Exploring the Whys of a Dog Sleeping With His Tongue Out

A lot of dog parents often ask themselves “Why does my dog sleep with his tongue out?”

It is not uncommon to see a dog with its tongue sticking out. In fact, it’s quite normal!

Dogs often give us this “puppy-dog” expression by extending their tongues out of their mouths—it’s an endearing behavior that almost everyone finds adorable!

But why do they do it? Turns out that there are scientific reasons behind it.

Let’s find the answer to the question that most dog parents have.

Why does my dog sleep with his tongue out

If you’ve ever seen your dog soundly asleep with their tongue sticking out, you may have wondered why does my dog sleep with his tongue out?

Well, the good news is there are several potential explanations for this behavior.

Here are 8 reasons why your pup might be sleeping with their tongue out:

1. Panting:

Dogs don’t sweat like humans to regulate their body temperature, so they pant instead. When a dog is panting heavily, it often looks like they’re sticking out their tongue.

So when your furry friend is sleeping with his tongue out, it could be an attempt to cool down after a long walk or play session.

Keeping their tongue out helps increase the surface area that’s exposed to air, which aids in cooling down their body temperature.

2. Comfort and relaxation:

If your pup has been snoozing for a while in the same spot, chances are he might just feel relaxed enough to let his tongue hang out as well!

Just as humans stretch our arms and legs when we wake up from a nap, dogs sometimes do the same – but with their tongues!

Dogs use their tongues to cool themselves down, so this is a sign that your pet feels comfortable enough to simply rest and relax – no matter how funny it might look!

3. Trying to taste the air:

Dogs have a powerful sense of smell, so they may be trying to use their tongue to get a better whiff of something in the room.

When a dog is trying to taste the air, you may notice them rapidly licking its lips or tongue.

This is usually an attempt to capture some of the scent molecules around them.

So don’t be surprised if your pup starts licking at nothing in particular – they’re just trying to get a better ‘taste’ of what’s going on!

By sticking out their tongues, dogs can pick up traces of smells that might be in the air and attempt to identify them.

4. Seeking attention:

If your pup loves getting extra snuggles and belly rubs, he may stick his tongue out as a way of asking for affection!

Dogs that stick their tongues out tend to be the center of attention and will continue to do so in an effort to get more affection from those around them.

It’s really quite adorable! So, if your pup loves all the extra love he can get, you might find him sticking his tongue out when you least expect it.

He’s just trying to tell you how much he loves you!

5. Teething problems:

Puppies often experience teething pains just like human babies do.

And if they’re feeling uncomfortable, it’s not uncommon for them to stick out their tongues while they sleep as a way of relieving the pressure.

You may want to consider getting your pup a chew toy if he’s constantly sticking out his tongue in order to help him cope with the discomfort more comfortably.

6. Stress:

If your pup is feeling anxious or overwhelmed, he may stick his tongue out as a way of trying to alleviate some of that stress.

He may also do it if he’s feeling overstimulated or uncomfortable in certain environments.

Stress generally causes the salivary glands to become more active, which is why your pup may be licking his lips or sticking out his tongue!

Working on helping him become more comfortable and relaxed can help him put that tongue away.

7. Illness:

If your pup isn’t feeling well, having his tongue hanging out could be a sign of dehydration or heat stroke.

So if you spot this behavior in combination with other signs of illness (such as vomiting), consult a vet right away!

8. Genetic predisposition and Anatomy:

Some dog breeds naturally have longer tongues than others, so sticking their tongues out could just be part of their anatomy!

This is especially true of breeds such as Labradors, Bulldogs, and Boxers. Some breeds have broader heads or flatter noses, which can make it difficult for them to keep their tongues inside their mouths when they sleep.

Some breeds have a naturally protruding lower jaw which causes the lips to curl outward and give the appearance of an extended tongue.

Breeds such as Bulldogs, Pugs, and Shih Tzu are particularly known for this “tongue-out” expression.


It’s important to remember that if you notice your dog’s tongue sticking out for an extended period of time, or if it seems to be swollen or discolored in any way, this could be a sign of illness.

Be sure to contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your pup’s health.

No matter the reason, having your canine companion stick their tongue out is typically a sign that they are content and happy.

So go ahead and give them lots of love when you see this cute gesture! After all, who can resist that adorable face? 🙂

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