Why Do Dogs Sleep With Their Tongue Out?

Have you ever noticed your dog sleeping with their tongue out? It’s quite common for dogs to sleep with the tip of their tongue sticking out, or even with a large part of their tongue dangling out of their mouth.

The good news is that sleeping with their tongue out is perfectly normal behavior for dogs.

Unless you see any other concerning symptoms or strange behavior, you don’t need to do anything about your dog sleeping with their tongue out. Simply leave them alone and they’ll be perfectly happy!

But why do dogs sleep with their tongue out? Read on to find out…

Why Dogs Sleep With Their Tongue Out

There are two main reasons why dogs sleep with their tongue out.

  1. They have their tongue out to help cool themselves down.
  2. They’re simply very relaxed and have let their jaws fall open, which caused their tongue to dangle out of their mouths.

Let’s look at each reason in a little more detail.

Dogs Sleep With Their Tongue Out To Cool Themselves Down

To understand the first reason why dogs sleep with their tongue out, you first need to know that dogs don’t sweat in order to cool their bodies down. Dogs pant instead of sweating – sticking their tongue out and breathing heavily. Panting causes saliva to evaporate from the dog’s tongue, which cools the tongue and the blood passing through it, which in turn cools the rest of the dog’s body.

The fact that dogs cool themselves down by panting gives us one reason why dogs may also stick their tongues out when they sleep. If your dog is too warm while sleeping, they may stick their tongue out to help lower their body temperature.

If you’ve noticed your dog sleeping with their tongue out when the house is warm, or on hot sunny days, then the need to cool themselves down is the most likely reason.

Sleeping With Their Tongue Out Shows The Dog Is Relaxed

Have you ever woken from a night’s sleep or a long nap with drool on your pillow?

If you have, we’ll bet that you woke up feeling very well rested and like you’d been in a really deep sleep, right?

What this tells you is that when you’re really relaxed, and have drifted into a particularly deep sleep, your mouth is more likely to fall open than if you are in a lighter sleep.

And it’s exactly the same for dogs!

When a dog falls into a really relaxed, deep sleep, they will often let their mouths fall open – just like humans do. And, also like humans, dogs may drool, as saliva runs out of their open mouth.

However, one way that dog’s are different to humans is that they have significantly longer tongues. So, as well as drool falling out of a dog’s mouth while they are sleeping, their tongue may roll out of their mouth too!

Dogs Sleeping With Their Tongue Out Is Normal

The most important thing to take away from this article is that seeing your dogs sleeping with their tongues out is entirely normal.

Unless there are concerning symptoms, such as strange breathing or sores on your dog’s tongue, seeing them sleep with their tongue out is nothing to be concerned about.

Sleeping with their tongue out simply shows that your dog is really relaxed and may be lowering their body temperature on a hot day.

It’s perfectly normal, and just one of the funny things that dogs do in their sleep, along with wagging their tails, sleep howling, and sticking their bum in your face!

Featured image by Anders Mejlvang from Pixabay

John Lowery

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