Why Does My Dog Sleep With His Tongue Out?

Certain dogs have a bizarre yet charming habit of protruding their tongues out when they sleep. It could be just the tip or the whole tongue dangling on the side of their mouth.

Dog Sleeping with tongue out

There is nothing more adorable than seeing your dog sleeping with the tongue out in their comfy sleeping space. Although this is a harmless trait, it is a good idea to know the exact reasons why dogs sleep with their tongues out. 

Why Do Dogs Sleep With Their Tongue Out?

Don’t worry. Many dogs rest and sleep with their tongues peeking out because they feel incredibly relaxed. It’s often a clear sign of pure bliss. The reason for that is relatively simple. A healthy dog sticks their tongue out during sleep to regulate its body temperature. 

Especially during the summer heat. Some of the most typical breeds that habitually stick their tongues out are mastiffs, chihuahuas, pugs, King Charles spaniels, and bulldogs. The tongue is a key component of a dog’s mouth. 

Dogs need it to swallow, lap water, eat, and cool down. The tongue is a muscle packed with a ton of blood vessels and nerves. When they stick it out during sleep, the tongue comes in contact with the cool air. Thus helping the saliva evaporate and release heat. 

Since dogs don't have sweat glands through the entire body, just their noses and paw pads, panting is the best way for them to cool down. This is what we call thermoregulation. The dog is unable to sweat through its skin. 

But, sometimes, there is no reason for the dog to sleep with his tongue out. They are probably dreaming. As long as there are no visible cuts or wounds, this behavior is normal. So, don't be alarmed if your dog is sleeping with its tongue out. 

A Couple of Teeth Missing

Many people want to know why my older dog sleeps with his tongue out. If your dog is old with fewer teeth, then they could doze off with their tongue out because of the lack of front teeth. These teeth are the ones that hold the tongue in. So, without proper dental standing, it can be difficult not to stick the tongue out. Again, an old dog sleeping with tongue out is normal and nothing to worry about. 

Changing the Meds

Some pups need to take their meds. But, when their body grows accustomed to the new medicine, they could also stick their tongue out. If you notice the dog sticking tongue out repeatedly right after introducing new drugs to their system, talk to a vet. That way, you can be sure your dog is taking the proper medication that's right for their system. If they exhibit some adverse reactions, then the vet may suggest changing the medicine. 

My Dog Has Its Tongue Out – Is That Hanging Tongue Syndrome?

A protruding tongue could be the result of a number of things. Many of which have nothing to do with health problems in dogs. Most dogs with a protruding tongue are small-breeds with “smooshed” faces (brachycephalic dogs). Their tongues are completely functional. 

Yet, due to genes, their tongues are a lot bigger than their oral cavity. When paired with missing teeth and abnormal jaw bone, the tongue lacks the necessary support, which is why it slips out. At times, there are non-genetic triggers to a hanging tongue. The most prevalent one is serious dental disease. 

Dental complications can cause teeth loss, particularly the lower canine teeth. Without that dental rest, the tongue ends up rolling out. When the sticking tongue is the result of a trauma or injury to the jaw and head, the nerve dysfunction might make it difficult for the tongue to function properly. 

To know whether your dog has hanging tongue syndrome, talk to a vet. They can do a thorough analysis of your dog’s health state. The main problem with hanging tongue syndrome is a super dry tongue. 

  • Is There a Way to Manage It?

For a dog with a tongue out, hydration should be a top priority. Since the tip of the dog’s tongue is constantly on display, it is normal for it to feel incredibly dry. With regular access to water and healthy gums, you can keep their mouth in tip-top shape. 

Do have in mind, however, that a canine companion with this type of syndrome is vulnerable to frostbite and infections. So, keeping them outside in very cold climates is not a good idea. Any gum and tongue discoloration is a tell-tale sign of infection. Consult with your vet if you notice a change in the dog’s tongue health. 

Do Dogs Like Being Pet While Sleeping?

It comes down to personal preference. If your dog is a clingy sleeper and loves snuggles, then they will most likely want you to pet them. After all, there is nothing better than being around someone you care about when you want to unwind, relax, and drift off to sleep. Snuggling is the best way to reciprocate love and form strong bonds. 

Besides, dogs are pack animals. It is completely normal and natural for them to want to sleep while touching their family members. Then again, some dogs want their personal space. They like to sleep in a separate cozy cushion or a dog bed without you bothering them at night. 

Final Thoughts

Seeing the dog sticking its tongue out when asleep will have you melt. Some dogs do it to regulate their body heat. Others just relax and enjoy pure bliss. As long as you tend to your dog's needs, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Make sure your canine best friend has proper dental health, and their breathing is in check. 

Besides, dogs do silly things sometimes. With regular hydration, you can keep the tongue dryness at bay. So, there is no harm in letting them stick their tongue out from time to time. If you are worried about your dog, talk to a vet. A certified professional can evaluate your dog's oral health. With a little bit of help, you can come a long way. 

Here are some other common questions about dogs that may also be helpful:Why Does My Dog Scratch My Bed Sheets? Why Does My Dog Bury His Head in Me? Why Does My Dog Lay His Head on Me? Why Does My Dog Sleep Between My Legs? Why Does My Dog Lick My Pillow? Why Does My Dog Stand Over Me? Why Does My Dog Stretch So Much? Why Does My Dog Put His Butt on Me? Why Does My Dog Lay On My Clothes? Why Does My Dog Nibble My Ear? Why Does My Dog Hump the Air? Why Does My Dog Lick Other Dogs Pee? Why Does My Dog Push Against Me? Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs? Why Does My Dog Lick My Eyes? Do Dogs Get Tired Of Barking? and if you are after our pet portraits, you can see themhere.