Have you ever glanced over to your sleeping puppy, only to discover their adorable tongue hanging out of their mouth?
You may first grab your phone and capture the cute moment on camera, but then begin to wonder if this is something that should concern you.
Ranging from deep sleep to an attempt to regulate their body temperature, there are many potential causes behind a puppy sleeping with their tongue out.
To help you better understand your pup’s sleeping habits, let’s discuss the possible causes of why your puppy sleeps with their tongue out below.
7 Reasons Why Puppies Sleep With Their Tongue Out
The occasional glimpse of a puppy’s tongue is always cute, but what does it mean when their tongues are always exposed during their slumber?
There is a list of potential factors behind this behavior, so let’s break them down below.
1. They Are In A Deep Sleep
Have you ever woken up from a deep sleep, only to discover that you drooled all over your pillow? Well, this can be the case for our growing canine friends as well.
Some pups will be so deep in sleep that their mouth will hang open and their tongue will roll out, causing them to expose their tongue throughout their nap. If this seems to only happen when your puppy is especially sleepy, it may just be their way of saying they are getting some amazing rest.
2. They Are Trying To Cool Off
If your puppy’s tongue only sticks out in their sleep during the warm summer months, this may just be their attempt to cool off during their slumber. Similar to us throwing aside a thick blanket when our bedroom gets too hot, a puppy may open their mouth in an effort to let in some cool air.
These puppies may also pant in their sleep, as this is a dog’s main way of regulating their body temperature. As long as your puppy does not seem like they are in distress, this is a natural response to its warm surroundings.
3. They Are Stressed
If your puppy had a particularly stressful day, or they are in a new environment that is preventing them from fully relaxing, you may see some changes in their normal sleeping behavior.
These pups may have a hard time settling down, they may pant, and they may even stick their tongue out as they sleep.
If these pups are experiencing any changes in behavior as a result of stress, they will typically return to their normal behavior once the cause of their anxiety has resolved. If any odd behavior continues past the stressful event, it may be time to consider other causes.
4. Their Teeth Hurt
Sometimes our growing puppies will stick out their tongue while sleeping because they are experiencing tooth pain.
Puppies are often teething until about 6 months of age, meaning they are losing their baby teeth and growing their adult set. Just as this can be uncomfortable for human toddlers, it’s just as uncomfortable for puppies.
A teething puppy may drool more often, chew on objects around their home, and even stick their tongue out of their mouth more often than usual. If this is the case for your young puppy, then painful teeth may be to blame.
5. It’s Normal For Them
Do you have a favorite sleeping position when it is time to curl up into your bed for the evening? Well, many of our canine friends do as well! Many pups have a natural sleep position that they gravitate towards, and sleeping with their tongue out may be just that.
If it seems like you catch your pup sleeping with their tongue out on multiple occasions, this may just be natural for them. As long as you can rule out any potential tooth pain or other underlying conditions, then it should be nothing to worry about.
6. Hanging Tongue Syndrome
Some dogs just have a really long tongue! This is often referred to as hanging tongue syndrome, and it refers to pups that just can’t keep their tongue in their mouths at all times.
This is either a result of their breed and facial structure, the lack of teeth in their mouth, or even having a larger tongue than their other furry friends.
If this is the case, you may see your dog’s tongue hanging out on many occasions, and not just when they are sleeping. You may also notice other symptoms such as bad breath or mouth dryness, as these signs typically go along with having a droopy tongue.
7. They Are Drowsy From Medication
If your puppy is taking any medications that could lead to drowsiness, this may cause them to fall into a deeper sleep than usual. These puppies may snore, stick their tongue out, and even bark in their sleep as a result of their intense slumber.
This is very common when puppies are recovering from their routine spay or neuter, as their bodies are still processing the anesthesia they received earlier. This can also occur with any prescribed pain medications, so it’s important to keep this in mind when monitoring a puppy on any new medications.
Should I Be Worried About My Puppy’s Tongue Hanging Out?
If your adorable pup is suddenly sticking their tongue out while they sleep, you may wonder if this could be a sign of any underlying complications. Though this behavior is most often harmless in puppies, there are a few scenarios in which you should take notice.
First, if you think this could be a result of dental pain in your puppy, we always suggest keeping a close eye on them for any sign of severe discomfort.
- Excessive drooling
- Bloody drool
- Blood in their water bowl
- Blood on toys
- Bad breath
- Facial sensitivity
- Facial swelling
These symptoms can be a sign of infection and warrant an immediate vet visit when they occur.
Also, if it seems like your puppy is sticking their tongue out because they are having a hard time breathing, we always suggest reaching out for medical care immediately.
Other signs of a puppy in respiratory distress include:
- Labored breathing
- Rapid breathing
- Muddy or purple gums
- Harsh breathing sounds
If you notice any of these symptoms in your puppy, we suggest taking them to your vet immediately.
And last, if you think your puppy is sticking out their tongue as they sleep because they are too hot, it may be a sign that it’s time to adjust the room temperature.
Many dogs struggle when the temperature in a room is over 80 degrees, and often require the support of fans or cooling blankets.
If it seems like your dog is experiencing rapid panting, restlessness, drooling, and whining, this is often a sign that you need to bring your pup to a cooler environment.
In most puppies, an adorable blep, while they sleep, is nothing to be concerned with. However, if you think your puppy could be struggling with tooth pain or overheating, this may require further investigation on your part.
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