Our answer: Smacking lips can indicate a number of different issues almost all of which are physical. Of course there are the obvious issues which may be in the mouth – dental disease, gum masses, ulcerations, etc. These are best found during a physical examination.
We can often see lip smacking behavior in dogs with longer hair. When the hair gets in their mouth they smack their lips in order to get it out. This is obviously not a concern in your case.
Now, for the not so obvious – diet. What is your dog eating? Nausea, acid reflux, and a lower quality diet can all be a culprit. All of these cause an increase in the saliva production in the mouth which leads to lip smacking. It is actually a common misconception that dogs such as boxers, great danes and bull mastiffs are supposed to have long ropey drool.
So, what to do now? If there is no outward physical evidence of a cause for the lip smacking, I would begin with a diet upgrade. Upgrade to a premium grain-free diet such as Nature’s Variety Instinct. If you don’t see an improvement in about 4 weeks, give us a call and we can discuss other medical options including antinausea and antacid medications.
This is a great question which often goes unasked since most owners don’t see it as an issue. Although likely a mild issue, it is one that should be addressed to make sure your dog is getting 100% of what he needs.