Why do dogs stick out their tongues? Reasons

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In the canine world, the tongue is a vital tool that not only serves to drink water or taste the flavors of food, dogs stick out their tongues for many others, such as communicating with each other or lowering their body temperatures.

There are also races that by mere genetics have or seem to always have their tongues out of their mouths. So we are going to review all the reasons why your dog can have the long time outside, so you will better understand this curious gesture.

Index of contents

  • 1 Regulates your body temperature
    • 1.1 Why is the language sometimes so long?
  • 2 It is a form of communication
  • 3 Helps them stay clean
  • 4 To smack
  • 5 It shows us your state of health
    • 5.1 And why does he stick his tongue out when I stroke him?
  • 6 The strength of genetics

Regulates your body temperature

Incredible as it may seem, dogs’ tongues are like a radiator that helps them remove excess heat from their bodies. Dogs don’t sweat as they barely have sweat glands.

And the few they have are located under their feet, on the pads. So they don’t use them to sweat and chill like humans do. What dogs do is stick their tongues out to cool off in what we know like gasping or gasping.

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The tongue of the dogs has a great circulation of blood, so that the warm blood moves to the tongue, where it cools to circulate again through the dog’s body, thus eliminating excess heat. It is in short, the operation of a radiator.

Why is the language sometimes so long?

Based on the need for blood that the dog needs to cool, we can see that it simply sticks out its tongue with a normal size or that it completely extends this muscle to take advantage of the maximum possible space, thus expanding its cooling capacity.

So when it is very hot or the dog has exercised a lot, it is normal to see that the size of its tongue is much larger than usual. It is not a bad thing, as you regulate your temperature it will return to its normal size.


It is a form of communication

Within the canine language we find gestures and actions such as licking another dog, which indicates affection and respect. It is a way for dogs to communicate with each other and sometimes even to communicate with us.

Also, when a dog smells another area where there is a wound, you will notice that it licks it to help clean it. It is a form of natural disinfection that dogs use, inherited from their ancestors wolves.

Helps them stay clean

Dogs do not have hands with which to groom themselves, but they do have a virtuous tongue capable of reaching all corners. It is totally normal and healthy, to see a dog lick the legs, the groins and even their intimate parts to clean them.

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Sometimes when they have itching in their anal glands because they have not emptied well, or because they have intestinal parasites, we will also see how they lick with intensity to reduce the itching.

To smack

It is not uncommon to see a dog skimming over and over again after it finishes eating a delicious meal. It is something completely normal, they take the opportunity to clean their lips and incidentally, eat any rest that may have been there.

If the salivation is great because they are hungry or in front of a succulent food, it will also be normal to see them with their tongues out, trying to avoid drool.

It shows us your state of health

Dogs also stick out their tongues when they are in a stressful situation, it is a clear symptom of stress or anxiety. When they are tired or thirsty they also teach it to us. Similarly, some diseases have among their symptoms that the dog has his tongue out of his mouth longer than necessary or usual.

The color of the dog’s tongue can help us know if it is healthy or sick, a pinkish or even a little reddish color is considered normal (except in breeds with a bluish or blotchy tongue). A dark or purple tone on the tongue, is synonymous with lack of oxygenation, which indicates that there is a health problem.

And why does he stick his tongue out when I stroke him?

Surely on more than one occasion you have wondered why dogs stick out their tongues when we pet them or when we talk to them. It is because in this way they express excitement and joy, one more way of expressing themselves through their body language.

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The strength of genetics

Some breeds are much more likely than others to have their tongues out of their mouths without meaning absolutely anything of the above mentioned. This happens by mere genetics and is not something that can be solved in any way.

Some breeds like the pug, the Pekingese, the Shih Tzu or even the chihuahua, they just have their tongues always out because they are like that, morphologically speaking.

Now that you know all the reasons, do you know why your dog sticks his tongue out?