Reasons – Why Dog Sleeping With the Tongue Out

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Author: Jacob Kay

Dogs look adorable all the time especially when they act differently in joy. When we see the dog sleeping with his tongue out, we just want to keep watching him sleep, it looks so cute. But at the same time, we also think why is a dog sleeping with the tongue out?

It is a very common behavior in dogs. You do not need to worry, they often sleep with their tongue out. Many people believe that it gives them relaxation or comfort. But there is a number of reasons why dogs do something like this.

Let’s discuss one by one what are the possible reasons and how to get rid of them.

Why Dog Sleeping With the Tongue Out

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Why Dog Sleeping With the Tongue Out

Dogs are unpredictable, you can not just assume the reason behind their weird behavior. Normally, they stick their tongue out when they are super relaxed. If you see your dog sleeping like that, then mostly it means your dog is having baby sleep.

Let’s see the reasons why dogs sleep with their tongue out.

why is Dogs tongue out when sleeping
fongleon356 – Istock

They Are Just Relaxing

When your dog is in his comfort zone and trusts the environment around it, it is the reason why a dog sleep with its tongue out. It is like a human is snoring when he is having deep sleep. In the same, you can also hear snoring from your dog when they are having super comfy sleep.

It happens because when they are calm and relaxed, their jaw starts getting loose and then their tongue automatically come out. It should not happen as they should have control over their jaw.

If you know that your dog does not have any other medical issues and you see your dog stick his tongue out in sleep more frequently.

Hot Temperature

Dogs also stick their tongue out when they feel very hot[1]. Dogs cannot sweat like humans. Therefore, to release water from the body they pee sometimes.

Also, Dog’s tongue contains so much water if you have noticed. They stick their tongue out when they feel high temperatures, which helps them to release water from their mouth.

Moreover, high temperatures make them breathe heavily. In order to breathe, they keep their mouth open and which makes their tongue hang outside. When you feel like his tongue is out because of the hot environment around then you should change the environment to keep your dog feeling normal. Also, offer him lots of water to drink.

Stressed or Anxious

Dogs often feel stressed and anxious because of many reasons. They pant(short and quick breathing) when they feel stressed. It helps them to stay calm and also they slowly cool down by panting. While they pant, their mouth gets open and their tongues stick out.

“If you notice your pup panting excessively on a warm or hot day, get them into a cooler location and give them plenty of water to avoid possible heatstroke.” Says Kasey Stopp, DVM from PetMd

Panting mostly happens when they sleep after they just had physical activity like running, playing, or training. They sleep quickly when they are tired, so they pant in their sleep.

Hanging Tongue Syndrome

Hanging Tongue Syndrome is a very rare condition. This dog’s tongue[2] hangs out most of the time. They also face many other problems like eating and drinking, drooling, and obviously “hanging” tongues.

Hanging Tongue Syndrome
fongleon356 – Shutterstock

This condition is not itself dangerous but it leads to many other medical problems if you just ignore it. In some cases, dogs are not able to move their tongue so eating and drinking become nearly impossible for them. And because of that, he can face malnutrition and dehydration which can be very dangerous.

When you get to know that your dog might have this condition then you can help him by keeping his tongue moist or any lube. You can use olive oil or water. This is necessary for dogs so their tongue can remain moist.

 “Hanging tongue syndrome can also be triggered by damage to the facial area, particularly damage that involves the jaw, as well as by dental disease that results in the loss of teeth.  Damage to the nerves that control the tongue and other forms of neurological damage may also induce the tongue to hang loosely.” Stated in NDGC.

After reading this article, if you notice that your dog might have this condition then without waiting take your dog to the vet. The vet will suggest surgery in which they cut the band of tissue that tethers the tongue and it is normally successful.

Nasal Obstruction

Nasal obstruction simply blocks the airway of the nose. It prevents the dog from breathing through the nose easily. If your dog keeps his tongue in his mouth properly and keeps it out while sleeping, then he must have nasal obstruction.

If he is having obstructed airway then he is fighting to breathe especially during sleep. So take him to the vet as soon as possible if you notice something like this.

Born With Larger Tongues

Some dogs are born with long and large tongues. They cannot keep their tongue inside. Mostly when they are sleeping, unconsciously they hang their tongue out. But the chances of happening this are very less when they are awakened as they can control their actions.

During sleep, long tongues prevent breathing. This is found in a few dog breeds like Bulldogs or Mastiffs who naturally keep their tongue out while sleeping.

Lacking Teeth

Teeth work as cages for the tongue. It is found more in aged dogs who lack teeth. Aged dogs are not able to keep their tongue out properly, because they normally have dental problems.

Sometimes even young dogs also have this issue, especially when you adopt a dog. There are chances that you might not know but they are lacking teeth.

This may not happen when they are awakened but when they are sleeping. While sleeping, no one can control their conscious actions. Therefore, you will find their tongue out while sleeping.

Alterations In Medication

Changing medication will always bring some changes in behavior. It also brings many other effects. It is possible that one of the effects it brings is making their tongue either extremely moist or dry. These dogs are facing some side effects because of the change in medication.

dog tongue
marcoventuriniautieri – Shutterstock

If you notice that your dog is suddenly keeping his tongue out after changing his medication, then consult your vet and you can also temporarily stop his medication.

How Can I Deal With My Dog’s Tongue-out Sleeping Position?

  • Some dogs have a natural habit of keeping their tongues out. They do not have any issues. You can try but you cannot do anything about them.
  • Sometimes because of hot temperatures, dogs keep their tongue out. In this case, you can change the situation. First, try to keep the environment cool as they use their tongue to maintain the temperature in the body.
  • Also, you can moisturize his tongue if he keeps his tongue out all day. Those dogs are facing dry mouth problems more likely to get sick. To prevent that you can use olive oil or water to moist his tongue.
  • You can also give him enough water before he sleeps so he does not feel dehydrated. And also keep your dog checked by his vet. If your dog is having any medical issues then your dog can get cured.


Are dogs happy when their tongue is out?

To be honest, dogs do not like or dislike keeping their tongue out. Some dogs naturally keep their tongue out and some dogs have some issues which made them keep their tongue out.

Should I be concerned if my dog sleeps with its tongue out?

If your dog is sleeping with its tongue out occasionally, it is not a cause for concern. However, if your dog frequently sleeps with its tongue out or exhibits other symptoms such as excessive drooling or difficulty eating, it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition, and you should consult with a veterinarian.

How can I help my dog if it is sleeping with its tongue out due to a medical issue?

The best course of action is to take your dog to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Depending on the underlying cause, treatment may involve medication, surgery, or changes in diet or lifestyle.

Can a dog choke on its tongue while sleeping with it out?

It is highly unlikely for a dog to choke on its tongue while sleeping with it out. Dogs have reflexes that prevent this from happening. However, if your dog is exhibiting other symptoms such as difficulty breathing, you should seek veterinary care immediately.

Is it okay to touch my dog’s tongue if it is sleeping with it out?

It is generally not recommended to touch a sleeping dog’s tongue. Dogs can startle easily when woken up, which can result in a defensive or aggressive reaction. It is best to let your dog sleep and seek veterinary care if you have concerns about its health.


Seeing your dog sleeping with the tongue out is very adorable. Some dogs have a natural habit of sticking their tongue out. Some dogs keep their tongue out intentionally in order to maintain their heat in the body. While some dogs just like to keep their tongue out, especially while sleeping. They feel relaxed by doing it.

Make sure you timely take your dog to the vet. Dogs who are having dental issues are likely to face this issue. But you do not need to worry, it is not dangerous or harmful for dogs. Just keep your furry friend happy and healthy.


  1. Staff, A. (2021, December 26). Fever in Dogs: Causes, Signs, and Treatment. American Kennel Club.
  2. Cva, K. S. D. (2022, September 7). 12 Dog Tongue Facts. PetMD.
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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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