Have you noticed recently that your pooch has started to sleep with its tongue out? It is so adorable to see your dog doing this and can make your heart skip a beat! But why does your dog do this?
Why Does My Dog’s Tongue Hang Out When Sleeping?
Where are a couple of reasons why a dog might be sleeping with their tongue hanging out.
Firstly, I will discuss the most common reasons, and finish with reasons that are much less likely.
Your Dog Is Relaxed
The most common reason by far that your dog is sleeping with their tongue out is because they are relaxed while they are sleeping. Just like us, all of your dogs muscles have relaxed while they are sleeping. And once they have entered a deep sleep, they jaw muscles will have relaxed. This sometimes causes their long tongue to slip out of their mouth.
The tongue is actually a muscle itself (the strongest one in your body!). And while your dog is sleeping, they will be so relaxed that the tongue ends up falling out of their mouth, as opposed to being held inside their mouth.
In this instance, it is completely harmless. All of your adoration of your dog, while they look cute doing this, is not in bad faith. It has just got to do with the shape of your dog’s face. This can also depend on the position in which they are sleeping, and as I’ve previously mentioned, their level of relaxation.
This is more common to see really old dogs doing this. Otherwise, it is also commonly seen in young puppies too. This may be because older dogs’ and young puppies’ muscles are not too strong. They have either weakened with age or they have not developed enough strength yet.
Your Dogs Tongue is Too Long
Have they always slept with their tongue out from birth? It may just be because their tongue is too long for their mouth!
While this is funny to say, it is in fact a reality for some dogs! While they sleep, the muscles in their face will relax. This will cause their long tongue will end up slipping out of their mouth.
This is often the case in smaller breeds that have Brachycephalic (flat-faced) faces. Examples include pugs, bulldogs, or mastiffs.
Your Dog Is Too Hot
Dogs actually use their tongue to regulate their temperature throughout their body. Dogs can’t sweat in the way that we can, so this is how they control their body temperature.
In this case, it would make sense for dogs stick their tongue out while they are sleeping. By sticking their tongue out, this allows them to cool down.
If you think that this could be the reason why your dog is sleeping with their tongue out, you could try to cool them down. You can cool down the area in which they are sleeping by turning on a fan, turning up the air conditioner, or you could even just open a window.
Your Dog Is Mouth Breathing
Just like us, dogs can breathe through both their nose and their mouths. Sometimes, dogs can develop the habit of breathing through their mouth when they sleep. This can cause them to have their tongue slip out of their mouth while they are sleeping because their mouth is open.
There shouldn’t be anything to worry about if your dog is a mouth breather. Just make sure they are not struggling to breathe. If your dog is a mouth breather while they sleep, they may need more water than a usual dog, so just be aware of that.
You may notice if they sleep in a weird position they will probably snore alot! Just like humans, when they breathe through their mouth this can cause them to snore.
Your Dog Might have Missing Teeth
If your dog is older, sometimes it can develop dental issues. Sometimes they can just have teeth that end up falling out. Even if your dog isn’t that old, it can still develop dental issues! Be sure to check their teeth every now and again to make sure they haven’t had any go missing.
It is important to keep a check on your dog’s dental health. Missing teeth could be a sign that they have gum disease.
Are you already aware that your dog has missing teeth and you can see their tongue sticking out? This may be through the hole in where their missing tooth used to be. There is nothing to be worried about if this is the case. Just check that your dog is not showing any signs of distress!
Your Dog May Have A Neurological Condition
This is quite an unlikely reason why your dog’s tongue is sticking out. They may have has previous neurological damage which is causing your dog’s tongue to stick out. If you notice your dog’s tongue sticking out while they are awake too, this is another sign that they could have neurological damage.
Have you only noticed that your dog’s tongue is out while they are asleep? If they don’t stick their tongue out while they are awake, then there is probably nothing to worry about. Chances are that there is nothing wrong.
If you are concerned about this, it may be worth contacting your vet. This will give you peace of mind. If you were just to phone them and ask for their opinion. This will also help you to give yourself peace of mind.
Your Dog May Have Had A Recent Medication Change
Is your dog on any medication? Have they had a recent change to their medication, or have they just started some?
Medication can have many different weird effects on animals and even humans. If they are on any medication, it may be worth taking a read through the leaflet of the drugs they are taking if you have not had a read through it already.
If your pooch has just started on a new medication, this could well be the reason for their newfound habit. It is worth noting that some medication can cause dry mouth in pets. Your pet may have began some new medication and you might see some behavioral changes, for example they stick their tongue out while sleeping. If this has occurred, you should contact the vet and ask for their opinion. They may need to change the medication they are on.
Can Sleeping With Their Tongue Out Cause Your Dog Issues?
Other than a bit of dry mouth, there are no reasons why sleeping with an open mouth would negatively affect your dog. In most cases, there are absolutely no adverse effects to this.
If it is a common occurrence, your dog’s dry mouth could develop some adverse effects. This can include a dry cracked tongue or lips. This can make your dog a bit more vulnerable to infection if they often have dirty things in their mouth.
To prevent this from happening, you can just be more vigilant in ensuring that your dog always has water. You can encourage them to drink more by giving them praise when they do drink. You could even give them a little treat.
Dog sleeping with tongue out – FAQs
Sometimes, dogs will have something in their mouth and they can just end up falling asleep with it in their mouth. This could be compared to you falling asleep with something in your hand.
This behavior can sometimes be caused because they were weaned from their mother at too young an age. Dogs can miss out on valuable maternal experiences if they have been weaned too early and this affects both the puppy and the mother.
Relaxed dogs commonly have their mouth open when they are sleeping and it is just a sign they are calm. Just like the way we sleep, dogs often end up sleeping in weird positions and it is only a sign that they are very comfortable in their surroundings.
The Answer To Why Your Dog Is Sleeping With Their Tongue Out – Solved!
IF you’ve noticed your dog has started to sleep with their tongue out, there is mostly nothing to worry about.
Have you notice that they have begun to have their tongue hang out of their mouth while they are awake? In a way where it is hanging as opposed to them just breathing? In that instance, it could be a neurological condition. If you are worried about this, it is best to get it checked with your vet.
Have you enjoyed this post and would like to read some more of my previous posts? I have linked some of my other blog posts I have written, so check them out here!