If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen a dog doing something weird.
Maybe they’re panting while standing still, or maybe they’re sticking their tongues out and licking the air.
But what exactly does this behavior mean?
Is it a sign of illness, or something else?
And how do we know whether our dogs are feeling well or not?
What does it mean when a dog keeps sticking out his tongue and panting?
It’s important to understand that a dog’s tongue isn’t designed to stick out like that.
Instead, it’s used for smelling things, tasting food, and moving around inside the dog’s mouth.
So if your dog is sticking out his tongue and panting, there must be some reason.
It may be because he’s excited about something, or it could be because he’s trying to warm up after being outside all day.
He might also be thirsty or hungry, or just tired from too much exercise.
In fact, there are a number of different reasons why your dog could be doing this.
But before we can figure out which one applies, let’s first learn more about how dogs use their tongues.
How Dogs Use Their Tongues
To understand why dogs need to stick their tongues out, we have to look at how they use them.
As mentioned earlier, the main purpose of a dog’s tongue is to taste food and smell things.
They also use their tongues to move around inside their mouths, and to lick themselves (although this is less common).
When a dog uses its tongue to sniff something, it sticks its tongue straight out and moves it back and forth over the surface of whatever it’s interested in.
This allows the dog to sample the scent.
If the dog smells something new, it will lick its tongue over the area where it detected the scent.
A dog’s tongue can also act as an extension of its nose.
When a dog breathes through its nose, air flows into the nostrils and then passes through the nasal cavity.
At the same time, the dog’s tongue moves along with the airflow, allowing it to pick up any scents that pass through.
All of these methods allow dogs to get information about their surroundings.
By using their noses and tongues, dogs are able to find food, avoid predators, and identify people who are friendly or dangerous.
But dogs don’t always need to use their tongues to get information.
Sometimes, they can simply use sight.
For example, if a dog spots a squirrel running across the road, he doesn’t need to use his tongue to get the squirrel’s scent.
His eyes tell him everything he needs to know about the situation.
Why Do Dogs Stick Out Their Tongue and Pant?
Now that we’ve learned a bit about how dogs use their tongues, it’s clear why they’ll do this strange thing now and again.
A dog’s tongue is designed to help it get information about its environment, but sometimes it gets in the way.
That’s why dogs sometimes stick out their tongues and pant when they’re anxious or excited.
For instance, imagine that you’re walking through a park, and suddenly you see a squirrel running across the road.
You want to chase it, so you start running towards it.
Your dog notices that you’re heading right towards it, so he starts panting and sticking out his tongue.
Then, you see the squirrel run off into the bushes.
Now you’re both happy that you chased the squirrel away!
Another reason why dogs stick out their tongues and pant is because they’re hot.
Imagine that you’re walking your dog on a sunny day, and you notice that he’s panting.
Perhaps he’s been running around in the heat for a long time without getting enough water.
In this case, the dog probably wants to drink some water, so he sticks out his tongue and puffs out his cheeks to indicate that he’s hot.
Dogs also stick out their tongues when they’re excited.
Imagine that you come home from work and see your dog jumping around excitedly.
He might be excited because he saw another dog, or because he heard someone say hello to him.
Whatever the cause, if your dog is excited, he’ll stick out his tongue and puff out his cheeks.
Is this a sign of illness or something else?
Panting is an important part of a dog’s respiratory system.
While humans breathe through our lungs, dogs breathe through their mouths and noses.
Their nostrils are small holes in their face that open up to allow air into their nose and lungs.
If these holes aren’t clear enough, then it can become difficult for them to breath properly.
When a dog breathes too much, he may overheat.
This can happen if he’s running around outside in hot weather, or if he’s exercising vigorously on a treadmill.
But it can also happen if he’s overheated from being inside the house all day.
In any case, panting helps a dog regulate his internal temperature.
If he doesn’t pant, then his body will try to cool itself by sweating instead.
Just because your dog is panting doesn’t necessarily mean that he needs medical attention.
However, if you suspect that he’s ill, you should contact the vet immediately so that they can take a look at him.
There are some other things that you should keep in mind about panting.
For example, panting is sometimes associated with excessive salivation.
So, if your dog is constantly licking himself, or if his saliva smells bad, this might indicate that he has a problem with his digestive tract.
You should talk to your veterinarian to find out more information.
In addition, panting can be a normal occurrence in puppies.
They tend to pant and lick themselves a lot as they grow up.
However, in adult dogs, panting usually indicates a problem.
So, if a puppy starts panting excessively, it’s best to seek veterinary help right away.
What are the possible causes of this behavior?
There are several different possibilities as to why a dog might keep sticking their tongue out and panting.
But the most common explanation is that they’re simply cooling off after a long walk or ride.
Some dogs will also lick at their mouths when they feel nervous, anxious, excited, or stressed.
This behavior is known as “lickering,” which means that the dog is using their tongue to clean their mouth.
If a dog keeps licking their mouth even when they aren’t thirsty, then this is usually a sign that they have an infection or some other problem with their mouth or teeth.
In addition to lickering, dogs sometimes stick their tongues out while they pant.
They may be breathing through their nose rather than their mouth, so they don’t need to lick their chops.
Other times, though, they may actually be trying to cool themselves down.
Here are some other possible reasons for panting and sticking out their tongues:
- Dogs who are overweight tend to pant more often because panting helps them lose weight.
- Dogs who are overheated may pant and lick their lips to cool down.
- Dogs who are afraid or excited may stick their tongues out to calm themselves down.
- Dogs who are bored may stick their tongues out to entertain themselves.
- Dogs who are playing tug-of-war may stick their tongues out to help pull the toy back to them.
How can you tell if your dog is sick or just overheated?
It’s easy to confuse a dog’s normal behavior with illness when you first notice it.
But as time goes on, you’ll start to recognize signs that your dog is acting differently, even if he hasn’t been ill.
For example, if your dog is panting constantly, then you should probably take him to the vet.
If you think he has an infection, you might see some pus coming from his nose or ears, and you may also find some discharge around his genitals.
In addition, if your dog is panting and drooling excessively, you need to see a vet right away.
This is because excessive panting can indicate heatstroke or dehydration.
However, if you don’t see any signs of illness, but instead just notice your dog is panting, then you shouldn’t worry too much about it.
Instead, it’s more likely that your dog is simply trying to cool off by panting and licking the air.
This is why it’s important to pay attention to your dog’s body language during hot weather, especially if you live somewhere where temperatures easily climb above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 C).
What are the treatment options for a dog with this condition?
The following information will help you figure out why your dog is panting, licking the air, or sticking their tongue out.
But before we get into that, let’s take a look at some things that might cause your dog to act like this.
While it’s common for pets to lick their paws when walking on hot pavement, sticking their tongues out isn’t usually an indication of illness.
This is because licking your paw is a natural reflex to keep your feet warm.
Dogs have no such instinct, so when they stick their tongues out it means they’re either very uncomfortable (e.g., heat stroke), confused, or excited.
In fact, many animals exhibit similar behaviors when they’re anxious about something.
For example, if you see a cat arch its back as though it’s about to attack, it’s probably being stressed out over something.
Likewise, a dog that’s jumping up and down, barking, or growling indicates that he’s nervous or afraid.
This is another reason that dogs may pant and lick the air.
If your pet is exposed to high temperatures for too long, he can suffer from heat exhaustion.
Heat exhaustion occurs when your body doesn’t have enough water to regulate itself properly.
As a result, your blood becomes dehydrated, which leads to fatigue and dizziness.
To avoid heat exhaustion, make sure that your dog has access to fresh drinking water and shade whenever he goes outside.
You should also try to limit outdoor activities during extremely hot weather.
If you think your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion, contact your vet right away.
There are two other conditions that can cause dogs to pant and lick the air.
One is ear infection, which can cause a dog to lick his ears excessively.
The other is dental problems, which can lead to excessive drooling.
If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
In addition, make sure that you give your pet plenty of water throughout the day and feed him a healthy diet.
Your vet can also perform blood tests to check for other health issues.
How can you prevent your dog from getting overheated in the first place?
There are two main factors that make your dog susceptible to heatstroke: the weather, and exercise.
If you live somewhere where it gets hot all year round, then you should take extra care to keep an eye on your dog when it’s particularly warm.
It’s also important to ensure that your dog has access to water at all times.
The second factor is physical activity.
Dogs become overheated when they exert themselves too much.
This can happen if you let them run around outside without any supervision, or if you subject them to a strenuous game of fetch.
These activities require your dog to work harder than usual, so if they aren’t used to the level of effort required, they might struggle to cope.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about these things if you follow some simple rules.
First, never leave your dog alone outdoors during the hottest part of the day.
Second, encourage your dog to play less strenuously, and instead focus on games that require more mental stimulation.
Third, if you’re going to let your dog out, make sure you supervise him closely until he’s cooled off again.
What are the longterm effects of overheating on a dog’s health?
When a dog gets overheated, they start to sweat more than usual.
This causes them to lose body heat faster than normal, which leads to dehydration.
As dehydration sets in, the dog becomes lethargic and will often stop eating entirely.
They may also vomit if their stomach starts to swell up.
Eventually, the dog will become so dehydrated that they won’t be able to keep their heart beating at all.
If left untreated, this condition can lead to death.
If you see your dog acting strangely, like panting heavily or making strange noises, it’s important to take them straight to the vet.