Panting, or opening the mouth with the tongue out, is a common dog behavior. There are various reasons why your canine friend keeps his tongue out with an open mouth. Let’s learn the common reasons why dogs pant or keep their tangs out.
4 Reasons why Dogs open their Mouth with the Tongue Out
Cooling off/Adjusting Body Temperature
Dogs pant or stick their tongue out to cool themselves down. The main reason is the absence of sweat glands on their body like humans. Dogs cool themselves by evaporating fluids in their mouth and tongue. It also exchanges hot air in its lungs with cooler outside air.
Dogs also pant during exercise. The practice is similar to humans’ breathing heavily during a workout. Dogs can release some sweat from paw pads, but it is not enough to cool them down.
Some breeds, like Bulldogs or Pugs, start panting even when they get a little bit warm. The panting speed increase as the body temperature increases.
Panting is generally okay unless it is intense and accompanied by a bright red tongue, swollen gums, wide eyes, and weakness.
Panting won’t cool your dog if the temperature outside is higher than 102°F. You can turn on the AC or keep your dog in a cool place to relieve him during a heatstroke or when the temperature is too hot outside. Some dogs may also dig to find a cool place to rest.
The normal blood flow rate in your dog’s mouth and nose is 700 ml/minute. The rate increases to 700 ml/minute when his temperature rises due to external heat or exercise. The saliva production in your dog’s mouth increases, and it helps increase the cooling rate.
Dogs stick out their tongue when they experience fear, anxiety, stress, or excitement. The common situations when a dog may pant include separation anxiety, vet visit, car rides, fireworks, and seeing other dogs. Most dogs also bark excessively at such times.
You must understand your dog’s body language to identify why it is panting too much. Identifying the reason for sticking the tongue out can help resolve the problem. You must remove the dog from the situation if your dog is doing this because of anxiety or stress.
Many dogs pant or stick their tongue out when they are happy. This behavior is often accompanied by a happy mood. Your dog will probably wag his tail and be relaxed with a friendly facial expression. The panting peak will subside once your dog calms down.
A relaxed and happy dog usually pants mildly, and it is often considered a smiling face.
Dogs are generally very good at hiding pain, illness, or discomfort from their human friends. However, things get out of control sometimes, and they start panting or barking excessively.
Panting in such cases is mostly accompanied by other symptoms like pain, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, limping, lethargy, irritation, and behavioral changes.
It is best to see a vet if you notice such symptoms in your dog with or without panting.
Here are a few medical reasons why your dog may pant or stick his tongue out all the time.
- High fever: A hot body temperature will force your dog to pant more and keep his tongue out.
- Medications: Your dog may keep his tongue out to accommodate an increased respiration rate due to medication.
- Bloating/Gas: Your dog may keep his tongue out if he is suffering from bloating or gas in the stomach. Overeating may also induce this behavior.
- Laryngeal Paralysis: A medical condition characterized by the weakening of the larynx muscle, which results in difficulty berating, may also cause your canine friend to keep his mouth open and tongue out. The panting due to laryngeal paralysis often accompanies a high-pitched wheezing noise. Laryngeal paralysis is common in larger breeds, such as Labrador retrievers.
- Cushing’s Disease: It is caused by excessive production of cortisol, a stress hormone. It can also increase panting in dogs.
Treatment for Sticking Tongue Out
There is no need to worry if panting is due to stress, excitement, playing, or happiness. It will go away on its own after some time or by removing your dog from the situation. Moreover, a dog sitting in front of you, relaxed with an open mouth and tongue sticking out, is his way of showing love and gratitude.
You can turn on AC or offer cold water to reduce your dog’s body temperature or relax him.
A vet visit is only recommended when you can’t figure out the reason behind panting and why it is happening. The vet may prescribe some tests and give medicines based on your dog’s condition. The treatment duration may vary depending on what’s causing the problem.
Why is my dog sleeping with his tongue out?
It relaxes their body by keeping them cool. There is nothing to worry about it. Let your dog sleep peacefully, and you relax as he is just sleeping well.
Why is my dog sitting with his mouth open?
It can be due to various reasons. The most common is that your dog is happy, relaxed, and content with you. He is showing you your love. Your dog may also be cooling himself down. However, if the panting is rapid with wheezing sounds, it is a sign of concern.