Dogs stick their tongues out all of the time. This is because this is how dogs cool themselves down and express their stress or anxiety. Sometimes dogs have their tongues out when they are sleeping as well. As a result, many dog owners have likely asked themselves: why do dogs sleep with their tongues out?
Dogs sleep with their tongues out because they are cooling themselves down or simply having a great nap. However, this can also occasionally be a sign of stress, a problem with breathing normally, or hanging tongue syndrome.
This article will explain all of the most common reasons for dogs sleeping with their tongues out. We will also be describing the differences between these different causes so that you can discover what cause is affecting your pet. In addition, some of the most commonly asked questions about dogs sleeping with their tongues out will be answered here, and we will be giving you some additional things to consider about this topic as well. Let’s get into it!
Reasons Dogs Sleep With Their Tongues Out
There are seven causes for dogs sleeping with their tongues out. The most common reason for this sleeping behavior is simply that your dog is trying to cool himself down. However, a dog sleeping with his tongue out could also signify things like stress, difficulties with breathing, or hanging tongue syndrome. Here are the seven reasons dogs sleep with their tongues out.
1. It’s Hot Out
Dogs pant as a way to cool themselves down, so your dog may do this while sleeping on a hot summer night. If you believe that an area is too hot for your dog, then all you need to do is put him in a cooler area to get some sleep. Dog owners usually shouldn’t worry if their dog is sleeping with their tongue out because it is hot out, and the occurrence is pretty standard.
2. Your Dog Had A Long Day
Dogs also need to cool themselves down after a lot of exercise. As a result, some dogs may sleep with their tongues out after a long walk or many other types of exercise. Like hot weather, dogs sleeping with their tongues out after a lot of exercise is very common and shouldn’t cause dog owners any concern.
3. Your Dog Is Extra Comfy
We have all slept with our mouths open when we are exhausted and having a great nap, right? Well, dogs sometimes do the same! It is possible that your pet is just extra tired and comfortable when he is sleeping with his tongue out.
If your pet seems normal and this behavior is just an occasional occurrence, then this is likely the cause, and it is nothing that any dog owners need to worry about.
4. Your Dog Is Dreaming
Dogs commonly bark and move their legs in their sleep, and this is because they are dreaming. If your dog occasionally sleeps with his tongue out, then he is likely just having an exciting dream.
This is especially true if your dog is also moving his legs or making noises while sleeping. In addition, this is also likely the cause if this only happens occasionally and if there are no other signs of potential causes present.
5. Your Dog Is Stressed
Stress and anxiety can cause dogs to pant excessively, and occasionally this can lead to stressed-out dogs sleeping with their tongues out. Many different things can cause stress, but it is always recommended to remove the stressful stimuli from your dog’s environment when at all possible.
If your dog suddenly seems to be stressed for no reason, then there is a chance that he might be in pain.
In these cases, you should always take your dog to the vet as soon as possible to rule out a clinical cause for your dog’s stress or anxiety. Once a dog’s pain has been relieved, it should go back to behaving normally.
6. Your Dog Is Having A Difficulty Breathing Normally
Sometimes dogs sleep in strange positions with their tongues out because they have trouble breathing normally while sleeping. This tends to be more common in dogs with short, pushed-in faces such as pugs and french bulldogs. However, any dog could technically be affected by a problem like this.
Although this is simply due to some dogs’ anatomy and cannot be cured, it is always recommended that you visit a vet about this issue.
This will ensure your pet’s safety, and your vet may have some helpful recommendations to keep your dog safe and comfortable while sleeping. If your dog’s strange sleeping habits are caused by breathing difficulty, then he may also experience:
● Noisy inhalation and exhalation sounds
● Gagging and coughing
If you notice any signs of extreme difficulties breathing, then you must take your dog to the vet immediately. Any sign of cyanosis ( a blue nose or other mucus membranes) is a sign of an immediate emergency.
7. Hanging Tongue Syndrome
Hanging tongue syndrome is a condition in dogs that makes their tongue hang out of their mouth at all times. This includes when the dog is both awake and asleep.
Usually, this occurs either because there has been an injury that prevents your dog from putting his tongue in his mouth or he is unable to control his tongue movements. Hanging tongue syndrome has a wide variety of causes, including:
● Head and jaw injuries
● Dental problems
● Nerve damage
● Having a tongue that is too long for the mouth (most common in toy breeds)
Due to this condition’s wide variety of causes, treatment may differ from case to case. However, you should always visit a vet if you suspect that your dog has hanging tongue syndrome, regardless of the cause. Some common symptoms of this condition in addition to a consistently hanging tongue include:
● Bad breath
● Mouth infections
● A dry tongue
● A thick or swollen tongue
● A cracked or bleeding tongue
Although the causes may be different, hanging tongue syndrome is almost always treated the same way. The treatment plan for this condition includes keeping the tongue lubricated and preventing the tongue from getting sunburned or too cold.
In addition, you should always keep an eye on your dog’s tongue and note any changes. You may also need to make a change to wet foods to assist with your dog’s eating.
Of course, the cause of hanging tongue syndrome can be cured in some cases.
If this is the case for your dog, then your vet will likely put your dog on a treatment plan to repair injuries or correct any dental issues when possible. However, you will still want to care for your dog’s exposed tongue in the meantime.
Is It Normal For Dogs To Sleep With Their Tongue Out
It is normal for your dog to sleep with his tongue out on a hot day or after exercise. However, some instances where a dog sleeping with his tongue sticking out may not be normal.
These include signs of stress, pain, or difficulty breathing. In addition, signs of hanging tongue syndrome are also considered to be abnormal as well. If you have noticed any other strange or troubling symptoms in your dog, along with sleeping with his tongue out, then you should visit a vet about this problem.
Why Does My Dog Keep His Tongue Out
If your dog keeps his tongue out all of the time, this could be a sign of hanging tongue syndrome. This is especially true if your dog has dental problems or has had a jaw injury in the past. In addition, this condition can also be caused by nerve or brain damage in rare cases.
If you suspect that your dog has hanging tongue syndrome, then you should visit a vet about this problem. They will be able to help your dog’s tongue stay healthy and make recommendations if your dog is having trouble eating or drinking normally.
In some cases, a vet may be able to reduce or cure your dog’s hanging tongue syndrome as well. However, this depends on whether or not the cause of this condition is treatable.
Why Is My Dog Sticking Tongue Out And Shaking While Sleeping
If your dog is sticking his tongue out and shaking while sleeping, then you may have a problem on your hands. These two actions occurring together could be indicative of a seizure in dogs.
As a result, it is crucial that you immediately take your dog to the vet if you find him sticking out his tongue and shaking uncontrollably while sleeping. If your dog had had a seizure, then he will likely behave strangely after it occurs. Some strange behaviors that dog owners have reported include:
● Disorientation and confusion
● Behavioral changes
● Excessive eating or drinking
● Transient blindness
On the other hand, a dog sticking his tongue out and being a bit twitchy while sleeping could just be caused by him having a dream. If you wake your pet up after this occurs and he seems to be responsive and acting normal, then you do not need to worry. Your dog was moving around in his sleep.
Things To Consider
There are some other things to consider when it comes to dogs sleeping with their tongues out. This includes what you should consider if your dog is sticking his tongue out due to exercise or the heat.
In addition, it may be helpful to know some more scenarios for when you should take your dog to the vet for sleeping with his tongue out. Here are some things to consider about dogs sleeping with their tongues out.
Things To Consider If Your Dog Is Too Hot Or Over Exercised
It is entirely normal for dogs to pant and sleep with their tongues out if it is hot out or recently exercised. However, there are some things that you may need to look out for in these situations to ensure your pet’s safety. These include both dehydration and heatstroke. Some common signs of dehydration in dogs include:
● Thick saliva and sticky gums
● A dry nose, eyes, and mouth
● Reduced appetite
● Reduced skin elasticity (pinch the skin, if it doesn’t immediately fall back into place, then this is a sign of dehydration)
Dehydration results when a dog doesn’t drink enough water. This most commonly occurs when it is hot outside and when dogs do not drink water after exercise. The best way to treat dehydration is to provide your dog with drinking water, and you will likely need to see a vet if your dog’s dehydration is severe.
Dogs can also experience heat stroke when left in the heat. You will always need to take your dog to the vet immediately if your dog is experiencing a heat stroke. Some common signs of a heat stroke to look out for include:
● Signs of dehydration
● Excessive panting
● Excessive drooling
● Having a red mouth and nose
● Being hot to the touch
● Bleeding from the mouth or blood present in stool
● Appearing unresponsive
● Muscle tremors, staggering and having difficulty walking
When To See A Vet
There are some scenarios for a dog sleeping with his tongue out this list that does require vet attention, and it is helpful for dog owners to have a list of conditions that they should take their dog to the vet for. The following list includes all of the causes for a dog sleeping with his tongue out that require veterinary attention as soon as possible.
● Signs of heatstroke
● Signs of severe dehydration
● Signs of a seizure
● Signs of breathing difficulty
● Hanging tongue syndrome
● Signs of pain or extreme stress/anxiety