Why Does My Dog Stick His Tongue Out When I Pet Him?

Why does my dog stick his tongue out? This is normal behavior among canines, but it can also denote other serious conditions. Since canines cant sweat, they stick their tongue out to cool themselves. However, this behavior can also mean that your doggo has an overbite, has missing teeth, or is suffering from medical conditions. Its also important to rule out possible mouth injuries or neurological problems that cause a canine to hang its tongue out.

This could be accompanied by poor appetite due to the discomfort the dog feels when chewing and swallowing. Your dog is happy or anxious A hanging tongue is often a double-edged sword for canines in terms of emotional causes.

If your unvaccinated dog is acting weird, drooling, hanging its tongue out, and showing aggression, you should be careful. Also, general anesthesia will drive a dog to behave weirdly, including sticking its tongue out upon waking up. When a dog sticks its tongue out while sleeping, it could mean that the pooch is extremely relaxed.

With this, the dog loses control of its body restraints, which will lead to open-mouth sleeping and a hanging tongue. Gagging and sticking its tongue out might indicate a respiratory infection in dogs if it happens consistently. This is due to the Bordetella bacteria that proliferate in poorly ventilated areas like shelter kennels.

Also, cold temperatures, exposure to irritants, and motion sickness will increase a dogs susceptibility to kennel cough. Just make sure that the dog stops the behavior when you finished petting to ensure that its not a respiratory issue.

Is a dog happy when he sticks his tongue out?

They’re Incredibly Relaxed. The good news is, sometimes a tongue hanging out isn’t a sign of anything problematic for your dog whatsoever. Sometimes a tongue hanging out for long periods of time — but not indefinitely — is a sign of pure relaxation.

Why does my dog stick his tongue in and out like a snake?

If you notice a dog licking his lips or flicking his tongue out in a social situation, he’s likely either uncomfortable himself or responding to another dog or person’s discomfort. Both of these are oral self-soothing behaviors, much like thumb-sucking in toddlers.

Now that weve established the topic of conversation, lets get to the bottom of why animals unknowingly stick their tongues out. When youre faced with such an adorable expression, you can only think that your pet is being cute on purpose. As far as I know, thats not the case.

Another common explanation Ive seen notes that animals may stick their tongues out to essentially taste the air. Panting or taking short breaths, usually with the tongue hanging outside is how dogs regulate their body temperature.

As long as your dog has plenty of water to hydrate that loose tongue and check it for discoloration every once in a while, it should be fine. If youve recently started giving your dog new medication, it may be worth looking into its side effects. When I first adopted my precious mutt, I spent days just looking at his fluffy face.

It wasnt long before I noticed a curious habit the pup continues to practice to this day. Awake or asleep, Id sometimes catch my dog with a part of its tongue just casually hanging outside of its mouth. Youve probably seen photos of various animal species lounging around with their tongues hanging out of their closed mouths.

After all, both canines and felines are capable of making some pretty adorable facial expressions, most of which heavily feature some slobber. For example, if the dog is rhythmically passing its tongue over its nose or lapping something up, the sound it makes is a mlem. Speaking of which, later on, well discuss how this expression differs from hanging tongue syndrome.

We all have this fervent wish to be able to communicate verbally with our dogs. While there really is no way they can communicate with us in a way that we communicate with our friends and loved ones this does not mean they dont have a means of conveying or expressing their intentions or even their emotional state. The point is, dogs do communicate, just not in the manner that we comprehend. Being gifted with a more complex intellect and profound understanding, it is thus up to us to learn and understand the body language of a dog to help us gain an insight to what they really are feeling, their intentions, and their needs.

If you see this mouth behavior together with other signs of dog aggression, then it is simply telling you to back off and dont attempt to go any closer. A Basset hounds ears typically hang long on the side of its head while that of a German shepherd will usually have it pricked.

The point is that the normal shape and orientation of the ear specific to your breed is crucial to understanding the behavior inherent in this canine body organ. A highly alert or vigilant pooch will typically hold its tail a bit higher than the usual stance, often without moving it. If the hound feels it needs to stand its ground, it raises its tail as stiff as possible and moves it quite rigidly in a back and forth motion.

A pooch raising its hackles can typically mean that it is afraid, wildly excited, angry, nervous, insecure, or even quite unsure. An alert dog that seems like checking things out will often have its eyes wider than normal, its ears are tilted slightly forward, and its mouth closed. A stressed or distressed dog will typically have its pupils dilated, ears pulled back, tail down, and body lowered.

Its amazing that while humans have domesticated dogs for thousands of years, were yet to understand them fully. Which is somewhat weird, considering that dogs should be mans best friend. I mean, shouldnt friends endeavor to learn more about one another?

The main reason why dogs stick their tongues out is that its an instinctive behavior which helps them to cool down. But as you shall find, there are numerous other reasons why dogs stick their tongues out, and this post shall attempt to highlight some of them.

As weve just indicated, dogs stick their tongues out instinctively as a way of cooling down their bodies. And the same answer might help to address another frequently asked questions related to this phenomenon, which is why do dogs stick their tongue out and pant? As a caring and responsible pet parent, you should familiarize yourself with all the possible reasons why your dog sticks his tongue out.

Thats particularly because besides being a natural response to a surge in body heat, sticking out of the tongue could also be a symptom of a severe medical condition. But the paw pads are not efficient at cooling a dogs entire body, thanks to their relatively small size. The effectiveness of paw pads in cooling a dogs body is reduced even further when the animal is in a standing position.

Enough physical and mental stimulation also goes a long way in reducing the risks of boredom and loneliness, which might help to keep separation anxiety at bay. However, too much exercise and not enough hydration can cause a dog to heat up more profusely, making him stick his tongue out. The dog will feel more comfortable with his tongue hanging freely, as opposed to having it squeezed inside his mouth.

In addition to mouth injuries, certain oral and dental deformities might also make your canine friend stick his tongue out. But in some rare cases, it could also happen that your dog sticks his tongue out but is unable to pull it all the way back. In such instances, your pooch might be suffering from a medical condition known as Hanging Tongue Syndrome (HTS).

Hanging Tongue Syndrome is a debilitating canine disease that causes excruciating pain. Thats because the tongue is always sticking out, which means it doesnt receive adequate natural moisture from the dogs mouth. If untreated with the urgency it deserves, Hanging Tongue Syndrome might lead to a wide range of other medical conditions.

First, it can cause a full-blown infection on a dogs tongue, making it difficult for the animal to eat or drink. Worse yet, the syndrome may increase your dogs risks of blood-related infections, particularly in the case of cracked tongues. Thats particularly true for neurological conditions like seizures, which affect the neurons responsible for voluntary movements.

One of the symptoms of anxiety is a sudden surge in body heat which results in excessive sweating, also medically known as hyperhidrosis. A wet nose also plays a crucial role in helping a dog pick up scents better. Regardless of the reason why dogs lick their noses, one thing is for sure theyll usually stick their tongues out while doing it.

Genetics For instance, breeds like Bulldogs and Pugs have tongues that are disproportionately larger than their mouths, hence hang out. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a dog sticking his tongue out in a car might mean that the animal is anxious. More interestingly, sticking of the tongue while the car is in motion allows more air to flow over the dogs olfactory membrane.

Puppies are born blind, which means that they would stick their tongues when scouring for the nearest tit to suckle. Also, ensure that you offer your pooch enough food and water to prevent him from sticking his tongue out due to dehydration.

2. Excess Physical Stimulation

Dogs don’t sweat the way humans do. While humans have sweat glands spread all over their skin, dogs have sweat glands on their paw pads.So, instead of sweating through their skin, dogs would naturally sweat through their paw pads.But the paw pads are not efficient at cooling a dog’s entire body, thanks to their relatively small size. The effectiveness of paw pads in cooling a dog’s body is reduced even further when the animal is in a standing position. So, as a response to an increase in body heat, dogs would simply stick their tongues out.As the tongue hangs out, it releases saliva and heat. Evaporation removes much of the heat and some of the saliva from the dog’s tongue.When more heat than saliva evaporates, it’s a good thing for the dog. But in the process of sticking their tongues out, dogs also tend to lose a lot of saliva. The saliva might evaporate along with heat or simply drip down.Loss of saliva causes a substantial loss of body fluids, which makes the dog dehydrated. With less saliva on their tongue, a dog’s mouth heats up even faster, causing them to stick their tongues out much longer. So, this is typically a vicious cycle thatLast update on 2021-11-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Nose Licking

An injury to a dog’s mouth will almost always cause him to stick his tongue out. That’s especially if the injury also affects his tongue.The dog will feel more comfortable with his tongue hanging freely, as opposed to having it squeezed inside his mouth.In addition to mouth injuries, certain oral and dental deformities might also make your canine friend stick his tongue out.
Last update on 2021-11-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Final Word

For the most part, there shouldn’t be any cause for alarm if you discover your dog sticking his tongue out. However, you should be concerned if this behavior persists unusually longer, without any apparent triggers.You can manually check the dog’s mouth to determine if he has any oral injuries or deformities. If there doesn’t seem to be any problem with his mouth, consider calming the dog down if he’s visibly anxious or overexcited.Also, ensure that you offer your pooch enough food and water to prevent him from sticking his tongue out due to dehydration.And if it comes down to it, consult your vet for further insights. Your vet will examine the animal and establish whether he’s suffering from Hanging Tongue Syndrome or other medical conditions that could be causing his tongue to stick out longer than usual.