Why Do Dogs Smack Their Lips at Night? 


A dog licking its lips in the nighttime can be alarming for a variety of reasons. We examine the different reasons for this behavior. The sound of your dog’s lips at night can be frustrating and irritating. Of course, you would like the dog’s health to be safe however, if they persist with this pattern, especially without a clear motive, dogs can be a sign that your dog is trying to get you offended. Fortunately, dogs don’t want to get their owners angry. While dogs are known to form behavior patterns based on the desired outcome, however, your dog isn’t trying to bother you. The most likely scenario is it is that the dog smacks his lips or licks their lips during the night due to an underlying need.

Hunger or Food Anticipation:

One of the primary reasons your dog could be licking or pressing its lips at the time of night is because it’s hungry. If your dog only eats only one meal per day, especially when it is earlier during the day, it could just be wanting more food. In this case, you might discover it beneficial to feed your pet a variety of small meals during the course of the day helps to curb undesirable behavior.

Your dog could have their mouths licking since they are smelling food in the kitchen. Dogs have a remarkably strong perception of scent (even for smells they dislike). Therefore, even if you’re not be cooking anything at home, it is possible that the neighbors cooking up something that your dog is drawn to. Your dog could be fantasizing about smells or eating their favorite foods and this could result in frequent licking and lip-smacking.


Lip-smacking by dogs can be a sign of nausea or could be a sign of vomiting. The reason dogs will are known to lick the lips of their mouths is in order to stop saliva, and if they feel nauseated, suffer from stomach issues, or are about vomit, they might feel more salivary than usual. When vomiting may be the cause and your dog ends in a chuckle then the smacking or lip licking is likely to end.

When this vomiting is a regular occurrence–especially at night–it may be an indicator of bilious vomiting syndrome. This condition, sometimes referred to as “bile reflux,” typically happens in dogs that are fed just daily. This results in bile entering the stomach of the dog. There, it can cause discomfort and even cause vomiting. If you suspect that your dog has reflux in the bile, it’s important to get the problem checked by a veterinarian. They may suggest altering the feeding regimen of your dog by adding more food.

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Acid Reflux:

As with humans, dogs also suffer from acid reflux. Gastroesophageal Reflux also referred to as acid reflux similar to bile reflux because it is caused by digestive fluids moving where they shouldn’t be: In this instance stomach and intestinal acid gets into the esophagus and cause discomfort.

If a dog suffers due to acid reflux they might be prone to licking or smacking their lips more frequently because of discomfort or nausea Additionally, they might swallow food, vomit or gag, and feel weight loss, or less appetite. Since this type of reflux is usually experienced when eating, a pet suffering from it who consumes food late in the evening may exhibit signs of it during the evening. If your dog has symptoms like this, it should visit the veterinarian, who will place the dog on a special diet or offer medications.

Salivary Issues or Dry Mouth:

Smacking on the lips can aid dogs to eliminate saliva in their mouths. It might be worthwhile to determine whether your dog is suffering from an issue with their salivary glands when they’re smacking excessively and licking the lips late at night.

Although certain diets can trigger increased salivation excessive salivation that causes lip smacking can also be due to issues in the salivary glands of the dog. In addition, another reason dogs may smack their lips could be because they don’t have sufficient saliva. A problem such as dry mouth and dehydration could be the cause in this scenario. In both cases, an appointment with the vet might be needed to resolve the issue.

Dental Problems:

Dogs could indicate that they’re experiencing discomfort or pain in their teeth by licking or smacking their lips. If dental issues such as gum or tooth pain are in the dog’s way and they are unable to resolve it, they could show indications such as pawing at their mouths and faces or displaying signs of discomfort while eating.

A dog suffering from an oral issue or dental disease is likely to be troubled all day long and night, but the additional lip smacking or licking can be more evident or louder even in the quiet evening.

Object or Hair Stuck in Mouth:

A common reason for dogs will lick their lips in the evening is to release objects that are stuck in their mouths or tangled within their jaws. If an object that is foreign is at fault it may be possible for you to assist your dog get rid of it or at minimum, find the cause.

Sticks or kibble that get stuck between dogs’ teeth can make them very uncomfortable. Just as people might attempt various mouth movements to get rid of popcorn kernels stuck in their mouth or a piece of popcorn, your dog may try to get rid of the discomfort. If your dog is willing to allow you to check its mouth to determine how you can assist to ease the situation. However in the event that it’s stuck in the mouth’s roof or is unable to move the dog should have its dog examined by a vet.

Liver Or Kidney Disease:

Certain metabolic diseases that can affect kidneys and livers could cause excess salivation. This could result in lip-smacking to reduce the flow of saliva. If your dog suffers from liver or kidney issues it could turn out to be just one method your dog is using to manage the symptoms or pain and it could be beneficial to place them in a different space when they exhibit this behavior or put on the earplugs you can.

Nervous System Problems or Toxin Ingestion:

Dogs who have nervous system issues like seizures might have their lips smacked. When seizures occur or lip-smacking, some other bizarre behaviors could be observed prior to the seizures themselves or could be a part of the seizures. Since seizures usually occur during a time when dogs are asleep or resting or asleep, it’s not unusual for them to occur during the night or during the early morning hours.

In addition, certain toxins may make dogs drool or lick or smack their lips. Ingestion of certain toxic substances can cause foaming at the mouth, or vomiting and both could be accompanied by lip-smacking. If your dog begins at times to kiss their lips with alarming frequency after an outing in the evening, it may be beneficial to check to see if they engage in any outdoor activities.

To Soothe Emotional Distress or Anxiety:

Dogs can lick or smack their lips to alleviate anxiety. This kind of behavior can be a sign of anxiety, however, it’s probably more of a stress-relief method rather than simply a sign to indicate that the pet is suffering from anxiety. It’s an excellent idea, however, to offer the dog who is anxious some time to relax or get away from the situation that is causing it.

Habitual Behavior

Although lip-smacking and lip licking could indicate that dogs are trying to calm anxieties, however, it could be more of a routine. For example, dogs might frequently lick their lips after they are settling down to sleep and feel relaxed; it’s not possible, however, that dogs might be known to lick their lips at other times when they’re exhausted or cozy.


Another reason why dogs, especially those that are older may frequently lick their lips in the evening is that they’re confused because of canine dementia, also known as canine cognition disorder. It could also be a sign of anxiety resulting from the disorder.

Although there are certain ways owners can go about it to give their dog additional stimulation for their dog to improve its well-being, canine cognition disorders are irreparable. A vet will be able to determine how severe the problem is and offer suggestions on the best way to deal with the signs.


A dog might have its lips smacked late at night due to a dream. This could be due to contemplating eating a large steak or another delicious dinner, but it’s also possible that it’s an uninvoluntary reaction that the dog experiences when they are asleep. If it is the case even though it might be a bit uncomfortable, it’s not something to be concerned about.


Although it may be slightly offensive it’s common in dogs and isn’t intended to be a source of irritation. While certain causes of lip licking and mouth smacking are easy to fix some could be signs of more serious health issues.

If your dog is constantly licking their lips for no motive, it’s beneficial to have your veterinarian examine them to ensure that it’s not caused by some health issue that is underlying.



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