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Why Do Dogs Tongues Hang Out

Dogs use their tongues for a number of reasons such as drinking water, eating food, cooling and self- cleaning, and giving their owners a lot of kisses. The perfect image of a happy dog is with his tongue stuck out appearing that he is in a good vibe and smiling.

When the tongue is sticking out it can be a sort of an adorable, yet bizarre trait. Sometimes you can only spot the tip of the tongue out and other times the entire length of the tongue hanging on the side between the teeth. While most of the times this can be a harmless sign, there are situations when the tongue is stuck out frequently due to an underlying health condition.

While our blog’s mascot is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, this applies to any breed.

The Hanging Tongue Syndrome

Yes, the hanging tongue syndrome exists and looks exactly the way it sounds. It’s simple, the tongue hangs out of the dog’s mouth, yet it isn’t considered a sign of anything to worry about. This condition is seen in brachycephalic and smaller dog breeds, the ones that have smooched faces as a result of their genetics (ex. Pugs). The main reason why their tongues are always out is that the organ is too large for the mouth cavity. Another reason might be that irresponsible breeding resulted in an abnormal jaw that can’t quite support the tongue the way it should. When the dog has a dental disease affecting the lower teeth which eventually rot and are removed, the tongue pops out to the sides or the front because there is no support for it.

HTS in dogs is simply an anatomical issue. The majority of dogs with this syndrome will live a happy and healthy life without any complicating issues. Just to be sure, take your dog to the vet to see whether HTS is the real problem or is there anything else involved.

New medications

If you had your dog treated recently with a new medication, this could be the reason why his tongue is sticking out. This symptom can be accompanied by other symptoms or habits or appear solely after the medication has been given. It’s hardly a serious complication; however, inform your vet to make sure that this medication is right for your dog or to make a change of treatment tactics.

Excessive panting

Panting is a mechanism used by dogs to cool the body down. The shallow and short breath when the dog is panting helps water evaporate both from the tongue and the upper respiratory tracts. Through evaporation, the dog’s body will cool down. Panting as a result of hot and humid weather or physical exercise and excitement is completely normal. When the panting is prolonged and excessive it’s time to make a trip to the vet because your dog might be sick.


Dogs that are extremely relaxed and enjoying the moment like to have their tongues stick out. This can be usually observed after the pup consumed a tasty meal and now want to relax a bit in a blissful state.

Why dogs sleep with their tongues out

If your dog only sticks her tongue out when she is sleeping, it means she is very relaxed. … If your dog is fast asleep, she could become disoriented and possibly growl at or bite you, even if she’s not aggressive when she’s awake.

Originally posted 2020-03-19 02:35:30. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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