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I am sure the charming and affectionate Pug is the best friend of all their owners, but this dog might show certain behaviors that could look alarming. For example, the weird habit of air licking. What is this about? Why do Pugs lick the air?

When our dogs start to show some kind of behavior they never did before, most of us will usually get worried. But, before you start panicking, you need to know that there is always a good explanation for all changes you might notice in your furry companion.

I actually have 5 explanations for why your Pug might lick the air! So, let’s go through all of them together.

Why Do Pugs Lick The Air?

Is there a dog that doesn’t enjoy licking? I would say no. Some love to lick their owners’ legs, while some others constantly lick their own lips.

These two are somehow understandable, but you are having a hard time trying to figure out why your Pug licks the air?

Let’s see what could cause this behavior in your Pug – one of the truly cutest dog breeds out there.

1. Digestive Issues

Pug threw up on the laminatePug threw up on the laminate

Air licking could be a sign that your Pug is feeling nauseous. If your dog seems lethargic, refuses food, and it also has diarrhea and vomiting, it is almost certain that your Pug has a certain digestive problem.

Some Pugs will have food sensitivities, so you may need to change your pet’s diet.

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However, air licking can also be a sign of a more serious illness, such as acid reflux or pancreatitis. Of course, you should not guess what your dog’s problem is, but you should visit a veterinarian.

2. Dental Issues

Some Pugs might lick the air due to a certain dental issue.

This could be their attempt to make the pain go away. All dog owners should brush their dogs’ teeth regularly, to avoid dental problems, such as plaque, gingivitis, or periodontal disease. Dental issues can be very painful for dogs, just like for humans.

If you notice some additional symptoms, like bad breath and excessive drooling in your dog, or, if he refuses food and has red and swollen gums, you should take him to the vet’s to have his teeth checked.

3. They Have Something Stuck In Their Mouth

A pug licks the air outdoorsA pug licks the air outdoors

If your Pug licks the air right after his meal, a piece of food might have stuck between his teeth or in his throat. Licking the air could be your dog’s attempt to expel this scrap from his mouth.

If your Pug has something stuck in his mouth, this does not necessarily have to be food. Your Pug probably loves to chew his toys and bones – so, maybe your Pug got the rest of one of these two stuck in his mouth and now it’s causing him discomfort.

By licking the air, your dog is probably trying to relieve himself and clear his mouth or throat of a foreign object.

4. Anxiety

Excessive air licking in your Pug could be a sign that your dog is anxious.

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Even if you can’t think of a reason why your Pug might be anxious, you need to understand that dogs are sensitive creatures.

There are many triggers for dog’s anxiety. For example, if there has been any change in your life recently, your Pug is probably reacting to this change. 

Furthermore, your Pug might be anxious because it is separated from you. You should not leave this dog alone longer than 6 hours, even if he is an adult, perfectly trained dog.

Dogs that are left alone for too long can not only become anxious, but also might show destructive behavior, and make a mess of your home.

So, if you notice your Pug nervously licks the air, you should try to figure out whether there are some specific reasons that might be causing stress and anxiety in your small pooch.

5. Compulsive Behavior

Pug with raised head licking the airPug with raised head licking the air

Licking the air might also be a form of compulsive behavior in your Pug.

Why could this be happening? Something could have caused stress in your Pug, like a certain person, or some loud noise, and your dog has responded by licking the air.

With time, your dog has started to always react in the same way to these triggers – with licking the air. This is probably your dog’s attempt to calm himself, so now he is doing this way too often.

If you think your Pug might be showing compulsive behavior with his air licking, you should ask a veterinarian for advice.

6. Lack Of Activity

Your Pug constantly licks the air? There is a chance that he is just – bored.

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Your small dog might be missing activities, and he is starting to show certain behaviors to inform you he needs some actions!

Let’s be honest and say that our adorable Pugs are in most cases lazy dogs – they don’t need much exercise like a German Shepherd, or a Goldendoodle.

But, they still need activities and exercise on a daily basis! Lack of physical and mental stimulation can cause unwanted behaviors in our dogs, such as the excess air licking.

So, make sure that you walk your Pug every day for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Regular exercise will not only prevent your dog from becoming bored – it will also help you to keep him on a healthy weight, and to prevent obesity.

You should also keep your Pug mentally entertained by giving him some interactive toys to play with. This is also a great way to occupy your small dog while you are away from home.

My Pug Constantly Licks The Air: What Should I Do?

a black pug sits on the grass and licks the aira black pug sits on the grass and licks the air

There are a couple of reasons why your Pug could be licking the air excessively. You will be able to solve some of them by yourself, while in some cases, you will need help from a veterinarian.

The first thing you should do is to determine what is causing this kind of behavior in your Pug.

If you notice that a certain food is causing digestive problems in your dog, you should ask a veterinarian for advice on the diet change for your dog. There are also some good options in our list of the quality dog foods for Pugs, so, you can take a look at this, too.

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If you think your Pug might just be bored, and that he is trying to show you this with the air licking, you can solve this problem by simply giving your attention and some light exercise session for your small dog.

If your Pug is licking the air due to anxiety, dental problems, or some more serious digestive issues, you should take him to the vet’s.

You should also be prepared to explain your dog’s behavior to the vet’s, and to inform him when your dog started showing this behavior, as well as whether you have noticed some additional symptoms.

Final Thoughts 

Why do Pugs lick the air? They might be bored or anxious. Also, they might have something stuck in their mouth. Furthermore, this could be a sign your dog has a dental issue, or a digestive problem.

So, air licking in Pugs might not be harmless. I suggest you observe your dog, and to try to figure out what is causing this behavior in him.

If you think air licking is a sign of a health problem in your dog, you should not wait long – contact your vet right away.

Although air licking might seem like another weird thing our dogs do, this could actually be a dog’s way to show you he is missing something, or that there is a health issue your dog needs your help with.

By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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