Is your dog opening and closing his mouth after eating? There are actually several reasons your dog may be doing this, such as having a mouth problem, being nauseous, or feeling anxious or fearful. Because lip smacking after eating is often caused by a medical issue, it is important to take your dog to your veterinarian for an exam and consultation.
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Your dog has something in her mouth
Your dog may be making chewing motions after eating because she has something stuck in her mouth. Your dog may have gotten hair in her mouth, for instance. Lip smacking can also occur if your dog has something stuck in her teeth.
Gently open your dog's mouth to see if there are any obvious issues causing the problem. If your dog will allow it, you can remove whatever is bothering her. If hair or something stuck in your dog's teeth is the issue, your dog will stop smacking her lips after the offending object has been removed.
Your dog has a dental problem
Another reason dogs open and close their mouths after eating is because they have a dental problem. Other signs that your dog has a dental problem include pawing at the mouth, dropping food when he eats, and drooling. Periodontal disease and problems with the salivary glands are possible causes of mouth discomfort for dogs.
If your dog will allow you, you can look in his mouth to see if there is any visible inflammation or any ulcers. If you see any obvious signs of a problem, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you can to address the problem.
Your dog is nauseous
It is common to see lip smacking and drooling in dogs before they vomit. This is because saliva accumulates in a dog's mouth before she is going to vomit. If you see your dog smacking her lips after eating, she may be nauseous. If this is the case, your dog will usually stop smacking her lips once she has vomited. Your dog may eat grass in order to vomit if she is feeling nauseous.
Your dog is stressed or anxious
Dogs use lip smacking as a calming mechanism. If your dog is smacking his lips after eating, there could be something causing him to feel stressed or anxious. You may see your dog smack his lips after you scold him, if another pet in the home growls at him, during a thunderstorm, during fireworks, or if you accidentally trip over him.
When to see a vet if your dog is making chewing motions
If your dog smacks her lips or makes chewing motions after eating once or twice, you may not need to see your veterinarian about it. Likewise, if a stressor is present and she smacks her lips, there is probably no cause for alarm.
However, if your dog smacks her lips after eating regularly, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian. Likewise, if you see an obvious problem in your dog's mouth upon examining it, take her to the vet. Your vet will be able to give your dog a thorough examination, pinpoint the problem, and come up with an appropriate treatment plan if it's needed.