English Bulldog Blog

Why Do English Bulldogs Lick The Air? Top 3 Things To Know

why do english bulldogs lick the air

English Bulldogs are well-known for their distinctive looks and charming personalities. But sometimes, their behavior can be as puzzling as it is endearing, such as when they lick the air. This peculiar activity may seem harmless, but understanding why they do it can provide insights into their health and well-being. If you’ve asked yourself sometimes ‘’Why do English bulldogs lick the air?’’ read on and find out what do you need to know.

why do english bulldogs lick the air

Understanding Air Licking Behavior in English Bulldogs

Air licking refers to the behavior where a dog repeatedly licks at the air, as if trying to catch something invisible. While it might look odd, this behavior is not uncommon among dogs, including English Bulldogs. Generally, it could be triggered by a variety of reasons, ranging from health issues to environmental factors.

Specific Reasons English Bulldogs Lick the Air

Health-related Causes

Dental Issues: Dental pain or gum disease can lead to air licking as a way to soothe discomfort. English Bulldogs are prone to dental problems due to their brachycephalic facial structure, which can lead to crowded teeth.

Nausea and Digestive Problems: Issues like gastroesophageal reflux or intestinal blockages can cause nausea, prompting a dog to lick the air as a reflex.

Behavioral Causes

Anxiety and Stress: English Bulldogs can develop anxiety, which may manifest as repetitive or obsessive behaviors like air licking.

Attention-seeking Behavior: Sometimes, Bulldogs might lick the air simply to get attention from their owners, especially if this behavior has been inadvertently rewarded in the past.

why do english bulldogs lick the air

Environmental Causes

Smells and Tastes in the Air: Sensitivity to particular scents or the remnants of food smells can trigger an English Bulldog to lick the air.

Response to Visual Stimuli: Visual hallucinations or catching sight of small insects might also provoke air licking.

Health Concerns Associated with Air Licking

While occasional air licking is generally not a concern, frequent or obsessive behavior can signal underlying issues. It’s important to observe when and how often your Bulldog engages in this behavior to determine whether it’s a symptom of a deeper problem. For example, many people don’t know that bulldogs can lick the air due to anxiety. An English bulldog who deals with separation anxiety can start showing this behavior due to the stress he’s going through. 

If you suspect that your English bulldog suffers from separation anxiety, then we recommend you to check other symptoms as well. Licking and chewing paws, destroying home items, and barking, howling and whining can be only some of the symptoms to look for.

Diagnosing the Cause of Air Licking

Veterinarians can assess whether the air licking is due to medical issues or behavioral factors. A thorough examination might include dental checks, blood tests, or even neurological assessments.

Why Do English Bulldogs Lick the Air When Happy or Excited?

Dogs are highly driven by their sense of smell. Excitement can heighten their sensory perception, leading them to lick the air to capture more scents, essentially “tasting” the air around them.

Some dogs may have learned to lick the air in response to certain stimuli if they have associated it with positive experiences. For example, a dog might start licking the air when hearing the leash because it predicts a walk.

Another reason why your bulldog licks the air can be found in his desire to get treats. When a dog hear something is ‘’going on in the kitchen’’, it can start licking the air as a sign that he’s waiting for a reward.

Why Do English Bulldogs Lick the Air When Scratching?

When English Bulldogs receive a particularly delightful scratch or petting, they might start licking the air. This behavior is their unique way of expressing enjoyment and gratitude for the affection they’re receiving. It’s as if they’re saying, “This feels wonderful; thank you!”  You probably noticed that your english bulldog starts to lick the air and raise one leg when you hit the spot of ”joy” while petting him. Well, this behavior is only one of the ways he shows you how much he enjoys while you’re doing that.

Treating and Managing Air Licking in English Bulldogs

Medical Treatments

If a health issue is identified, appropriate treatments such as dental care for gum disease or medication for digestive troubles may be recommended. If your dog is doing it excessively, and started to ruin the skin around the mouth, then you can distract his attention with the toy. Chew toys for English bulldogs can occupy your dog’s mind and make it feel engaged while spending time alone. The English Bulldog Toothbrush Toy features soft silicone pins that will gently clean your dog’s teeth. This toy can be especially beneficial for puppies who go through a teething phase.

english bulldog shop english bulldog toothbrush toy

Behavioral Interventions

Training and behavior modification techniques can help manage stress-induced air licking. Providing a stimulating environment with plenty of physical and mental challenges can also redirect your Bulldog’s energy.

To keep your bulldog occupied, we recommend you to check our English Bulldog IQ Treat Ball Interactive Food Egg. As your pooch rolls it, the egg will release tasty treats and your dog will get rewarded. It’s one of thebest ways to keep your furry friend occupied while you’re out.

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The English Bulldog Interactive Treat Tumbler is our second pick to take a look. This unique, almost ‘’robot design’’ dog toy will self-balance and make your pet occupied for hours. The toy is also for teaching your pet to eat slowly make him curious for hours. 

english bulldog shop english bulldog interactive treat tumbler

Preventive Measures

Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet for your Bulldog, and adequate exercise are crucial. Ensuring that your Bulldog has a stimulating environment with appropriate toys and challenges can also help prevent boredom and stress, which may reduce the incidence of air licking.

Case Studies and Expert Opinions

Several case studies highlight Bulldogs who started air licking due to unnoticed dental issues. Once treated, the behavior significantly decreased. Veterinarians often share that recognizing the early signs of discomfort or anxiety can lead to quicker interventions and less distress for the dog.

Why Do English Bulldogs Lick the Air: Wrapping up

Understanding why your English Bulldog licks the air is essential for ensuring their health and happiness. By observing when and how frequently the behavior occurs, consulting with a vet, and providing a supportive environment, you can help manage or eliminate this odd behavior. Remember, while it may seem quirky, air licking can sometimes be a clue to your Bulldog’s health needs. Always observe the whole situation to understand whether your dog is expressing joy, anticipation, or perhaps something else.

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