It is normal for dogs to display some bizarre but charming habits once in a while; as a dog owner, you will likely find some of these amusing, and you can find them irritating at other times. In most cases, these habits are harmless, so you do not have to stop the dog. You will find your dog sleeping in weird positions, playing with weird objects, and even chewing on unbelievable items.
Dogs sleep with their tongue out for various reasons, including hanging tongue syndrome, breathing through their mouth, for relaxation, to regulate their body temperature, poisoning, heatstroke, or stress, missing teeth, long tongue, neurological issues, medication changes, and pant.
Sleeping with tongue out is a common and normal thing that happens to dogs and even cats. So, in case you have been noticing your dog does this more, rest assured that it is normal. Although, it is more prominent in some certain breeds than others.
Why Does My Dog Sleep With His Tongue Out?
A dog sleeping with its tongue out could indicate different things. In most cases, it is not something to be worried about and could indicate that the dog is feeling relaxed, hot, or even has hanging tongue syndrome. This will happen, especially if the dog does not show any sign of sickness.
However, you must pay attention to your dog when it sleeps with its tongue out, as it could also indicate an oral health issue. We will be giving in-depth explanations on why dogs sleep with their tongue out below.
Hanging Tongue Syndrome
If your dog’s tongue is always hanging out, it could indicate that the dog has hanging tongue syndrome. This syndrome could occur due to genetics or could occur due to oral issues. Dogs with “smooshed” faces like pugs or bulldogs are prone to having hanging tongue syndrome due to genetics.
You need to understand that these dogs have an oversized tongue that does not usually fit in their “smooshed-face”; hence, their tongue always falls out. So, if you own any of these dogs and notice their tongue always hanging out during their sleep, understand it is quite normal.
However, if your dog does not have a “smooshed” face and often does this too, it could be due to oral issues. If your dog has missing teeth issues or an abnormal jawbone, they could create a gap in the dog’s mouth, which allows the tongue to slip out easily. You are best advised to contact a veterinarian for conditions like this.
Your Dog Is Relaxed
Another reason your dog could sleep with its tongue out is for relaxation. If your dog falls asleep almost immediately after having a nice treat or some exercise, it could feel relaxed and fall asleep. While asleep, all the parts of the dog’s body become very relaxed and may cause the dog’s mouth to open, leading to its tongue falling out.
Depending on how deep and relaxed your dog is, the slipping out of its tongue could be for a short while or last for some minutes. Regardless of how long it takes, there is no cause for alarm; it only shows your dog is in a relaxed state. Also, accumulated fatigue will definitely cause your dog to fall asleep with its tongue out.
Your Dog Feels Hot
When dogs feel hot, they do not sweat through their skin like we humans. Instead, they sweat through their paw pads and pant to regulate their body temperature. While panting, you would notice your dog breathing heavily and also sticking its tongue out to keep itself cool.
In the process of panting, your dog would evaporate water from its tongue and could get exhausted quickly. It could fall asleep with its tongue out when it does, which is completely normal. However, what you could do to help your dog while panting is to provide enough water, so it stays hydrated.
Your Dogs Medication
If you notice your dog suddenly begins to sleep with its tongue out when on a certain medication, the drugs could be the cause. Some drugs’ side effects can make a dog’s mouth dry and could lead to a dog sleeping with its tongue out. Also, medication changes can be a reason your dog sleeps with its tongue out.
Different medications have different side effects on dogs. If you suspect a medication is a reason your tongue sleeps with its tongue out, you need to stop giving your dog the drug. Also, ensure you contact your vet to explain the side effects of the drug and ask for different drug recommendations.
Your Dog Is Breathing
Normally, you expect your dogs to breathe through their nostrils, right? While that is correct, you need to understand that dogs could breathe with their mouth too. This happens whenever a dog is down with allergies or experiencing some respiratory problems. So, while breathing with its mouth, it is normal for its tongue to fall out.
You need to understand that this is different from your dog trying to regulate its body temperature, as this could even happen during cold weather. This is usually an indication that your dog is suffering from a medical condition. Once you notice this, ensure you contact a vet to determine what is wrong with your dog and for possible treatment.
Dog Sticking Tongue Out While Sleeping
Have you ever wondered why your dog sticks its tongue out while it sleeps? At first sight of this, you may worry that your dog is sick or has other underlying health issues. While this may be the case, it is not always the cause. Let us take a look at some reasons why your dog sticks its tongue out while sleeping.
One of the reasons why your dog sticks its tongue out while sleeping is dental issues. Now, this could be the cause, especially if your dog does not have the habit of sticking its tongue out previously. You should check to see if your dog has a swollen tongue or any other tooth or gum problem.
Nevertheless, you should ensure you take the dog to a veterinarian for a medical checkup. If the dog has dental issues and is not treated promptly, it can worsen and leave the dog in much pain. The vet will diagnose the dog to check for any mouth infection or gum disease that can cause the dog to stick its tongue out while sleeping.
Your Dog Is Extremely Stressed
Another reason your dog will stick its tongue out while sleeping is stress and fatigue. Dogs are not very different from humans when dealing with stress; we both respond to stress in a similar way. Behaviors are bound to change when under stress, and signs of irritation, anger, frustration, anxiety, and depression are displayed.
So, if your dog has been stressed during the day, it will end up sticking its tongue out while it sleeps. This might sound far-fetched, but if you look at the way a tired person throws himself on the bed to sleep, you will know that weird things can happen when a person is stressed.
You should not be bothered when you see your dog sleeping with its tongue out; the major cause of this is stress and fatigue. However, when it becomes a frequent occurrence, you need to consult with a veterinarian to identify the cause. If you own a dog breed like Pugs and Bulldogs (dogs with smooshed faces), they will always sleep with their tongue out.
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Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.