If you’ve ever looked at your dog’s mouth up close, you may have asked the question: Do dogs have lips? The answer may surprise you.
Do Dogs Have Lips?
Yes, dogs have lips. A dog’s lips are different from humans’ lips because they don’t serve the same purpose.
Why Do Dogs Have Lips?
A dog’s lips serve the following purposes:
- Protect the jaw
- Protect the teeth
- Helps dogs smell
How Dogs’ Lips Are Different from Human Lips
When comparing dogs’ lips to human lips, there are some obvious differences:
- Dogs’ lips are completely separated.
- They have bigger lips because they have bigger jawlines.
- Dogs have smaller cheek capacity since their mouths are so big. Humans have bigger cheeks because our mouths are small.
- Dogs need big lips because they need a wide-open mouth to tear apart big prey and eat big pieces quickly. It’s what helped them survive in the wild. Humans don’t need that because they have weapons and a knife and a fork.
- Human lips keep us from drooling. A dog’s lips aren’t quite as effective which is why many dogs – especially ones with really wide mouths drool a lot like hound breed dogs and bulldogs and mastiffs.
- The lips and cheeks of a human help suction liquid to make it easier to drink. Dogs don’t have the same luxury, which is why they have lapped up water from their dog bowl.
The Parts of a Dog’s Lips
Even though dogs have lips that seem as though they continuously line the mouth, there is a lower lip and upper lip. The upper lips are called flews.
Flews are responsible for keeping whatever is in the mouth in it. That includes drool. Dogs with low flews drool a lot.
For some dog breeds, the flews cover the dog’s lower lips. This can make it seem like dogs don’t have lips, but again, dogs have lips.
Common Problems with Dog Lips
You may be asking the question: Do dogs have lips? because your dog may have something wrong with what you believe are the lips. If that’s the case, you’re on the right track. Dogs can suffer from conditions that affect the lips.
Oral Papilloma Virus
Bumpy lips are the first obvious signs of oral papillomavirus. They are oral warts – small benign tumors.
Oral papillomavirus is most common in dogs younger than age 2.
Treatment isn’t usually required as they go away on their own. If they become chronic or cause serious medical issues, they can be removed surgically or with cryotherapy (freezing).
Tight Lip Syndrome
Tight lip syndrome can happen to any dog breed. It’s a birth defect that causes an overbite, which can make it hard to eat and drink.
If the tight lip is mild, the veterinarian may not do anything. If it interferes with the dog’s quality of life, there is a treatment to correct tight lips.
Why Dogs Have Black Lips
Dogs have black lips for a reason. It’s nature’s defense against the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
With dork pigmentation, the lips don’t easily burn, which helps dogs who spend a lot of time outside. It was most important for dogs in the wild.
The above is the same reason dogs have black noses. Nature is so smart, right?
Why Dogs Have Serrated Lips
The lips are a sensory organ. The serration of a dog’s lips helps dogs taste their food better. It’s just like human tastebuds, but instead, they are on the serration of a dog’s lips.
Do Dogs Smile?
As dog owners, we’ve all seen our dogs smile. We may just like to think they are smiling, but experts have confirmed they really do smile. While they may not show their teeth like people do when they smile. Opening their mouth wide and their side curling up, it’s their very own way of smiling.
If you think your dog is smiling and happy, find out for sure in this article: Is My Dog Happy?
Do Dogs Have Lips?
Yes, dogs have lips. Most dog owners don’t notice them until there is a problem or they notice their dog’s “lipless” smile. Rest assured, dogs do have lips and they are serving an important role in their life.