Is It Worth Worrying if the Dog’s Tongue Is Constantly Sticking Out?


If the dog always sticks tongue out, the owner begins to worry about if it is a sign of a disease? When the phenomenon is periodic, we rarely pay attention to it since it is known that the mouth breathing with protruding tongue in dogs occurs when they feel hot and need to cool down. In the vast majority of cases, the protruding tongue is not an indicator of a life – threatening condition of the pet, but requires attention from the owner. Sometimes the phenomenon occurs due to the structural features of the jaws, in which the lower jaw is longer than the upper one. Because of this the tip of the tongue will always be in sight.

Brachycephalic Dogs

These pets have such a structure of the head and jaws, which makes the protruding tip of the tongue a natural phenomenon which does not cause them discomfort and requires no treatment. Mostly the representatives of brachycephalic dogs are the following breeds:

  1. dog's top of tongue stickis outBulldog.
  2. Boxer.
  3. Pekingese.
  4. Shar Pei.
  5. Pug.

All these dogs have common structure peculiarities:

  • reduced length of the muzzle;
  • considerable width of the head;
  • flattened muzzle;
  • snub or nasal depression;
  • lower jaw undershot like a scoop.

Sometimes dogs that are not related to brachycephalic ones, have a strange shortening of the upper jaw, which is inborn. In such a situation, they also have the tip of their tongue sticking out. If this does not bring discomfort to them, and the possession of the body is not violated, then treatment is not required. In the described cases, a tongue sticking out in dogs should not be the reason to panic.

Pathological Causes

Tongue sticking out in dogs is not always the norm, and it happens that the dog begins to breathe with its mouth open due to overheating or decreased sense of smell. This state does not last for a few minutes, as in case of natural cooling, but remains for a long time.

  1. Rhinitis. As in humans, dogs may suffer from a runny nose, which leads to the loss of smell and impaired patency of the nasal passages. Mouth breathing in this situation replaces the nasal one before it is restored. The cause of rhinitis can be a cold, virus, allergy or injury. You can find out what has emerged rhinitis by the mucus from the nose and altered breathing. If in the rest condition the animal is not suffering, then treatment is not required. In order to speed up the recovery of the dog it is enough to give drugs to strengthen the immune system. If the runny nose appeared due to injury, the treatment can be difficult, and may even require surgery. When laid nasal dog's tongue is sticking outpassages, the dog’s tongue most often hangs on one side, as this is the most convenient position for it with a long stay outside the mouth.
  2. Disorder of control of the muscles that are responsible for holding the root of the tongue. In this condition the dog keeps sticking tongue out. It prevents the dog to close the mouth, to eat and drink normally. The problem may be caused by pinched nerve endings, neurotic disorders or damage to the muscles of the root of the tongue. Depending on the cause, treatment is carried out. Drugs can be used to improve the nervous system or surgery is performed.
  3. Constant overheating. This phenomenon occurs more often in long-haired dogs that live indoors and have a dense undercoat. They need the cooling of the body and that is why their mouth is usually ajar, the tongue protrudes. This is how comes the cooling. Most often, this phenomenon is observed during the heating season when the air in the room is not only hot, but also dry. In general, this phenomenon is not dangerous and does not require to be treated. If you want to provide the dog with a more comfortable environment, it is necessary to lower room temperature and increase humidity, for example, you can hang on the battery a pair of wet towels.

In all these cases it is necessary to carry out the treatment or correction of conditions of life of the pet and to try to recover the pet’s normal condition.

Other Reasons

There are two more reasons why constantly protruding tongue may occur. The attentive owner can easily remove them, because they bring discomfort to the animal.

  • dog's tongue sticking outToo hot food. If you feed the dog with a very hot porridge or soup, and the pet can’t wait for the food to cool, grabs it immediately, there is a mild burn of the tongue. By sticking it out of the mouth, the dog tries to cool the burned tissue and thereby to accelerate the recovery. The owner should strictly monitor the temperature of the food he gives to the pet;
  • Low-quality toys. If material of the toys causes irritation of the dog’s tongue, the pet begins to often stick it out trying to cool the tissue and reduce unpleasant sensations. To prevent the problem, you need to choose only high-quality toys for your pet.

If the dog is constantly protruding tongue, you should immediately determine the cause of this phenomenon.

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