Puppies have their tongues out all the time! Whether they are running around and panting or happily sticking their heads out the window of your car, that long slurper of theirs always seems to hang out.
Pups also sleep all the time. A two-month-old pup can sleep a whopping 18 to 20 hours a day while a three-month-old will sleep about 15 to 18 hours. Puppies are adorable to watch when they are in peaceful slumber, and you might notice that they have their tongues hanging out even as they sleep.
Is it a problem, or is it not normal? Fret not! Dogs and pups sleeping with their tongues out is a natural and harmless habit. In this blog post, we’ll give you more information about why your precious pooch might hang his tongue as he sleeps and what it might mean.
Why Do Puppies Sleep With Their Tongues Out?
As previously mentioned, your pup sleeping with its tongue out is perfectly normal. Here are some harmless reasons for this peculiar sleeping habit.
1. Your Pup Is Completely Relaxed
Mostly when your puppy is sleeping with its tongue out, it’s simply because it is so relaxed that its tongue falls out of its mouth. This may not last long, as when the puppy turns on its back as it sleeps, it can sometimes return its tongue to its mouth.
It could also happen when your puppy is tired. After running and playing around, when your puppy finally takes a nap it is likely to have its tongue out. The reason is that it’s simply tired and is having a well-deserved sleep.
2. Your Pup Is Cooling Off
When puppies get too hot, they stick their tongues out to cool off, as panting is a way for them to regulate their temperature. As a dog owner, you will observe this especially when your dog is running. In the same respect, puppies stick their tongues out when they are asleep and hot at the same time.
This is an efficient way of cooling off because as moisture evaporates from their tongues into the air, it has a cooling effect. Your puppy might sleep with its tongue out more often in the hot months of the year than in the cold ones.
3. To Relieve Stress Or Anxiety
Another reason your puppy could have its tongue out when sleeping is to relieve stress. Dogs are emotional beings, just like we are, and they experience stress and anxiety as well.
If your pup is suddenly sticking their tongue out when it sleeps, it could be simply because something has changed in its routine or something new is stressing him out. The tongue sticking out usually dissipates once their stress is relieved.
3. It Is More Comfortable Physically
Some dog breeds usually sleep with their tongues out because of their facial features. For example, brachycephalic dogs like Pugs, Boxers, and Bulldogs have tongues that are larger than their mouth so they are more comfortable sleeping like that. The facial features of other dog breeds like the shape of their face also make them prefer having their tongues out even when sleeping.
4. They Simply Feel Better
A common reason puppies fall asleep with tongues out is that they like it. Even humans can sometimes sleep with their mouths open with no real reason behind it. The same is true for dogs sleeping with their tongues out.
When Should I Be Concerned?
While sleeping with their tongues out is no big deal, there are rare occasions where it may show a health concern. Your puppy might have the following health problems:
1. Dental Issue
Puppies can also get dental diseases like gum diseases, toothaches, or injuries from playing and such activities. When this happens, the puppy may stick its tongue out when sleeping so that it doesn’t touch the sensitive area and cause more pain. If you are wondering how to differentiate between a harmless tongue-out sleep and a dental issue, bad breath or a lackluster appetite accompanies the latter.
2. Nasal Blockage
A nasal blockage can also cause a puppy that normally doesn’t do this to sleep with its tongue out. They do this to breathe better while asleep and snoring often accompany this respiratory problem. If the snoring is difficult to bear, you can visit your local vet for a solution.
3. Hanging Tongue Syndrome
This is a condition where a dog cannot fully or partially control its tongue, which results in it hanging out of its mouth consistently. This condition makes your dog susceptible to cracks on the tongue and dehydration because its tongue is often exposed to the elements.
In severe cases, a dog may struggle to eat and drink. In this scenario, you must take your dog to your vet for treatment. Symptoms of hanging tongue syndrome include:
- A cracked and/or bleeding tongue
- Swelling of the tongue
- Foul odor from the mouth
Before finding out how to minimize this behavior, you should know that you should never reprimand your dog for sleeping with their tongue out because they can’t help it and it will only traumatize them.
Sleeping with their tongues out can make your puppy look adorable but also increases the chances of getting mouth infections. To reduce the instances in which your puppy sleeps with its tongue sticking out or at least keep it healthy while it does, practice good dog oral hygiene.
Also remember to give your puppy enough water so it doesn’t stick its tongue out because of dehydration.
Your puppy sleeping with their tongue out is normal and harmless. It is more likely to happen in hot weather, in stressful periods for your dog, and in certain dog breeds like the Bulldog.
Most of the time it has no negative effect, but it is prudent to look out for bad breath so that you can rule out a dental issue. Otherwise, let your puppy enjoy their slumber looking absolutely adorable!