You may have noticed that your dog is sticking their tongue out from time to time, and they might be doing this in a number of situations. You may be wondering if this is a bad thing, or something to be concerned about. Well, we have the answer!
The reasons dogs stick their tongues out is very different to why humans stick their tongues out. It’s not done in a teasing why, like when we stick our tongues out to each other. There may be a few reasons why your dog is sticking their tongue out and it’s usually nothing to worry about.
Dogs may stick their tongues out when they need something, and in the worst case scenario, they may stick their tongue out when they’re not feeling very well and need medical attention.
Below, you’ll find the top 6 reasons why dogs stick their tongues out, and what you can do about it if it becomes a concern.
6 Reasons Dogs Might Stick Their Tongue Out
If your dog is sticking their tongue out while smiling or grimacing and panting heavily this is totally normal and nothing to worry about.
Panting is what dogs do to keep cool on hot days, and can be compared to how humans sweat. After all, dogs don’t sweat nearly as much as humans although they have sweat glands in their paws.
Still panting can be a concern as if your dog is too warm it can lead to them becoming dehydrated. If you notice your dog panting a lot in direct sun or in a very warm room, take them to a shady area or turn on the air conditioning to cool them down.
Also, make sure they have plenty of water to boost their hydration levels.
They’re Excited Or Stressed
When you see your dog panting with their tongue sticking out and it’s not hot, this could be the reason. Again, humans also sweat when they’re excited or nervous.
Your dog may pant if they know they’re getting a treat, or when you arrive home and they’re greeting you at your door, happy to see you. Or conversely, a dog may pant when around new dogs or people, or during a visit to the vet, i.e. potentially stressful situations.
This is usually nothing to worry about, but if you do notice your dog panting around new dogs, other animals, or new people and you can see your dog is clearly nervous (you can tell this from their stance or sounds), try to calm down them down as much as possible so they don’t act aggressively.
They’re Relaxed Or Asleep
You may often see dogs sticking their tongue out if they’re sleeping or if they’re very relaxed.
Your dog may stick their tongue out when you’re cuddling them, stroking them or rubbing their belly, and this is actually a sign that your dog trusts you and is happy for you to touch them – so nothing to worry about!
Your dog’s tongue might be poking out from between their teeth or lolling from their mouth when they’re relaxed. Either way, it shows your dog feels comfortable and safe with you.
They’re Suffering From Hanging Tongue Syndrome
This is rather self-explanatory, but if your dog is suffering from Hanging Tongue Syndrome it means that your dog’s tongue is constantly hanging out for none of the reasons above.
Dogs that are smaller or have a flat or squishy face are more likely to suffer from this condition. This may be because their jawbone has a shape that doesn’t properly support their tongue, or their tongues are too big for their mouths.
But overbites or underbites can also cause Hanging Tongue Syndrome and these can affect any dogs. Older dogs are also more likely to develop this syndrome.
Genetics can also play a part in developing Hanging Tongue Syndrome and doesn’t indicate a more concerning health problem.
Finally, dogs can also develop Hanging Tongue Syndrome because their teeth have rotted, or if they’re missing teeth due to poor oral hygiene.
However, if a dog does have Hanging Tongue Syndrome this is no reason not to adopt it. You will just have to feed your dog soft food and carefully monitor their oral hygiene.
They also need plenty of water. This is because their tongue dries out from constant exposure to the air and their tongues produce little saliva.
They Have A Neurological Issue
If your dog develops Hanging Tongue Syndrome quite suddenly, for no reason, and is exhibiting other strange behaviors then there may be an underlying neurological disorder and you should seek medical attention for your dog immediately.
It’s A Side Effect Of Your Dog’s Medication
Your dog may be sticking its tongue out due to a side effect of new medication. You should discuss this with your vet and see if your dog’s dosage should be changed or if they need to try out new medication.
So there you go! Six reasons why your dog is sticking its tongue out.
It’s usually not an issue when your dog’s tongue is hanging out, but if you notice that your dog’s tongue is constantly hanging out for no good reason and it’s causing them discomfort, then you should seek medical advice from your vet.