What does it mean when my dog keeps swallowing? This is a question people often ask when they notice unusual behavior. This guide will help you understand your dog better. When dogs are dealing with something in their body that’s out of the ordinary, they may respond with some unique approaches.
While their conditions can range from not concerning to a much more severe issue, discovering what is causing their response is vital in taking care of your dog’s wellbeing. If you notice that your dog is often swallowing, you may initially be pretty concerned. You may wonder what they recently ate, what is stuck in their throat, or if there is some other medical issue that they are dealing with.
But before you immediately freak out, it’s important to recognize what may be causing this response in the first place. Keep an eye out for excessive licking in combination with their frequent swallowing. Often, these two behaviors can go together simultaneously and be caused by the same thing.
You’ll also want to pay attention, especially if these behaviors are new and have arisen suddenly. Some reasons why your dog continues to swallow may be a natural response to something that is irritating them. On the other hand, it may be an indication of a much more severe medical issue for which you’ll want to connect with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
To help you provide the best care for your dog, here we share some of the more common reasons why your dog may keep swallowing. We’ll also provide some insight into your next steps once you identify your dog is dealing with.
Before scrolling down this guide “My Dog Keeps Swallowing – What Does This Mean,” check out these similar questions: What Does It Mean When My Dog is Barking in its Sleep and What Does It Mean When My Dog’s Urine Has a Strong Odor?
What Does It Mean If My Dog Keeps Swallowing?
Like many other odd behaviors of a dog, a dog that continues to swallow may do so for various reasons. Some may be no reason to worry, while others may be worth a call to the veterinarian.
As in any case, be sure that your dog’s mouth does not become too dry as they continue to swallow. Also, ensure they can stay moisturized and not parched as they swallow often. Here are just a few of the more common reasons for this response in your dog.
Is Something Stuck in Your Dog’s Mouth or Throat?
Have you ever been eating or drinking something and feel that there is something stuck in your mouth or throat? The same thing can happen to a dog. They may be eating something and feel a piece of dry dog food is stuck in their mouth. Therefore, they may be continuing to swallow to help move the piece of food down to their stomach.
In addition to food, this can also occur if something not natural enters their mouth. For example, if they find they have a bug in their mouth or a piece of grass, they may also continue to swallow to move whatever is stuck in their throat to move through.
Whether with food or with something from outside, this reason for swallowing is a completely natural reaction for a dog. Unless your dog begins to frequently get things stuck in their mouth or throat, which causes further issues, this should not be a significant concern for why your dog continues to swallow.
However, when it does become an issue is when something other than food or a small blade of grass or an insect is ingested. For example, if they are choking on something too large for them, they may swallow to move the item down their system.
They may also be experiencing symptoms like coughing, choking, or gagging. If they are choking on something stuck in their throat, take immediate action and connect with your veterinarian about how to get the item out of their throat or mouth.
Is Your Dog Hungry?
Have you ever had a moment where you’re so hungry for something that your mouth involuntarily begins to water out of anticipation for something delicious? The same is also true for a dog.
When they are hungry and know that food is coming, their salivary glands may start working. With this excess saliva, they may find the need to swallow more often. This, again, is an entirely natural response to their desire and eagerness for food and is not something that should be particularly alarming.
Did Your Dog Taste Something Bad?
Dogs tend to get their tongues on anything and everything. That means that sometimes, they may lick up something that does not taste so good. As a response, they may swallow and lick excessively to eliminate the bad taste that lingers in their mouth.
Keep in mind that if they get into something toxic for them, such as different foods or cleaning products, be sure to connect with your veterinarian about poison control and the next steps in ensuring they are not in danger.
Is Your Dog Stressed Out?
A behavioral cause for swallowing and licking may be out of anxiety or stress. They may find that the consistent habits of swallowing or licking may bring some temporary relief in whatever type of anxiety they are experiencing.
If you’re wondering whether stress is the cause of their habits, pay attention to their overall behavior and watch out for other warning signs of mental health issues like stress, anxiety, or depression.
Dog’s Dental Disease
Another concern that can cause excessive swallowing issues in their teeth, such as dental disease. When this happens, the build-up of tartar in their teeth and gums can create additional problems in their overall health and wellness, causing excess bacteria in their mouth.
They may try to compensate for this pain and pain in their gums by swallowing and excessively licking. Be sure to monitor their dental health and provide them opportunities to brush their teeth and chew on dental-specific rawhides or other chews that can help support their oral health.
Oral ulcers can also be a mouth-related cause for excessive swallowing. These painful ulcers can cause your dog to find irritation in their mouth, and try swallowing and licking to get rid of the pain. Again, it can be spurred on by medical concerns like infections or eating something they should not be ingesting.
If you notice that your dog is swallowing, gulping, and breathing heavily, watch out for esophageal irritation. This happens with acid from the stomach irritate the lining of the throat. This can often be a result of excessive vomiting.
The acid that comes up can severely damage the raw lining of the esophagus, leading to even further irritation. For this condition, be sure to connect with your veterinarian for solutions in monitoring their health and healing their esophagus from inflammation.
It is likely due to nausea when you see your dog licking and often swallowing due to an upset stomach. When they feel vomiting coming on, they may try to suppress the feeling by swallowing excessively to find relief. An upset stomach makes the salivary glands work excessively in preparation for something unsavory coming up.
This is a common reason why your dog may be swallowing excessively and licking things as well. Be sure that they are given access to water to replenish their fluids and eliminate a dry mouth feeling from their excessive licking and swallowing.
Conclusion For “My Dog Keeps Swallowing – What Does This Mean”
In addressing your dog’s consistent swallowing habit, it’s crucial to identify the underlying reason for why they are swallowing. For some causes, no action may be required beyond just ensuring they have water available and feel comfortable and that no other symptoms arise.
For other more severe conditions, however, you may need to take more involved action. For example, if your dog is on the verge of vomiting, ensure that they are in a safe and comfortable space as they struggle through their upset stomach. Also, be sure they have access to water to help replace the fluids that they lose.
Be sure to monitor their overall health to see if there are any other concerning symptoms that you should be aware of. With many medical concerns, swallowing and licking are rarely isolated issues. Instead, they may be accompanied by other symptoms that are worth noting.
Especially as you connect with your veterinarian, be sure to note these additional symptoms to provide a complete picture of your dog’s overall health and behavior. For dental and oral-related issues, connect with your veterinarian about steps you can take to improve their health.
They may recommend certain chews and medications to improve their oral health and eliminate tartar buildup or other concerns causing them to swallow excessively. Whatever the cause of their excessive swallowing, it’s up to you to provide the care and attention that they need to live their happy, healthy selves.
Monitor their health and note anything out of the ordinary when it comes to their swallowing habits. With the proper care and early detection, you can prevent conditions from spiraling and becoming worse, as well as supporting their overall mental and physical health.
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Learn more about this topic by watching “How to Get Dogs to Stop Swallowing Bad Things” from KING 5 down below: