Why Does My Dog Keep Swallowing? Why They Do It

It’s not uncommon for dog owners to notice their furry friends swallowing repeatedly, leaving them puzzled and concerned. Experts point out that this can be an indicator of discomfort or even illness in dogs. Why does my dog keep swallowing?

This blog post will help you understand why your dog may be displaying such strange behavior, as well as provide tips on what you can do about it. Get ready to decode the mystery behind your pup’s gulping!

why does my dog keep swallowing

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs may swallow excessively due to behavioral causes, such as stress or anxiety.
  • Medical issues like esophagitis, acid reflux, nausea, or stomach upset can also cause dogs to swallow repeatedly.
  • To address excessive swallowing and licking in dogs, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian, take a video of their behavior for evaluation, and consider implementing behavioral training techniques.

Causes of a Dog Swallowing and Excessive Licking

Dogs may engage in excessive swallowing and licking due to various behavioral or medical causes.

Behavioral causes

Dogs might swallow a lot because they feel stress. Just like people, dogs can get upset and show it in different ways. Some dogs pace around or bark a lot. Other dogs might keep swallowing and licking their lips.

This can happen when there are loud noises, new people in the house, or other big changes. It’s important to help your dog stay calm and happy, so they don’t feel so much stress.

Medical causes

Excessive swallowing in dogs can also be caused by medical issues. These may include conditions like esophagitis and acid reflux, which can cause discomfort and irritation in the throat.

Dogs with upset stomachs or nausea may also swallow more frequently as they try to manage their symptoms. It’s important to address these underlying medical issues to help alleviate your dog’s excessive swallowing behavior.

Consulting with a veterinarian will help determine the best course of action for your furry friend.

Related Issues

Acid reflux and esophagitis can be related issues that contribute to a dog’s excessive swallowing and licking.

Acid Reflux And Esophagitis

Esophagitis and acid reflux are two medical conditions that can cause dogs to swallow excessively. Esophagitis is the inflammation of the esophagus, which is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, causing irritation. These conditions can be painful for dogs and may lead to discomfort and swallowing difficulties.

If your dog is repeatedly swallowing or showing signs of discomfort while eating or drinking, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to determine if esophagitis or acid reflux could be the underlying cause.

Nausea and stomach upset

If your dog is experiencing nausea or stomach upset, it could be a reason why they are swallowing excessively. When dogs feel sick, they may try to eliminate excess saliva in their mouth by swallowing.

This can lead to repetitive swallowing behavior. Dogs may also lick their lips and swallow when they have something stuck in their throat or if they are feeling discomfort. It’s important to address the underlying cause of their nausea or stomach upset to help alleviate their symptoms and reduce excessive swallowing.

why does my dog keep swallowing

Tips to Address Excessive Swallowing and Licking

Take a video of your dog’s behavior and consult with a veterinarian to address any underlying medical issues. Additionally, implement behavioral training techniques to help redirect your dog’s excessive swallowing and licking habits.

Take a video of your dog’s behavior

If your dog is constantly swallowing and licking, it can be helpful to take a video of their behavior. This way, you can capture the exact actions and movements they are making to share with your veterinarian or behaviorist.

The video will provide valuable information that can assist in identifying any potential underlying medical issues or behavioral problems that may be causing your dog’s excessive swallowing.

It will also help the experts understand the frequency and intensity of your dog’s swallowing behavior, which can aid in making an accurate diagnosis and developing an appropriate treatment plan.

Address underlying medical issues

If your dog is repeatedly swallowing or excessively licking, it could be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Certain conditions like esophagitis, acid reflux, and stomach upset can cause discomfort and lead to these behaviors.

It’s important to consult with your veterinarian to identify and address any potential medical causes for the excessive swallowing or licking. They may recommend further examination or tests to determine the root cause of the problem.

Remember, addressing underlying medical issues is crucial in helping your dog feel better and reduce their repetitive swallowing behavior.

Behavioral training techniques

To address excessive swallowing and licking in dogs, behavioral training techniques can be helpful. One technique is desensitization, where you gradually expose your dog to triggers that make them lick or swallow excessively.

Start with a low-intensity trigger and reward your dog for staying calm. Over time, increase the intensity of the trigger while rewarding calm behavior. Another technique is redirecting their attention by providing interactive toys or engaging them in activities they enjoy.

This can distract them from their licking or swallowing behaviors. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key when using these techniques to modify your dog’s behavior.

why does my dog keep swallowing


In conclusion, excessive swallowing and licking in dogs can be caused by both behavioral and medical issues. It’s important to observe your dog’s behavior, address any underlying medical problems, and consider behavioral training techniques.

By understanding the reasons behind their repeated swallowing, we can better help our furry friends lead happier and healthier lives.


1. Why do dogs swallow over and over again?

Dogs may swallow often due to discomfort, nausea, or having something stuck in the throat.

2. What are common health issues making dogs swallow a lot?

Common health issues could be acid reflux, upset stomach, esophagitis in dogs causing excessive swallowing.

3. Can licking behavior mean my dog has an upset stomach?

Yes! Licking is a sign of nausea related to an upset stomach which could lead to repeated swallowing in your dog.

4. Does eating grass cause my dog to keep swallowing?

Eating grass can cause pytalism or drooling which leads some dogs to gulp or swallow frequently.

5. Could constant swallowing point out behavioral problems for my dog?

Yes! Both medical and behavioral causes can see your dog with frequent gulping and swallowing patterns.

6. How important is it to study the repeated swallowing behavior of our pet dogs?

Understanding repetitive ingestion habits helps you spot any discomfort early and make sure they get proper help when needed.

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