Updated at: 18-01-2022 - By: petstutorial

What is Sticking Out His Tongue?

When dogs are sticking out their tongues, this generally refers to the muscular organ, called the tongue, being frequently found sticking outside the mouth, beyond the teeth and gums.  There are several reasons why your dog is sticking out his tongue:

  • Panting
  • Hanging tongue syndrome
  • Tonguing
  • Oral cancers and other masses
  • Severe dental disease
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Why Sticking Out His Tongue Occurs in Dogs

Your canine family member’s tongue is quite an interesting organ which performs many important functions for him.  Not only does it pull food and water into his mouth, but it also “smells” for him and investigates his surroundings.  Here are some reasons why your dog may be sticking out his tongue:


Panting is a cooling mechanism used by your pet.  It is defined as rapid, shallow breaths which accelerate the evaporation of water from his tongue, inside his mouth and upper respiratory tract.  The evaporation of the water aids in your dog’s ability to regulate his temperature.

Hanging Tongue Syndrome

This is a condition which is genetic in some breeds having the “smooshed” face which causes their oral cavities to be too small to accommodate the tongue.  The tongue also hangs out due to an abnormal jawbone that can’t support the tongue or due to missing teeth which create a gap through which the tongue can slip.


This is a colloquial expression for the behaviour that is similar to the Flehmen response which is exhibited in other mammals.  This involves using the tongue to “taste the air” in a response to sniffing after a female.  Other mammals will curl the lips and raise their heads when performing this action. The tongue may not leave the oral cavity.


Oral Cancers and Other Masses

The tongue is a prime target for oral tumors, most of which are malignant.  The tongue can also have tiny bumps or warts which are called papillomatosis, being caused by the papilloma virus which are not usually malignant.

Severe Dental Disease

Inflammation of the tongue (glossitis), inflammation of the soft mouth tissues (stomatitis) , inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and inflammation of the lips (cheilitis) can cause the tongue to stick out.  Other inflammations of the mouth and tongue can include:

  • Foreign body ingestion
  • Exposure to toxic plants or chemicals
  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Immune -mediated diseases
  • Metabolic disease
  • Mouth ulcers

What to do if your Dog is Sticking Out His Tongue

If your dog is panting and his tongue is sticking out, this is normal.  However, if the panting being done by your pet seems excessive and there isn’t a justifiable reason for it, then an examination should be carried out. You can examine your dog’s mouth to a limited degree at home but your veterinary professional can do a much more thorough examination, especially if your pet is anxious or in pain.

An examination by your vet is especially important if you note any growths or masses inside your pet’s mouth, or if you note any missing teeth or red and inflamed gums. These conditions will need to be treated sooner rather than later in an appropriate manner according to the conditions and diagnosis found by your vet.

Your vet will treat infections with appropriate medications and metabolic and immune-mediated disorders and nutritional disorders with medications, supplements and dietary regimens which he deems appropriate for the condition found in your pet.  Cancers, papillomas, and other masses will be treated according to current medical recommendations as needed.

Why does my dog keep sticking her tongue out like a snake?

The dog could simply be feeling particularly happy or nervous. … Hanging Tongue Syndrome is exactly what it sounds like: the dog’s tongue hangs out of their mouth, and it’s not a sign of anything else troublesome. Some dogs stick their tongue out when they are very relaxed or sleeping.

Why does my dog lick inside my mouth?

Licking is pleasurable to dogs and so a gentle lick around your mouth is something your dog enjoys, even if you don’t share the feeling. If your dog is the nurturing kind, then he could just be grooming you and showing respect for the pack leader by submitting and paying attention to you.

Are dog licks really kisses?

Affection: There’s a pretty good chance that your dog is licking you because it loves you! It’s why many people call them “kisses.” Dogs show affection by licking people and sometimes even other dogs. … They learned it from the grooming and affection given to them as. Dogs might lick your face if they can get to it.


What is hanging tongue syndrome?

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.

Prevention of Sticking Out His Tongue

There really aren’t any things that you can do if the reason your pet is sticking out his tongue is genetic.  However, if the cause is panting, you can adjust your pet’s exercise and play regimen to allow sufficient rest and maintain appropriate temperatures to keep him from becoming overheated.  If the cause is dental disease in any stage, getting your pet’s oral health treated and maintained is the step that’s needed to prevent your dog from sticking out his tongue from that inflammation.  Being more watchful of where your pet exercises and attempting to control what he eats or investigates can prevent the inflammation from toxic plants and chemicals.

Prevention of cancerous tumors is not something you have any control over but by keeping up with your regular and routine veterinary examinations will help to identify any suspicious lesions in your dog’s mouth.  Keep your dog away from pups who have visible papillomas as they can be spread. Your at home examinations will also help to catch those masses and conditions earlier for more aggressive and appropriate treatment earlier in the process

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