Do Dogs Have Lips?

Do Dogs Have Lips?

The human mouth is a very expressive feature.  When not speaking, a host of emotions can still be expressed through the slightest changes in mouth movements.  But none of this would be possible without our lips.

Lips are a feature we share with a number of other creatures in the animal kingdom, many of whom also use their lips for expressive purposes.  We’ve seen primates and even fish mimic expressions with their lips, but what about those closest to us, our dogs. 

The short answer is, yes.  However, before we assume there is a one-size-fits-all ruling, we must consider bone structure.  The facial bones of a dog, the length of their snout in proximity to their mouth and jaw, are entirely different to ours.  And these differences are more pronounced depending on the breed. 

While humans have a clearly defined upper and lower lip, dogs have what is more aptly described as flews.  Flews are essentially flaps of skin that extend from the top of the snout, and fall down on either side of the dog’s jaw. 

The muscles that help humans to create suction between lip and cheek, are not present dogs – the reason a lot of food and water falls out of their mouth while they eat – and why they have no use for straws.