My Dog keeps Its licking lips and shaking?

If your dog keeps licking their lips and shaking, we understand how difficult and confusing it can be for a pet parent to decode their pooch’s every action and behavior. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a complete post for you in case your pooch displays such worrisome behaviors.

Like any other animals, dogs also have emotions, some of which can manifest as worrisome symptoms, such as lip licking and trembling. But if your pooch is licking lips and shaking out of the blue without any distressing situation in the vicinity, it can indicate toxicity, injury, or a disease. That being said, in most cases, brief tremors and lip licking behavior is induced by anxiety and nervousness.

In this post, we’ll discuss several reasons why a dog trembles and licks its lips, followed by tips on how you should react to this adversity. But before starting, we’d gently like to remind our readers that self-diagnosing and self-medicating are never a good idea. So, even if you form an idea of what might have happened to your pooch after reading this informative post, always double-check with an expert before determining the best path forward for your doggo.

Why Is My Dog Trembling and Licking Its Lips?

A trembling dog is often perceived to be stressed, anxious, or afraid and lip licking is a common appeasement gesture among pooch. So, if your dog is trembling and licking their lips, they probably sensed a fearful or anxious environment and are trying to calm themselves down; they can also be exhibiting such behaviors due to excitement and overjoy. Nevertheless, if your pooch is displaying the combination of these behaviors for a while, it can also indicate health issues, fever, or pain, and in worse cases, liver and kidney issues. 

While one cannot rule out the possibility of ‘trembling’ and ‘lip licking’ behavior stemming from separate underlying causes, nervousness, anxiety, and fear are common conditions in which both these behaviors are highly likely to manifest together. Dogs often show appeasement gestures such as licking their lips or yawning to divert the aggression and threat and to calm the situation down. However, if the symptoms have been chronic and your dog displays other signs of irritation or aggression, we recommend seeking medical help or behavioral training to help your pooch.  

Besides stress and fear, there are a few other reasons why your pooch might be shaking; for instance, fear, cold, or pain. Gastrointestinal reflux and nausea are also common reasons why your dog shakes and licks lips due to discomfort. Moreover, if your dog was hurt earlier during playtime, ensure that the injury hasn’t taken a major toll on your dog’s body, and if the pooch is licking its lips excessively, it is also prudent to check for any oral injuries. If you suspect your dog is going through something serious, please consult with a vet to determine the best course of treatment.

What Should I Do If My Dog Is Trembling and Licking Its Lips?

Now that we’ve mentioned several reasons why a dog might tremble and lick its lips let’s discuss what you should do if you witness this behavior in your pooch. If your pooch has started trembling and licking its lips out of the blue, try to notice if there are any stressors around them; you might be reprimanding them, or they might be in an uncomfortable training or a vet session. Once you pinpoint the stressor, react accordingly to make your dog feel as comfortable and loved as possible. However, if your pooch has a chronic habit of shaking and licking lips, consult with a vet to diagnose any underlying disease or disorders. 

Once you figure out the trigger behind your pooch’s weird behavior, make sure you remove the stressor from the surroundings or comfort your fur baby in any other ways. If they start showing signs of nervousness or stress in the midst of a training or a consultation, find a way to end the session gently. If they’re mildly hurt and in pain, pamper your pooch with gentle strokes and please give them some personal space in case they demand it by becoming aggressive to whoever comes in their vicinity. With time, you can gently desensitize your dog to the trigger one step at a time, if possible.

If your pet has eaten an allergic or toxic food earlier and looks nauseated and in pain, please consult with an expert for proper treatment and medication. In case the issue is gastroesophageal reflux, veterinarians often prescribe Pepcids to reduce the acid production in your doggo’s stomach. If none of the methods works and this behavioral issue worsens over time, your dog might need a deeper diagnosis to make sure that they are physically and mentally healthy. Please note that if your pooch is showing any other abnormal symptoms, it is always beneficial to mention it to your dog’s vet, as it can help increase the accuracy of a diagnosis.


Any pet parent would be worried if they witnessed their dog licking lips and shaking, especially if the issue is chronic. While it isn’t the best behavior we wish for our pooch to exhibit, you shouldn’t be too worried either, especially if they occasionally show the behavior only for a brief time. However, if the issue is sudden, long-lasting, and is accompanied by other worrisome symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and pain, it can even indicate a medical emergency.


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!