Why is My Shih Tzu Sticking Out it’s Tongue?

I know you’re all familiar with the sight of your little furballs with their tongues hanging out.

It can be a little concerning at first, but I’m here to tell you that it’s usually nothing to worry about. In fact, it can be a sign of a happy and healthy dog!

Let’s talk about why Shih Tzu’s stick their tongues out, when you should be concerned, and when you should just let them be.

So, let’s get started!

Why is My Shih Tzu Sticking Out it’s Tongue?

A Shih Tzu sticking out it’s tongue isn’t necessarily cause for concern.

Frequently, it’s a display of comfort and relaxation.

Yet, for any new or strange behavior, it’s a good rule of thumb to consult with a veterinarian, especially if you sense there might be an underlying issue behind it.

1. Your Puppy Is Relaxing

Witnessing your Shih Tzu lounging on the couch or sprawled on the floor in deep sleep with their tongue hanging out can be a sign of true relaxation.

When dogs are incredibly comfortable, their muscles relax, and sometimes their tongues just tag along.

It’s normal behavior and indicates that your furry friend is at ease. Often, this tongue-out pose follows a satisfying meal, a refreshing nap, or simply being in your company.

In this case, there’s no need to rush to the vet. It’s a harmless and natural behavior that’s more likely a sign of contentment than distress.

However, if you’re observing this for the first time, keeping an eye on it might be a good idea.

Just remember that as your Shih Tzu becomes more active, their tongue might retreat back into their mouth.

Otherwise, feel free to let that cute little tongue hang out!

2. Your Fur-ball’s Reacting to New Medication

If your Shih Tzu has recently started taking new medications, a potential side effect could be the tendency to keep their tongues out.

In such cases, it’s advisable to have your vet investigate further, as this behavior might signal an underlying issue or discomfort.

It’s a way for them to communicate that something might not feel right.

Reach out to your vet for guidance and consider a visit if the behavior persists.

3. Your Dog May Have Hanging Tongue Syndrome

Hanging tongue syndrome isn’t unusual, and it’s something that can occur in various dog breeds, including Shih Tzus. More often than not, it’s not indicative of any health issues or concerns requiring correction.

While it’s more commonly associated with breeds like pugs due to genetics, brachycephalic breeds, such as Shih Tzu’s, might have this condition because of an overbite or underbite.

Additionally, and though uncommon, instances where their tongues hang out might also result from the growth of a tumor or mass inside their mouth.

Whenever you observe their tongues hanging, it’s wise to have your vet examine them during their next visit especially if this is a new behavior for your dog.

Why is My Shih Tzu Sticking it’s Tongue Out and Breathing Heavy?

In most cases, a Shih Tzu sticking out their tongue and breathing heavily is just a sign that they’re handling their body temperature like a champ.

However, if you notice anything that seems out of the ordinary, remember that your veterinarian is always there to keep your furry friend’s health in check.

1. Your Shih Tzu Is Panting

Panting is a natural behavior in dogs, particularly when they’re feeling a bit warm or after physical activity and may be needing some water.

In hot weather, it’s their way of regulating body temperature and keeping cool.

So, the good news is, heavy breathing and tongue hanging out often just means your Shih Tzu is managing their heat levels.

Just a note to keep in mind, while it’s common for Shih Tzu’s to pant during exercise or excitement, not all panting indicates thirst.

2. Your Doggy Needs to Cool Down

To help your Shih Tzu stay comfortable, ensure they’re in a cooler environment. If it’s a sunny day, moving them to a shaded spot can make a world of difference.

Don’t forget to keep their water bowl filled with fresh, cool water – it’s their go-to refreshment after all that panting.

Keep an eye on how the panting progresses. It’s normal for them to pant a bit even after they’ve had a drink and settled in the shade.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Sleep with His Tongue Out?

The next time you spot your Shih Tzu having a snooze with their tongue out, remember that it’s all about comfort, coolness, and maybe a touch of genetic issues.

1. Your Pet is in Deep REM Sleep

Picture this:

Your Shih Tzu lounging in the coziest spot, tongue lazily out, and a dreamy expression on their furry face.

This cute sight often means they’re super comfortable and happy.

Alongside the tongue, look for other cues of relaxed behavior, like a not-so-tense posture, soft eyes, and an overall chilled-out demeanor.

After a day of zoomies and play, your dog is more likely to fall asleep with their tongue out, showing they’re totally at ease.

2. Your Puppy is Keeping Cool

While dogs don’t sweat like we do, their tongues play a crucial role in regulating body temperature.

As they sleep, that delightful tongue might pop out, especially if it’s warm.

How does it work? When the tongue comes in contact with the air, saliva evaporates, taking away heat. Think of it as your Shih Tzu’s personal air-conditioning system, even in dreamland.

Just keep in mind that there’s a difference between your dog snoozing with their tongue out and actual panting.

If your pup is panting during the night, it could be tied to emotions like fear, stress, or anxiety.

3. Your Dog’s Genes are to Blame

Genetic factors can significantly influence why your Shih Tzu might catch some Zsss with their tongue peeking out.

Reasons behind this cute genetic quirk might include:

  • Their tongue size is a bit too big for their mouth.
  • Their jawbone has an unconventional shape that doesn’t keep the tongue tucked.
  • Missing teeth create spaces where the tongue can sneak out to say hello.

No worries, though! These genetic traits are more endearing than anything else and typically don’t cause discomfort or harm.


Why is your Shih Tzu sticking out it’s tongue?

Your furry friend is sticking out their tongue due to a mix of comfy relaxation, smart temperature regulation, and perhaps a need to hydrate and cool down.

Remember, your Shih Tzu’s adorable quirks make them all the more lovable.

So, embrace the cuteness, and keep sharing those heartwarming moments and remember you know your pet best. If something seems out of the ordinary don’t hesitate to reach out to your vet.

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