Dogs Keep Licking Their Nose?


Have you ever seen your dog sticking out his tongue every once in a while to wet his nose and wondered: Why Do Dogs Keep Licking Their Nose?

Well, dogs are known for their keen sense of smell. Keeping their nose moist helps them pick up scent particles better and be suitably aware of their surroundings.

Dogs’ noses are incredibly sensitive organs. This sensitivity also means that their noses are very susceptible to injury. Often, such injuries are small and almost invisible to the amateur eye. When they lick their noses, dogs are literally licking their wounds.

Why Do Dogs Keep Licking Their Nose?


Dogs lick their nose for several reasons like:

1. To Keep The Nose Moist

Dogs constantly lick their noses to keep them moist. A dog’s nose is incredibly sensitive; something as simple as a soft scrape can make him lick his nose to try to heal it.

2. Discomfort

A dog’s nose is as sensitive as the soft tissue inside your mouth. Even the swipe of a blade of grass can cause discomfort and pain.

3. Injuries and Wounds

Skin irritation leaves your dog frustrated and in pain. He may obsessively lick his wounds to combat the discomfort.

Some other reasons your dog is licking his nose are:

  • Nausea
  • Excess mucus discharge
  • Small cuts or scrapes
  • Infection or allergies
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Separation anxiety
  • Sign of oral problems
  • Skin irritation
  • Compulsive behavioral disorders

What Does It Mean When A Dog Keeps Licking Its Nose?


Constant or excessive nose licking is a sign of injury or illness. When your dog keeps licking his nose, he’s trying to alleviate pain or irritation.

Dogs are hardwired not to show pain or weakness around the pack. Even domesticated dogs tend to conceal their hurt. You might have noticed your dog keeping away from you when they’ve injured themselves.

When a dog keeps licking its nose, it is usually a cause for concern. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to ensure that there is not a serious medical reason for the constant licking.

Dogs, like many other animals, can suffer from Compulsive Behavior Disorders. Excessive licking is one sign of this behavioral disorder.

How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Licking His Nose?

Nose licking is a healthy doggie behavior. The occasional nose lick prevents dry noses and helps them pick up on scents better.

Dogs lick their noses for several reasons, you should consult with your vet if you see excessive licking and suspect an underlying illness. You can get your veterinarian to prescribe a bitter-tasting cream or balm and apply it on your dog’s snout to stop him from licking his nose.

Is It Bad To Let Your Dog Lick Your Nose?

It is not unhealthy to let your dog lick your nose. Dogs lick their pet owners to show submission and affection. He may be asking for more food or simply trying to get your affection.

Dogs licking your nose and face isn’t necessarily a problem if the saliva touches intact skin, not open or wounded skin. If your dog licks your open wound, the moistness may cause bacteria to thrive and trigger an infection.

Why Is My Dog’s Nose Hard And Dry?


Your dog’s nose can be hard and dry due to the following reasons:

1. Lack Of Water

Not drinking enough water, especially during season changes, is a common reason for your dog’s nose becoming hard and dry.

2. Brachycephalic Airway Obstructive Syndrome

Brachycephalic dog breeds like Boxers, Boston Terriers, English Bulldogs, Pekingese, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, and Pugs are dogs with short windpipes. Such dogs with short noses are more prone to ​ Brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome.

Such dogs tend to suffer more from respiratory problems and dry noses.

3. Blocked Tear Ducts

Blocked tear ducts in dogs can prevent the moisturization that the mucus would otherwise provide. Allergies, sunburn, underlying illness, and lack of proper nutrition can also contribute to a dry nose in your dog.

Some dogs try sneezing to get rid of dust and other irritants.

What To Put On Dogs Skin To Stop Licking?


You can try putting the following things on your dog to stop the licking:

1. Bitter Tasting Cream

Apply a bitter-tasting cream or spray on your dog’s skin to stop licking. The bitterness will put them off. Make sure that the product you use is safe for dogs and veterinarian-approved.

2. Antiseptic Cream or Spray

Slathering a thick layer of antiseptic cream can make your dog want to lick it off. Use the spray or cream twice a day and make sure you distract your dog with toys and treats or playtime to stop him from wiping the medicine.

3. Old Cloth and Surgical Tape

Alternatively, you can wrap pieces of your old t-shirts around your dog’s paws and secure them with surgical tape. Paw pads work especially well for older dogs.

4. Dog Cone or Collars

If your pooch continues to lick, it’s best to try a dog cone or inflatable collar. Your dog won’t be able to reach any part of his body when he’s wearing a cone. However, you need to make sure that the collar is worn till the dog’s wound or skin issue is completely healed. 

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Also Read: Can Dogs Wear Collar At Night?

How Do You Treat A Dog’s Raw Nose?

Wash your dog’s raw nose with gentle soap and plenty of water. Pat dry and apply a thin layer of antiseptic oil or ointment on your dog’s nose.

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Spray for Dogs and Cats – Medicated Topical Spray Treatment for Fungal and Bacterial Skin Infections in Dogs and Cats, Fast Acting, Heal and Soothe Infections (8 oz bottle)

If the medicine you use is an over-the-counter ointment, call your veterinarian to make sure it will be safe and suitable for your pup. Some over-the-counter products can be harsh, trigger an allergic reaction, or worsen the condition of your pet dog.

What Causes Dogs To Lick Excessively?

Excessive licking in dogs is linked to the following:

  • Canine seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Increased nasal discharge
  • Nose dryness
  • A habit
  • Infection
  • Allergies

If you find your dog’s licking to be suspicious or unusual, immediately get him an appointment to rule out serious conditions like nasal tumor or dental disease.

For nose dryness, you can use Snout Magic: 100% Organic and Natural Dog Nose Butter as it is very effective in soothing your dog’s nose.

Snout Magic: 100% Organic and Natural Dog Nose Butter (2oz) - Proven to Cure Your Dog's Dry, Chapped, Cracked, and Crusty Nose

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws After They Eat?

When dogs lick their paws after eating, it usually means that he’s trying to clean himself up. Paw licking constitutes normal grooming behavior.

Excessive self-grooming licking after eating may also be a sign of Compulsive Behavior in dogs. Consult with a veterinarian to make an official diagnosis.

Why Does My Dog Keep Licking His Lips And Yawning?


Constant yawning and licking are a sign of psychological disorders like anxiety, stress, or compulsive behavior in dogs.

Lip licking often precedes vomiting in dogs. An irritated nasal passage, nausea, and stress may also cause excessive yawning and lip licking.

If your dog has recently had a confrontation with another dog, he may feel threatened and stressed. When dogs face aggression, they lick their lips to alleviate stress and relieve discomfort.

What Does A Dog Feel When You Kiss Them?

Over time, from your actions and body language, dogs learn that kisses are a sign of affection. The stimulation may trigger the release of endorphins and make them happy and relieve any stress.

Most dogs will tolerate your kiss and even lick you in return to show that they understand your actions. Others may not like kisses because they associate closeness with threats. It is not always risky to kiss your dog.

Hugging, however, is more tricky: most dogs are provoked into aggression and biting when hugged.

Can You Get Sick From A Dog Licking You?


Although cases are very rare, you can get sick from a bacteria (Capnocytophaga canimorsus) found in dog saliva. Do not let your dog lick your open wound.

Otherwise, you can freely let your dog lick you. This is completely normal pet behavior. 

Why Does My Dog Keep Gulping And Licking?

Below are the main reasons why your dog keeps gulping and licking:

1. Nausea

More often than not, your dog’s gulping and licking signals severe nausea. Other signs of nausea include constant licking, gulping, and yawning. Your dog will also try to eat grass to signal that he’s about to vomit.

2. Swallowing of Foreign Objects

Your puppy may have also accidentally swallowed dust or hair and is trying to get rid of the foreign particles.

3. Respiratory Issues

If the gulping is more like throat spasms, it may indicate respiratory problems or reverse sneezing, both of which require immediate medical attention.

How To Stop Dog From Licking Wound On Nose?


Before you try out the options to stop your dog from licking the wound on his nose, try to figure out what exactly is causing your pup discomfort. It may become easier to figure out a solution.

You can try out the below three methods:

1. Bitter Ointment

Apply a bitter-tasting ointment on your dog’s nose to put him off and stop him from obsessively licking wounds on his nose.

2. Clean And Wash His Nose

Wash his nose with mild soap and water before applying the ointment. Do not apply a thick layer, or your puppy will be tempted to lick it off.

3. Visit A Vet

If your dog keeps on licking his wounds excessively, it is advisable that you visit a vet.

How Do You Keep A Dog From Licking A Wound Without Cone?

Many dog owners believe that cones are too harsh or cruel to the dog as cones can cause difficulty in movement, and can also affect a dog’s hearing and vision.

If you don’t prefer using a cone for your dog, grab some soft, breathable fabric and secure it around the wound with surgical tape. This alternative can successfully keep your dog from licking a wound.

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There are many kinder alternatives in today’s market. These include inflatable collars, fabric collars, and neck braces that can be used for your dog.

Also Read: Can Your Dog Wear Collar All The Time?

Conclusion: Why Do Dogs Keep Licking Their Nose?

If you are worried about ‘Why Do Dogs Keep Licking Their Nose?’, keep in mind that licking is a common behavior and is usually nothing to worry about.

However, constant licking, accompanied by other unusual and worrying behaviors requires a consultation with a veterinary professional. 

Once you rule out a medical diagnosis, possible reasons such as boredom or separation anxiety become more common. Especially if you’re a pet parent who works long hours, your dog might be more prone to such infirmities.

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