Chihuahuas are among the smallest dogs in the world. They tend to be affectionate, playful, and very loyal. However, there are a lot of chihuahua owners around the world who try to understand why a Chihuahua’s Tongue Is Sticking Out? Why this phenomenon happens even when the chihuahua is asleep? and if it is the symptom of a health concern.
Firstly, we want to ensure you that this kind of behavior is actually normal and very common in chihuahuas. So, there is nothing to worry about.
In order to put our readers into perspective and to help them understand this phenomenon. We have outlined and clarified several reasons for this unwanted behavior. Each reason is followed by a fix you can try.
1. Your Chihuahua dog Is Dehydrated
When your chihuahua is dehydrated, her tongue may hang out. Put in mind that dehydration in pets can be the cause of serious health complications including heatstroke, kidney failure, cancer, diabetes, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. As you can see these health concerns are subdivided into two categories severe and normal.
If your chihuahua is dehydrated for a long period of time, he may display one of the following symptoms alongside hanging tongue.
- Loss of appetite
Put in mind that chihuahuas need to drink water regularly.
There must be always enough water in your chihuahua’s water supply during the day. Additionally, the water must be fresh and its temperature must be neither cold nor hot. The question of water temperature must be controlled especially on summer days.
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2. Your Chihuahua Is Overheated
This is one of the major reasons why your chihuahua’s tongue is hanging out. Most dogs are panting due to the high temperature or exhaustion.
Just like other dog breeds chihuahuas tend to behave this way because it is necessary for their comfort and endurance. You might be asking why my chihuahua is panting.
The ambient temperature can lead your chihuahua to be overheated. Although you are leaving in an area where the temperature is not too hot. Putting your chihuahua inside a car with closed windows can result in overheating your chihuahua.
To explain this phenomenon technically. You should know The difference between humans and dogs in regulating their body’s temperature. Humans tend to sweat and dogs pant. Dogs including chihuahuas have sweat glands in their paws and ears, for this reason, they hang out their tongue to accelerate the cooling in their bodies.
When a chihuahua is overheated, she may pant her tongue out to help regulate her body’s temperature.
Additionally, the chihuahua’s panting makes water molecules evaporate in the moist organs of the chihuahua such as the mouth, lungs, and tongue. This way the dog’s body heat will dissipate.
Until now it is crystal clear that panting is normal for dogs and we should expect it on hot days or after exercise. However, there are some panting behaviors that are unusual that should be brought to our veterinarian’s attention.
Here are examples of abnormal panting
- When the chihuahua’s panting frequency and intensity are unusual
- It happens on cold days
- When it occurs when the dog is at rest. ( lack of any type of activity)
- Your chihuahua’s panting is loud
- When you notice that your chihuahua makes a big effort during panting
Some of these abnormal paintings could be a symptom of some type of heart or lung concern.
3. Your Chihuahua Is very happy and Excited
As we mentioned above, the chihuahua is a very active breed.
Being content or overstimulated is another reason why your chihuahua may pant. For instance, when a chihuahua is very excited to welcome her owner after a long day of work, She may hang her tongue out with a wagging tail.
Also, when a chihuahua is very excited about something such as a treat or a new toy. The dog may wag her tongue while wagging her tail. In fact, this is how dogs express their excitement and happiness.
Chihuahuas are very active and have a very fast metabolism. These two factors make this dog unique and always ready for fun and joy. You will notice that when whenever you ask your chihuahua to play or to go out, she will stick her tongue out.
These behaviors will be repeated during walks, car rides, or playing. In other words, this is a simple sign that your chihuahua is happy and excited.
Chihuahuas’ emotional intelligence is high. For this reason, whenever the dog feels that you are about to start something funny. Then the dog will hang her tongue out. You should put in mind that this is totally natural for dogs.
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4. Your Chihuahua May suffer from Hanging Tongue Syndrome
The reasons we mentioned before are harmless and temporary. But, Hanging Tonge syndrome can represent a big danger to your dog.
Hanging Tongue Syndrome is a very rare and serious health concern. It may occur in all dog breeds including chihuahuas. When you notice that your dog’s tongue never retreats back into the mouth, then you should take her immediately to your veterinarian.
This condition is a result of various issues such as congenital defects, unknown neurological issues, or an injury.
The veterinarian can diagnose this issue if only it goes alongside the following symptoms:
- A dry, split Tongue
- Bad breath
- Bleeding inside the mouth and of the tongue
- Thickening of the tongue
This condition can lead to some unwanted results. For instance, when your dog can’t pull back her tongue into the mouth cavity. Then, the dog will face difficulties eating, and pain while eating. Consequently, this situation will result in malnutrition. And as you know, Malnutrition can lead to weight issues and many other health concerns.
Additionally, This condition can hurt your dog’s tongue in so many ways. Hanging out the tongue permanently can lead to sunburn of the tongue, infection as the bacteria can penetrate into the cracking and open sores, dehydration, and frostbite.
The treatment or remedy of this condition depends on the cause behind it. And it is the role of your veterinarian, never do the diagnosis yourself. Also, the information you find on the web will never be a substitute for your veterinarian’s advice.
Fortunately, when the vet will identify the true cause that triggered this condition, your dog’s tongue will be back to its place and the dog will have control over it again.
In order to limit the suffering of your chihuahua, you can put regularly olive oil on the tongue. This way you can limit dryness and cracking of the tongue. Also, you will want to switch to softer foods to help your dog eat comfortably and get her nutrition needs.
In some cases, the veterinarian may prescribe some medication in severe cases to limit the suffering of your dog.
5. Missing teeth
Chihuahuas are prone to dental and gum disease. It is common in chihuahuas due to their smaller mouths and jaws. When the owner doesn’t clean his dog’s teeth on a daily basis, the disease will spread fastly and in an easy way.
Tooth loss is the wake-up call that your chihuahua‘s mouth disease is here. There are also some symptoms that can tell you that your tiny dog has a mouth or gum disease including Bad breath, pain while eating, the color of teeth, bleeding gum, and drooping food.
As mentioned before, to avoid mouth or gum disease in your dog you should follow strict daily preventive measures.
Here are some tips that can prevent mouth and gum disease from occurring in your chihuahua :
- Brushing your chihuahua’s teeth
- Provide a high-quality food brand
- Buy teeth-friendly toys
- Regular checkups of teeth and gum by the vet
- Use stainless steel bowls instead of plastic bowls
6. Your Dog is stressed
We mentioned earlier that excitement is one of the main causes of why your chihuahua’s tongue is sticking out. However, stress and anxiety can also lead to this phenomenon. In fact, some chihuahua parents can mistake stress for excitement. Due to their temperament, chihuahuas can easily get stressed or anxious.
In order o to distinguish stress from excitement here are some signs of stress :
- Being shy
- Excessive stressed barking
Being alone for a long time period, and lack of activity and stimulation. These are the main reasons why dogs including chihuahuas can be stressed.
THIS ARTICLE MAY HELP: Leaving a chihuahua home and separation anxiety
It is pretty clear that chihuahuas Jaws are fragile. They can get injuries to the mouth easily.
Sticking out their tongue is a sign that something painful is happening inside their mouth. Especially if it is the first time your chihuahua does so.
This behavior normally goes alongside whining and loss of appetite. Chihuahuas are good at communication. Sticking out their tongue means that they need help.
The causes behind mouth injuries are various including :
- Insect bites such as bees.
- Injuries caused by chewing hard items
- Strange object stuck in the mouth
- Animal bit especially while playing with other pets.
Put in mind that chihuahuas’ bones are fragile, they can have fractures that may happen somewhat facilely.
When you notice that your dog doesn’t allow you to touch his mouth and activate the protective mode. It could be a symptom of an injury.
In this case, you have to take your dog to your vet ASAP.
8. Your chihuahua’s tongue is long.
Chihuahuas are toy breeds, they are small. Some of them can be born with proportionally long tongues. In this case, it is difficult for chihuahuas to hold their tongue inside their mouth.
Additionally, You should not worry a lot when your dog’s tongue is long. But, you have to follow the measures we have mentioned before in the case of Hanging Tongue Syndrome. Such as keeping the tongue moisturized.
9. Misaligned Teeth or deformities
There are a few types of deformities that can cause your Chihuahua to stick out their tongue.
Underbite and overbite are two types of deformities that can occur in chihuahuas and may cause their tongue to stick out.
Underbites are more common and popular in chihuahuas. However, both can cause the phenomenon of the tongue sticking out.
These deformities can lead to serious health issues if lift untreated.
Dogs’ mouths and jaws are naturally designed to keep everything clean and safe. If you notice that your chihuahua’s jaws are not natural. You have to ask the advice of a vet who does dental procedures.
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Chihuahuas will also need your help and care. Sticking their tongue out could be normal or a sign of something wrong. It is your role to take care of their safety and well-being.
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