These dogs have functional tongues, but, because of genetics, the tongue may be too large for the oral cavity, an abnormal jaw bone doesn't support the tongue or missing teeth allows the tongue to slip out through the gap. Sometimes there are non-genetic causes to the hanging tongue.
What is Hanging Tongue Syndrome? A dog with an exposed tongue is not an unusual sight; they pant to show pleasure or anxiety, to recover after exercise, and to cool themselves. Some dogs, however, are either partially or fully unable to control their tongue and it may hang out of their mouth on a consistent basis.
Some dogs, however, are either partially or fully unable to control their tongue and it may hang out of their mouth on a consistent basis. These dogs have a condition know as hanging tongue syndrome, and it can be triggered by a congenital defect, injury, dental disease or neurological damage.
Because dogs do not have sweat glands, they pant. Dogs have just a few sweat glands in their paws, so no matter how much they sweat; sweating could never cool them off. That's where the tongue-hanging out, mouth-open dog panting comes in.
The majority of these dogs are small-breed dogs that are brachycephalic (“smooshed-face”) dogs. These dogs have functional tongues, but, because of genetics, the tongue may be too large for the oral cavity, an abnormal jaw bone doesn't support the tongue or missing teeth allows the tongue to slip out through the gap.
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.
Tongue out while sleeping Chances are, if your dog's tongue is sticking out while he is sleeping, he's just very relaxed. As your dog slips more deeply into sleep, he may simply relax so much that his mouth and tongue just hang out.
Panting helps to cool these blood vessels, keeping the brain from overheating and also circulating lower temperature blood through the rest of the body. The large surface area of the tongue, along with the rapid flow of air, maximizes cooling by evaporation, which is why dogs stick their tongues out when they pant.
Unless your cat has health issues, is missing front teeth that would normally restrained the tongue inside the mouth, or is feeling excessively hot, sleeping with his or her tongue out is a harmless thing to do. Cats who sleep with their tongues sticking out are deeply relaxed.
The main reason is that dogs cool themselves by hanging their tongue. This helps them to bring back their normal body temperature. Panting helps them to cool down. As the sweat glands are very less or absent in dogs, their body mechanism is routed to panting to regulate body temperature.
Dogs don't have sweat glands and cannot eliminate water. That is why humans perspire to eliminate water through skin to regulate body temperature. More the heat, the more we sweat to lower the temperature. So dogs must hang their tongue out to keep cool in summer.
They're Incredibly Relaxed The good news is, sometimes a tongue hanging out isn't a sign of anything problematic for your dog whatsoever. Sometimes a tongue hanging out for long periods of time -- but not indefinitely -- is a sign of pure relaxation.
Dental issues can also lead a dog to display their flappy tongues with pride — so be sure to brush and get your pup's teeth checked regularly. “Other reasons for a tongue to perpetually hang from a dog's mouth are loss of teeth or dental disease, or some form of prior trauma to the face, jaw or mouth,” Ahlgrim says.
By letting their tongue hang out and breathing rapidly, dogs expedite the evaporation process of moisture from their tongue, mouth, and upper respiratory tract. This evaporation helps to cool your dog down and regulate temperature.