If you’re a new dog owner, you might be wondering why your dog is showing unusual behaviors. One of which is sleeping with their tongue out.
While this may seem unusual, the behavior is prevalent among dogs. But, if you’re worried, it’s always best to know why your dog may be doing this and whether or not it’s a sign of a medical condition.
So why do dogs sleep with their tongues out?
Possible Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps with Its Tongue Out
It’s entirely normal for dogs to stick their tongue out when eating, drinking water, panting, or grooming themselves. But is it normal when they do this when they’re sitting or sleeping? Let’s find out.
1. Your Dog is Very Relaxed
If your dog is sleeping with its tongue out, the possible reason is that it’s relaxed. Like humans, a dog’s tongue is made of muscle, and when they sleep, their muscles are completely relaxed, especially in a deep sleep.
If you just bought your dog a comfortable dog bed, then this can add to your dog’s overall sleep quality, and chances are, they will be so relaxed that their tongues will naturally go out of their mouth.
It is entirely harmless, and no adverse effects will occur, except for maybe a dry tongue and mouth, which can be relieved with drinking water as soon as your dog wakes up.
2. Your Dog is Stressed
When your dog is stressed, its tongue will naturally fall forward since it’s a muscle. Stress in dogs can be brought about by moving to a new home, being neglected, when a new pet is introduced in the house, or if your dog recently recovered from an illness.
3. Dental Issues
If your dog is not eating and drinking as much and it’s sticking its tongue out more often, these could be signs of dental issues. Check if your dog is suffering from swollen gums, mouth infections, or has tooth issues.
Consider: Bark Bright Dental
4. Hanging Tongue Syndrome
Yes, this is a real thing. Hanging Tongue Syndrome can be genetic and nongenetic. Nongenetic causes can include the possible reasons stated above, while generic ones include dogs with too long tongues and smaller breed dogs whose tongues don’t fit inside their mouths.
These dog breeds include Pugs, English Bulldogs, and Mastiffs, or Brachycephalic or flat-faced dogs.
5. Your Dog Is Hot
During the hot summers, your dog will be panting more often because dogs do not sweat, and therefore, they need to pant to cool themselves.
6. Medication Changes
If your dog has just been given medication by a vet or has changed medication, it might also cause it to stick out its tongue. Side effects from medicines can cause unusual effects, and a tongue that’s sticking out more can be one of them.
Talk to your veterinarian if your dog displays this behavior right after having been given medication.
Can It Cause Health Issues?
There are no adverse effects of a dog sleeping with its tongue out. The worst-case scenario would be its mouth and tongue will be so dry that they will crack, causing an infection.
This is why as a pet parent, you need to provide your dog with easy and consistent access to water so as soon as your pet wakes up, it can cool itself. You can also apply oil to your dog’s tongue and mouth for moisture.
Ask your vet for oil recommendations.
If your dog is sticking out its tongue all day, even when it’s not sleeping, and it’s been going on for days, you should bring your dog to a vet.
If your dog sticks its tongue out most of the time and is accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea, these may be signs of a more severe condition.
Also Read: Dog breeds with health problems
If your dog sleeps with its tongue out, you don’t need to worry. It’s entirely normal for dogs to do this, especially when they are completely relaxed and are in a deep sleep.
Hanging Tongue Syndrome is common in dogs, especially with smaller, flat-faced breeds, as they may have longer tongues that don’t fit in their mouths.
Other reasons could be dental issues and even the weather, as panting is how dogs cool themselves during the hot summers.
However, when this behavior is accompanied by the onset of other symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and other unusual health symptoms, it may be time to bring your dog to a vet.