Why Does My Dog Sticks His Tongue Out? Understanding Behaviour

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Author: Jeanette Hampton

If you are wondering “Why does my dog sticks his tongue out?” 🐶 then go ahead and read this article.

Have you ever found yourself marveling at the adorable sight of your furry friend with the tip of their tongue playfully sticking out? you’re certainly not alone.🤔

This charming canine behaviour leads to curiosity for many pet owners, and understanding the reasons behind it can deepen the connection between you and your companion.

Why Does my Dog Stick The Tip of His Tongue Out?

Dogs with their unique expressions and habits, often leave us wondering about the complications of their behaviour. In this article, we’ll explore various reasons for this activity.👅

We will explore the fascinating reasons behind this loving canine behaviour. From relaxation and sleep😴 to breed specific charecteristics and potential health considerations.

Key Takeaways:

  • When your dog sticks the tip of its tongue out, especially during relaxation or sleep, it’s usually a sign of complete ease
  • Dogs use panting to regulate body temperature, and the tongue may stick out during this process.
  • Some dog breeds, particularly those with shorter snouts (brachycephalic breeds), may naturally exhibit the tip-of-the-tongue behavior.
  • If your dog recently started a new medication and you notice changes in tongue positioning, it could be a side effect.
  • While not always problematic, Hanging Tongue Syndrome can occur when a dog is unable to fully retract its tongue.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial to monitor overall health.

Why Does my Dog Stick The Tip of His Tongue Out?

There can be several reasons behind a dog sticking the tip of its tongue out. Some reasons can be serious.

Solutions range from stuff you can do at home, like improving oral care[1] with brushing and dental rinses.🦷😁 Other incidents may need help from your vet.

Many instances of the tongue tips sticking out are natural, although they could indicate health issues, especially dental ones. 

So, let’s look at the different reasons for “Why does my Dog Stick The Tip of His Tongue Out?”

1) They’re Incredibly Relaxed:😌

Imagine your dog lying on the soft carpet and surrounded by the warmth of your home. You notice something adorable – the tip of their tongue sticking out just a little bit.

This cute behaviour often happens when your dog is incredibly relaxed and is almost like when you’re feelig super cozy.

Relaxed dog

When dogs are relaxed, they let go of any tension in their bodies. It’s their way of saying, “I feel safe and happy.”😃

Just like how you might let out a big sigh when you’re completely at ease, dogs express their relaxation by letting their tongue’s tip out.👅

So, the next time you see your furry friend with their tongue out while lounging, it is a sign that they’re in a blissful state of comfort and happiness.

It’s one of those sweet moments that make having a dog such a joy

2) They are Sleeping:😴

When your dog is sleeping and you notice the tip of their tongue sticking out, it is actually a pretty normal and adorable behavior.

Just like people sometimes sleep with their mouths slightly open, dogs may do the same and their tongue might slip out a bit.

Sleeping dog

This happens because when dogs are in deep sleep, their muscles tend to relax, including the ones in their mouth. As a result, their tongue may slip out without them even realizing it.

There’s nothing to worry about if you see their tongue-out during naptime.

3) They’re Panting:🐕

Panting is like a dog’s way of sweating. While humans release heat through sweat, dogs do it by panting. When dogs gets a bit warm or excited, they open their mouths and stick out their tongues for quick breathing. 💨

Dog panting

While panting is normal, it’s essential to pay attention to any changes in your dog’s panting habits.

If they suddenly start panting excessively, struggle to catch their breath, or show signs of distress, then it is better to book an appointment with your Vet.

As mentioned by in petmd, “Dogs that are overheated pant very heavily and will likely appear uncomfortable in some way. They could be restless, laid out flat, and/or not responding to you because they are so focused on cooling themselves.”

4) Breed-Specific Traits:🐾

Each dog breed has its own unique set of traits that make them distinct from others.

Breed-specific characteristics plays a vital role in explaining this nature in dogs.

Dog sticking his tip of to tongue out

For example, brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs, Pugs and Boxers have shorter snouts and flatter faces. Due to their facial structure, these breeds may naturally have their tongues sticking out a bit, even when they’re relaxed or just breathing normally.

5) They started a new medication:💊

If you’ve noticed that your dog started sticking the tip of their tongue out after beginnig a new medication, it is important to understand why this might be happening.

Just like humans, dogs can sometimes experience side effects from medications.

Medication for dogs

Tip: When your dog takes a new medicine, it can affect different parts of their body including their muscles and saliva production.

Some medications may cause changes in muscle tone, making it easier for the tongue to slip out a bit.
Additionally, certain drugs can influence how much saliva your dog produces, which might also impact their tongue’s position.

6) Hanging Tongue Syndrome:👅

Hanging Tongue Syndrome [2]is a condition where a dog’s tongue hangs out of their mouth and can’t be fully pulled back in.

It might look harmless but it is important to understand what causes it and whether it could affect your furry friend’s health.

Hanging tongue syndrome in dogs

If a dog is missing some of its teeth, the tongue may not have enough support to stay inside the mouth.

Problems with the dog’s teeth, gums or jaw can contribute to Hanging Tongue Syndrome.
Pay attention to your dog’s dental health. Regular brushing and dental check ups can help prevent problems.

Make sure your dog gets regular check ups with the vet to monitor their overall health.

When to Consult a Veterinarian?

It’s normal for dogs to stick their tongues out occasionally, but there are times when you should pay attention and consider consulting a veterinarian. Here are some situations when you might want to seek professional advice:👨‍⚕️

  • Continuous Tongue Sticking:

If your dog is sticking their tongue out all the time and it is not related to relaxation, sleeping or panting, it could be a sign of an underlying issue.

  • Changes in Eating or Drinking Habits:

If you notice your dog having trouble eating, drinking or if they seem hesitant to do so, it could be a sign of dental problems or discomfort related to their tongue.

  • Excessive Drooling:

While some dogs naturally drool more than others, a sudden increase in drooling may indicate an oral health problem. If your dog is drooling excessively and it is not normal for them then, it is worth investigating.

  • Changes in Behaviour:

Any significant changes in your dog’s behavior and including their tongue sticking out should be noted. If you observe unusual behaviors that persist, it is time to consult with a veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions:

❓Why Does My Dog Stick the Tip of His Tongue Out When Sleeping?

Dogs often exhibit this behaviour during deep relaxation and sleep. It’s a sign that they feel safe and comfortable. Just like humans might let their mouths hang open while dozing off, dogs let their tongues peek out in a cute display of tranquility.

❓Is It Normal for Certain Dog Breeds to Stick Their Tongues Out More Often?

Absolutely! Some breeds, especially those with shorter snouts like Bulldogs and Pugs, may naturally have their tongues sticking out more frequently. This is often due to their facial anatomy and is typically harmless. It adds to their unique charm!

❓Can Medications Cause Dogs to Stick Their Tongues Out?

Yes, certain medications may influence your dog’s tongue behavior. Changes in muscle tone or saliva production can occur as a side effect. If you notice this happening after starting a new medication, it’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian to ensure everything is okay.

❓Should I Be Concerned If My Dog’s Tongue Sticks Out All the Time?

While occasional tongue sticking is normal, persistent sticking can be a cause for concern. If your dog’s tongue is consistently out, and it’s not related to relaxation, sleep, or panting, it’s advisable to consult with your vet. It could be a sign of an underlying issue that needs attention.

❓How Can I Prevent Dental Issues Associated with Hanging Tongue Syndrome?

Regular dental check-ups and good oral care are key. Dogs with Hanging Tongue Syndrome may be more prone to dental problems. Brushing your dog’s teeth, providing dental chews, and scheduling routine vet visits can help maintain their oral health and prevent potential complications.

Final Thought’s:

It’s essential to pay attention to your dog’s overall well being.

If the tongue sticking behavior is occasional and your dog seems happy and healthy, it is likely just a cute quirk.😄

However, if you notice any other changes like persistent drooling or signs of discomfort, then a trip to the vet is a good idea.

Remember each dog is unique and their little habits make them even more lovable. ❤️

So, enjoy those adorable moments when your dog’s tongue makes a brief appearance and cherish the special bond you share with your beloved pet.


  1. Pedigree. (2023, November 7). Taking care of your dogs oral health. PEDIGREE IN.
  2. Me, I. (n.d.). Why does my dog sleep with his tongue out? Impersonate Me.
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Jeanette Hampton
Jeanette Hampton is a content writer at WWD and an expert on all things pets. She’s been writing pet blogs for over 5 years and knows everything there is to know about dogs. Jeanette enjoys writing about pet-related topics because she enjoys helping people learn more about their furry friends.

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