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Why do dogs have bumps on their lips?

Why do dogs have bumps on their lips?

Dogs have some peculiar facial features. Or at least they appear that way because we don’t understand what they are or what they’re for.

For instance, you may have noticed some bumps and ridges on your dog’s lips while bathing or feeding them. Is it normal for your dog to have those facial features or are you looking at potential signs of trouble?

I became curious about those bumps and ridges myself so I sought to learn more about them. Continue reading the sections below so you can learn more about the significance of those distinctive features.

Why Do Dogs Have Bumps on Their Lips?

Carefully examine your dog’s mouth and you may notice that some bumps are covering different portions of their lips. Those bumps may appear reddish. If you take a longer look, those bumps may even start to look familiar.

That could be because you’re looking at some pimples. Those pimples indicate that your dog has canine acne.

Right away, you should know that canine acne is not a serious condition. Among its most serious side effects are swelling and possible bleeding if the pimples are popped. Pimples that are not treated properly may also cause scarring, but that’s about it.

Canine acne is troubling because it causes discomfort. Long-term, the worst it can do is leave behind some cosmetic blemishes.

Still, taking measures against canine acne is not a bad idea. To do that, you must know why those pimples appear in the first place.

Accidental Removal of Hairs

Your dog’s acne breakout may have originated from some hair follicles being accidentally pulled out. When the hair follicles are pulled out quickly, they may leave behind some substances on the surface of your dog’s skin.

Those substances can then trigger a reaction. They can lead to irritation, inflammation, and the formation of pimples. If your dog scratches the affected area continuously, it could also get infected.


For us, dealing with acne during puberty is almost like a rite of passage. Unsightly pimples were just additional things you had to worry about during those turbulent teenage years.

Dogs may have a somewhat similar experience as they go through puberty. They typically undergo puberty before they reach their first birthday. If your dog’s pimples disappeared as they matured, they were likely caused by puberty.


The pimples that have popped up on your dog’s lips may be indicators of an allergic reaction. Figuring out what triggered the allergic reaction is not so simple.

There’s a chance that your dog had that reaction to something they ate. In that case, try to remember which new treats you provided and avoid giving them moving forward.

Dogs may also have an allergic reaction to the chemicals used to make plastic products. If so, you will have to replace any plastic bowls they use to soothe the reaction.

Understanding a reaction to an environmental allergen is way harder. You’ll have a tough time pinpointing exactly which environmental allergen is the cause of the acne so just focus on treating the pimples instead.

Dog Breed

Lastly, some dog breeds are more likely to experience canine acne relative to others. Specific dog breeds that are more susceptible to acne breakouts include boxers, bulldogs, and German shorthaired pointers.

What Should I Do About My Dog’s Lip Bumps?

Dog pimples can be prevented and one way to do so is to stay on top of your pet’s hygiene. Whenever you give your dog a bath, remember to clean the area around their lips. Do so carefully so you don’t pull out hairs accidentally.

Unfortunately, some dogs may still be plagued by acne no matter how diligent you are when it comes to their hygiene. If your dog does get pimples, you should refrain from popping them. You could do more harm than good by popping those pimples.

Instead, you should schedule a visit with the veterinarian so your dog can get checked out. The veterinarian can prescribe different forms of medication that will target the symptoms of the breakout. They will offer some welcome relief for your pet.

Why Do Dogs Have Ridges on Their Lips?

Now that we know what those bumps are on your dog’s lips, let’s turn our attention to other prominent features that can be found around that area. To be more specific, let’s discuss those ridges that are found close to their lips, gums, and teeth.

Those ridges are commonly referred to as serrations. They are also regarded as common parts of a dog’s anatomy.

No one really knows the purpose of those ridges, although some interesting theories have been put forth.

Some have suggested that those are ridges are supposed to protect the dog’s teeth and gums. They are supposed to act like protective barriers that prevent the dog’s gums from getting wounded while also preserving the sharpness of their teeth.

Others believe that the ridges in question are meant to act as natural cleaning tools. They are said to rub up against the dog’s teeth to keep them clean and also get rid of lingering bacteria.

You will also find pet owners who think that those ridges make it easier for a dog to grab on to things with their mouth. Inside your home, that extra grip may only be needed during playtime. Out in the wild, those ridges could come in handy for carrying and securing food.

Is It Normal for Dogs to Have Bumps on Their Limps?

Given the different potential causes of canine acne, it should come as no surprise that it is a common issue. Although we cannot really say that those dog pimples are normal, you shouldn’t be too worried about them. You will likely be able to get rid of them soon after you visit the veterinarian.

Dog pimples are fairly common, but they’re ultimately harmless. You cannot say the same thing about other types of growths that may show up on your pet’s face.

Some of the growths that appear may look irregular, misshapen, and unlike pimples. Those growths could be something else entirely. They may be masses that have formed due to an illness that your dog has.

Irregular growths are less common and they should be identified right away. Take your pet to the veterinarian if they have those growths so you can discover what the issue truly is.

Why Do Dog Jowls Have Bumps?

Those flappy skin folds that line the mouth of your dog are known as jowls. Those parts of a dog’s anatomy are also known for being covered in bumps.

Pimples can certainly grow on those jowls under the right circumstances, but the bumps you see there are likely something different. Instead of pimples, you may be looking at oral papillomavirus warts. You can tell that you’re looking at oral papillomavirus warts if they appear to have a pinkish color.

Those warts can be painful especially due to their placement. With the skin folds rubbing constantly against one another, the warts may keep getting irritated. The warts may even bleed if you fail to do something about them.

You can stop the growth of those warts by cleaning your dog’s jowls regularly. Ask your veterinarian about which products you can use for that purpose.

The veterinarian can also prescribe products that will get rid of the oral papillomavirus warts.