Does your dog’s tongue stick out most of the time (or all of the time)? It seems to be quite common in Chihuahuas along with other small breeds. We even have a gallery post on cute chihuahuas with tongues out. I can’t deny it is quite cute to see their cute little tongues peeking out.
But did you ever wonder why it happens? After all, you don’t see people walking around with their tongues hanging out (for the most part anyway).
There are lots of reasons it could happen, including:
- An overbite or under-bite.
- Missing teeth.
- Certain medications.
- Injury to the mouth.
- Neurological problems.
- Deformities of the face or jaw .
- Some dogs stick their tongue out when they are very relaxed or sleeping.
Most dogs only stick their tongues out occasionally but can pull them back in whenever they want to. The dogs who can’t pull their tongue all the way back in may have a condition called Hanging Tongue Syndrome.
Hanging tongue syndrome can become painful to the dog. This is because the tongue is always hanging out of the mouth and is not getting the natural moisture from the mouth so it dries out and cracks. Tongues are very sensitive and this can become quite uncomfortable for the dog. They can also develop an infection and even frostbite (if left outside too long in cold weather) on their tongues.
If your dog has this condition, keep an eye out for any swelling, bleeding, or cracking of their tongue, and seek medical help if you notice these things.
So does your Chihuahua’s tongue hang out? My 4 current pups are too young to deal with this but my previous chi Kilo’s tongue did some of the time since she was missing a few teeth but she was still able to pull it back in.
Paula Simons, DVM
This post has been fact-checked and approved by Dr. Paula Simons DVM. Find out more about Dr. Simons on our About page.