There are a few reasons why your dog might sleep with its tongue out.
The Science Behind Why Dogs Sleep With Their Tongue Out
Dogs sleep differently than people do, but there are some things we can learn from them about how dogs sleep.
Dogs have two types of sleep patterns: slow-wave (SWS) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
Unlike humans, who have four stages of SWS, dogs only have two: deep and shallow sleep.
The difference between these two states is based on how long it takes for a dog’s heart rate to fall into sync with its breathing pattern.
During deep sleep, your dog will breathe in and out at the same time, while during shallow sleep, you’ll see an increase in the length between breaths.
During REM sleep, your dog’s eyes flutter open and shut rapidly, which is what makes it seem like your dog is dreaming.
The brain activity during this stage is very similar to when your dog is awake.
However, unlike when your dog is awake, the heart rate and respiratory rate remain constant throughout REM sleep.
This means that your dog is not consciously aware of anything going on around him or her.
Because dogs spend more time sleeping than we do, it’s no surprise that their bodies need to regulate themselves during sleep.
If you want to help your dog feel better rested after a long day, here are three ways to do it:
- Keep your dog active during the day.
- Make sure your dog gets enough exercise.
- Give your dog a good night’s rest every once in awhile.
Health Risks Associated With Dogs Sleeping With Their Tongue Out
According to Dr. Karen K. Hines, DVM, PhD, associate professor of small animal clinical sciences at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, “If a dog sleeps with his or her tongue out, it’s usually because they are cold.
The mouth is a natural air-conditioner, and when the temperature outside is cooler than the inside of the house, they may find it more comfortable to keep their tongues out.”
In addition to keeping themselves cool, sleeping with their tongue out can also help them breathe easier.
According to Dr. Hines, “The tongue has a lot of blood vessels in it, which helps to warm up the body.
If you have a dog who is hot and panting, then he or she will probably try to lick their tongue to cool down.
This is especially true if they are not getting enough exercise.”
However, sleeping with one’s tongue out does come with some risks.
In fact, Dr. Hines says that “if a dog sleeps with his or her tongue out too long, it can actually cause damage to the tongue itself.
The back part of the tongue is called the lingual frenulum, and it is made up of very thin tissue.
It is possible for this tissue to become inflamed from licking the tongue.
Sometimes, this inflammation can lead to infection of the tongue, which can be painful and uncomfortable.”
Dr. Hines adds, “Because these dogs are often panting, they also run the risk of developing pneumonia.
If you notice that your dog seems to be sweating more than usual, it is important to make sure that they get plenty of rest.”
Since dogs can develop problems with their respiratory systems due to sleeping with their tongue out, it is important to monitor their health closely.
When your dog starts to show signs of discomfort, such as panting heavily, coughing, and sneezing, you should take him or her to the vet immediately.
How to Get Your Dog to Stop Sleeping With Its Tongue Out
Here are some tips on how you can get your dog to stop sleeping with their tongue out.
- 1. Make sure your dog has plenty of exercise.
- 2. Give your dog a warm place to rest.
- 3. Make sure your dog’s food is nutritious.
- 4. Pay attention to how much water your dog drinks.
- 5. Feed your dog regularly.
- 6. Check on your dog every day to make sure it’s not getting sick.
- 7. Keep your dog clean.
- 8. Remove any toys from your dog’s bed area.
- 9. Try to keep your dog away from other pets that are known to bite or scratch.
- 10. Talk to your vet about any health problems your dog is having.
- 11. Consider adding an additional dog to your household if possible.
The Pros and Cons of Dogs Sleeping With Their Tongue Out
Dogs often sleep in the same position as their ancestors did millions of years ago, which means that they tend to sleep on their stomachs or sides with their head and legs tucked under them.
This posture allows for plenty of room for dogs’ tongues to hang out without getting in the way.
When a dog sleeps with his tongue hanging out, it can be a sign that he’s feeling uncomfortable, stressed, or even in pain.
There are some other signs that you should look for if you suspect that your dog may have trouble sleeping, including excessive shedding, lethargy, and an increase in urination and/or defecation.
If you think your dog has a problem sleeping, there are a couple of things that you can try to help him get back to normal.
If you want to know more about what causes your dog to sleep with his tongue out, keep reading!
Tips for Making Sure Your Dog Is Comfortable Sleeping With Its Tongue Out
Here is a list of things you can do to ensure your dog is happy sleeping with his or her tongue out:
- Keep your dog from eating too much salt. Salt makes them thirsty, which causes them to pant more when they try to cool down. You can keep this problem at bay by feeding your dog a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Try to make sure your dog has plenty of exercise. Exercise helps your dog burn calories and prevents it from getting too hot.
- Make sure your dog has enough water. When your dog drinks, it can hold on to excess moisture in their mouth and then spit it out later. If your dog is drinking too much water, it will have trouble breathing properly and may even choke.
- If possible, provide shade where your dog sleeps. This will help reduce the amount of sunlight hitting your dog’s face while he or she sleeps.
- Keep your dog’s shelter clean. Make sure there isn’t anything smelly in your dog’s shelter, such as urine. Also, make sure there is no debris around your dog’s shelter. This can cause your dog to lick its fur, which will dry up the fur and cause itching.
- Try to prevent your dog from licking itself. Licking yourself is normal behavior for dogs. However, if your dog licks himself all day long, he may find it difficult to sleep because of how itchy his skin becomes.
- If you think your dog is having trouble sleeping, give him or her an antihistamine pill. Anti-allergy pills work well to calm your dog’s body down.
- Another option is to place a wet towel over your dog’s nose and mouth. This will help your dog breathe better and feel more comfortable.
- Be patient with your dog. It takes time for your dog to get used to sleeping with his or her tongue out. Give it some time before you force your dog to wear a muzzle.
Do All Dogs Sleep With Their Tongue Out?
In general, most dogs sleep in one of two ways: Either curled up on their side or stretched out on their back.
If you have ever seen your dog sleeping on the floor, it’s likely that he did not choose this position.
He may have been forced by an outside force, such as being kicked over while playing or having a pillow yanked from his mouth when he was asleep.
When a dog goes to sleep, he stops breathing.
This is because his respiratory system is at rest.
When he sleeps, his body temperature drops.
Because of this, his blood vessels constrict, which prevents him from sweating.
Sweat glands open only during physical activity, not when the dog falls asleep.
This is where sleeping with the tongue out comes into play.
Since dogs aren’t able to sweat, they must find another way to keep themselves cool.