Don’t you just love Chihuahuas? These small dogs are adorable, but watch out for their large personalities! Chihuahuas are known for being the smallest dog with one of the largest personalities around! Chihuahuas are fun dogs and want to be close to their people!
If you have a Chihuahua, have you ever noticed his tongue sticking out quite a bit? Have you noticed your fur baby’s tongue hanging out when he sleeps? If so, then you’ll be happy to know that this is very normal behavior for Chihuahuas! Your fur baby is completely normal!
While sticking his tongue out is normal for a Chihuahua, there are some instances where this may be an indication of an issue you may need to check.
In this article, we take a look at what causes your Chihuahua to stick out his tongue, what it can mean, and whether it’s something you need to be concerned about. Let’s get started!
What Does a Chihuahua Do with His Tongue?
Chihuahuas, like other dogs, use their tongues for many things. For one thing, we’re pretty sure your tiny fur baby shows you his love by kissing you with his tongue! But these dogs also do other things with their tongues, including:
Cooling off: Chihuahuas and other dogs use their tongue to regulate body temperature. Dogs don’t sweat through their skin, as we do. Instead, they cool themselves off through panting and sweating through the pads on their paws.
Healing/soothing: a Chihuahua’s tongue may also be used to lick and clean sores and wounds. Licking these areas helps them to heal faster.
Cleaning: these dogs also use their tongues for grooming and cleaning themselves. Mother dogs also use their tongues to clean their puppies.
Eating & drinking: Chihuahuas and other dogs also use their tongues for eating and drinking. The tongue can be used to bring water or food to the dog’s mouth. In addition, the tongue also helps to break down the food and swallow it without choking.
These are the main reasons a Chi’s tongue may hang out! However, there are other reasons that may cause a Chihuahua to stick out his tongue! But one thing we’re sure of; Chi’s don’t stick out their tongues on purpose when you’d like to take a picture. As far as we know, that’s only human behavior!
Why Does My Chihuahua Stick His Tongue Out?
Here are some other reasons that a Chi may stick his tongue out!
1. Dog May Have Missing Teeth
In some cases, a Chihuahua may stick his tongue out if he’s missing some teeth. The most common reasons for a dog to have missing teeth is tooth decay and gum disease. However, older dogs may lose teeth, too.
Gum disease is a very common problem in Chihuahuas. They have smaller jaws and mouths, which makes their teeth more crowded. It’s easier to develop tooth and gum issues for this reason. And a Chi may also lose teeth because of age or damage to teeth caused by chewing on something very hard.
If your fur baby has problems with his teeth and gums, you may notice these symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Tongue sticking out
- Tooth discoloration
- Pain when eating (the dog may not want to eat much and have trouble chewing)
- Bumps in mouth
- Drooling/dropping food
- Bleeding in gums or mouth
It’s essential to brush your dog’s teeth every day to prevent these types of mouth and tooth issues. Brushing your dog’s teeth also makes it easier to spot mouth or tooth problems early before they become a major problem.
2. Cooling Off in Hot Weather
Another common reason a Chihuahua may stick his tongue out is that he’s too warm. Sticking his tongue out can help cool a dog off. However, if your fur baby is breathing or panting fast and hard, then there’s a problem. It could be your dog is overheating or developing heatstroke.
- Here are some ways to help keep your diminutive canine companion cool:
- Set a fan near his bed or where he likes to relax
- Make a small pool for the dog to splash in (but never leave your dog unattended, in case he slips)
- Buy an auto-fill water bowl or one that has a fountain and continuously circulates the water
Keeping your fur baby cool is essential in the warmer months. So, be sure to pay attention to your Chi’s panting, breathing, and his body temperature.
3. Excitement Can Cause a Chi to Stick His Tongue Out
What’s more fun than seeing your Chihuahua excited? He may be excited to see you when you come home from work. He may be excited that you’re taking him for a walk or even playing with him! Nothing is cuter than seeing an excited Chi with his tongue hanging out!
However, if your fur baby becomes too excited, that’s not good. He could become overheated or be overexerting himself.
If your canine companion seems to be too excited, then be sure to pick him up and give him some love. He’ll eventually calm down without getting all hyped up!
4. Hanging Tongue Syndrome
A condition called hanging tongue syndrome may cause a Chihuahua’s tongue to stick out. This condition can also be found in other dog breeds. You may notice these symptoms if your dog has this condition:
- Bad breath
- Bleeding, cracked tongue/mouth
- Swollen tongue
- Dry tongue
Left untreated, this condition can lead to infection and dehydration. Hanging tongue syndrome can be caused by different medical conditions, including:
- Missing teeth
- Neurological problems
In many cases, this condition is not reversible. However, it can be managed by daily moisturizing and monitoring the tongue. So, if your fur baby’s tongue sticks out most of the time, and you notice the symptoms mentioned above, then it’s a good idea to get your dog checked by the vet.
5. Long Tongue
Another common problem in some Chihuahuas is that they may be born with a long tongue. If a dog has this problem, he may also have a very small mouth. The dog isn’t able to comfortably pull his tongue all the way into his mouth, so he has to let his tongue hang out.
Usually, this is not a dangerous deformity and is very normal for some Chihuahuas. However, if you’re concerned about this, then it’s always best to talk with the vet. It is possible your fur baby could have hanging tongue syndrome, but it could also be that he has a long tongue and small mouth. The vet can determine what’s going on!
In some cases, the tongue may need to be moisturized if it sticks out most of the time. Otherwise, the dog is healthy and happy! Plus, he has a really cute look with his tongue sticking out!
A Chihuahua’s tongue may be hanging out due to an injury. Small dogs, like dogs of other sizes, are prone to injuries. For one thing, this dog breed has small jaws compared to other dogs. A jaw injury of any kind can make their tongue stick out. This dog breed is more prone to jaw injuries than other breeds.
If a dog has an injury to his mouth, you may notice his tongue sticking out. You may also notice these symptoms:
- Lack of appetite
- Whining or crying
- Not wanting to be touched
- Cowering in fear of being touched
These are indications the dog is in pain and has something wrong. Some common injuries may include:
- Bug or animal bites
- Anything stuck in the mouth or the dog’s teeth
- Cuts or abrasions from sharp sticks, toys, or other objects
- Injuries caused by playing or chewing too hard
If your fur baby is showing the symptoms listed above and his tongue is sticking out, then it’s best to call the vet. Your canine companion may have a mouth or jaw injury that needs to be tended to.
7. Neurological Problems
Some Chihuahuas are prone to seizures. One of the most common signs a Chihuahua is having a seizure is their tongue sticking out. You may also notice these symptoms if your dog is having or has had a seizure:
- Tongue chewing
- Loss of bladder control
- Aimless pacing/whining
- Foaming at the mouth
- Short temper or aggression
If your fur baby has any of these symptoms, immediately take him to the vet. For dogs that are having a seizure and you’re not able to get to the vet right away, then take these steps:
- Remove other pets and young children from the area
- Remove bright lights and turn down loud noises (or move your dog to a quiet area)
- Put your dog in a safe position, surrounded by cushions, towels, or blankets (to provide a buffer)
As soon as possible, be sure to get your dog to the vet. He needs to be checked after having a seizure.
Chihuahuas are also prone to certain deformities that may cause their tongues to hang out. For instance, an underbite or overbite may cause this problem. Even an irregular bite can cause a dog’s tongue to stick out.
Most dogs have an arched mouth that helps the mouth to self-clean. In dogs that have irregular bites, the arch may not be there, or it may not be large enough. If this is the case, the dog may develop infections and inflammation in the mouth, along with tooth problems.
If your Chihuahua seems to have a mouth deformity, it’s a good idea to have it checked by the vet. The vet can explain the problem and show you how to properly take care of your dog’s oral health. And in some cases, the dog may even have to see an orthopedic vet to have their bite fixed.
Some Chihuahuas may also stick their tongues out because they’re dehydrated. Their tongues are sticking out to try and grab some moisture from the air.
Dehydration can be a very dangerous condition for a dog. It can lead to additional symptoms, including:
- Dry nose and gums
- Loss of appetite
- Extreme panting
Dehydration can be caused by different conditions, including:
- Kidney disease
So, if your Chihuahua fur baby is having trouble staying hydrated or you notice concerning symptoms, then be sure to get him to the vet ASAP.
In addition, make sure your dog drinks water to say hydrated. Most dogs need to drink about one ounce of water per day for each pound of weight. That’s a general rule. But if you’re worried your dog is dehydrated, then be sure to get him to the vet immediately.
How to Take Care of Your Chihuahua’s Teeth
You can keep some of these conditions from developing by taking proper care of your Chi’s teeth. Here are some ways to ensure your dog’s mouth is happy and healthy:
- Brush your dog’s teeth regularly
- Only use toothpaste meant for dogs—never use human toothpaste with your dog
- Choose dog food that’s the right size for your Chi’s mouth and not too hard for his teeth
- Use tooth-friendly treats and dog toys
- Check your Chihuahua’s mouth and teeth each day
- Schedule regular dental checkups for your dog with the vet
You may need to get advice from the vet on how to safely brush your Chi’s teeth. If you’ve never brushed a dog’s teeth before, then we highly recommend asking the vet for advice.
And be sure to check your Chi’s mouth and teeth every day. Spotting a problem early means it’s usually easier to treat and fix. The longer the issue goes on, the worse the condition may become. What’s more, conditions such as inflammation and infection could also cause other health issues in other parts of the dog’s body. So, as soon as you spot anything wrong in your dog’s mouth, be sure to call the vet right away.
Summing It Up
So, there you have it! A Chihuahua’s tongue sticking out isn’t a problem in most cases. However, if you ever notice other symptoms (such as those mentioned in this article) or anything that’s off about your Chi, then it’s best to make an appointment with the vet.