Why Is Dog Sleeping With Tongue Out And Twitching?

Dogs have an uncanny ability to capture our hearts with their quirky and endearing habits.

One such behavior that often leaves us smiling is the dog sleeping with tongue out and twitching.

While it may look amusing, there’s more to this phenomenon than meets the eye.

In this article, let’s delve into why your canine friend sleeps this way, shedding light on the potential meanings and offering insights into ensuring your dog gets the quality rest they need.

Why Is Your Dog Sleeping With Tongue Out And Twitching?

dog sleeping with tongue out and twitching

Your puppy sleeping with its tongue out could be due to a variety of exact reasons, including maximum relaxation, dreaming, high temperature, lacking teeth, alterations in medication, longer tongue, tongue syndrome, anxiety, or nasal blockage.

Maximum Relaxation

Why does my dog jerk and twitch while sleeping? When a dog is in a state of maximum relaxation, all of their muscles, including the muscles that control the tongue, become completely relaxed.

This behavioral pattern explains why the tongue slips out of the mouth when they are deeply asleep because they are not actively holding them in their mouths.

It’s a body language sign that your pet feels utterly comfortable, safe, and at ease in their environment.


Dogs, like humans, experience different sleep cycles, including a phase known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, where dreaming occurs.

During REM sleep, a canine’s brain becomes highly active and may engage in various dream-related behaviors, such as twitching, paw movements, and vocalizations.

Sometimes, the excitement or movements happening in their dreams can cause their tongue to extend or hang out of their mouth.

This is a natural part of the deep sleep cycle and typically nothing to worry about.

High Temperature

Why does my dog stick his tongue out and shake while sleeping? Puppies use panting as a way to regulate their body temperature, especially when they are feeling too warm.

When your furry friend is in a friendly environment or has been physically active, they may pant to cool off.

Sometimes, after panting for a while, the tongue may remain extended even after they’ve stopped panting, leading to the appearance of sleeping with their tongue out.

This is a natural response of the entire body to overheating and is not uncommon, especially in hot weather or after exercise.

Lacking Teeth

Teeth play a role in keeping the tongue in place, and the absence of teeth can sometimes result in an old dog sleeping with tongue out and moving constantly.

In addition, this can happen to adult dogs or those with dental health problems that have led to tooth loss. 

If you suspect that teething issues are influencing your puppy’s sleep patterns or other behaviors, it’s advisable to consult with your veterinarian.

They can guide you in managing the problems and ensure your puppy’s overall well-being and comfort during treatment.

Alterations In Medication

Alterations In Medication

Why do dogs sleep with their tongue out? Alterations in a puppy’s medication can have an impact on their muscle tone and relaxation levels, potentially prompting specific behaviors during sleep, including sticking their tongue out.

Some medicines may induce increased muscle relaxation or drowsiness as side effects.

Hence, when you’ve recently adjusted your dog’s medication, these changes in muscle tone may be contributing to the behavior of the tongue extending during sleep.

Pet parents must be aware of potential side effects or changes in their puppy’s behavior when starting or altering medications.

Longer Tongue

Certain dog breeds exhibit unique physical characteristics due to their genetics, which can include having longer tongues.

In these cases, the length of the tongue may exceed the mouth’s boundaries, even during sleep.

For example, breeds such as Bullboxers (a mix of Bull Terrier and Boxer) and Pugs, known for their distinctive facial features, often have larger tongues than their mouth size.

This can make it more common for their tongues to be visible, particularly when they are in a relaxed or slumbering state.

Tongue Syndrome 

“Tongue Syndrome” is another medical problem in dogs.

Some animals may develop conditions or abnormalities related to their tongue or oral health, which could result in their tongue protruding during sleep.

This could include issues such as elongated soft palates, tongue injuries, or congenital anomalies.

If you suspect your dog has a specific tongue-related medical condition, looking for veterinary treatment for a proper diagnosis is essential.


Why is a dog sticking tongue out and shaking while sleeping? Animals that experience anxiety or stress may display various behaviors, including changes in their sleep patterns.

An anxious canine may have restless sleep, bad dreams, or even sleep with their tongue out as a manifestation of their anxiety.

Addressing the underlying abnormal activity through training, behavioral therapy, or talking with a veterinarian can help alleviate these symptoms.

Nasal Blockage

While the canines typically breathe through their noses, they may switch to mouth breathing if they have a nasal blockage or congestion.

When a dog sleeps with a blocked nose, they may breathe through their mouth, letting their tongue extend outward.

Nasal blockages can stem from various factors, such as allergies, respiratory infections, heart conditions, liver issues, or foreign objects stuck in the nasal passages.

How To Deal If My Dog Has Its Tongue Out While Sleeping? 

How To Deal If My Dog Has Its Tongue Out While Sleeping 

Dealing with your pet’s tongue-out sleeping position involves understanding that it’s typically a natural and harmless behavior.

However, here are some tips to ensure your dog’s comfort and well-being:

  • Ensure Comfortable Sleeping Environment: Provide a comfortable and safe place for your dog to sleep, such as a cozy bed or crate. Furthermore, ensure the bedding is clean and suitable for your dog’s size and breed.
  • Monitor for Health Issues: Keep an eye on your dog’s overall health. If your dog’s tongue-out sleeping behavior suddenly changes or becomes excessive, consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.
  • Temperature Regulation: Make sure the space where your dog sleeps is warm enough. Normally, I will provide adequate ventilation and access to plenty of water whenever my dog tends to stick his tongue out due to overheating for a long time.
  • Dental Care: Consult with your veterinarian about addressing oral health and, if necessary, consider a soft and healthier diet if your canine companion is missing teeth or has dental diseases, causing it to stick its tongue out.
  • Acceptance: Ultimately, if your dog’s tongue-out sleeping position is a harmless and consistent behavior, just accept it as part of their individuality. It’s often an endearing quirk that adds to your puppy’s charm.

Frequently Ask Questions

Is It Normal When My Dog Sleeps With Tongue Out And Twitching?

Yes, it’s usually normal for dogs to occasionally sleep with their tongues out and twitching.

This behavior can be attributed to different reasons, such as dreaming during REM sleep, maximum relaxation, temperature regulation, and certain breed characteristics, especially in brachycephalic breeds.

While this action is generally harmless and endearing, you’d better monitor your canine for any unusual or persistent changes in their sleep patterns and seek emergency vet advice if you have concerns about their health.

How Do You Tell If A Dog Is Having A Seizure While Sleeping? 

To tell if your sleeping dog is having a seizure disorder, watch for signs like muscle stiffness, trembling, loss of consciousness, odd movements, foaming at the mouth, or sudden loss of bladder or bowel control.

Moreover, during a seizure, make sure your furry friend is safe by removing any nearby objects and avoiding their mouth to prevent accidental biting—time the duration, whether it goes beyond five minutes or happens repeatedly.

Finally, keep a record of these episodes for your vet’s evaluation. 

My Dog Suddenly Opened His Eyes When Sleeping: Why?

A dog’s eyes may suddenly open when they are sleeping due to their natural sleep cycles.

Dogs, like humans, go through different sleep stages, including REM sleep, where their eyes can move and briefly open during dreams. 

They might also open their eyes shortly if they hear an unusual noise or detect an interesting scent.

In most cases, this is a normal part of their sleep behavior, not a cause for concern.

Do Dogs Like Being Pet While Sleeping?

Whether or not a dog likes being pet while sleeping can vary from one individual to another.

Some dogs may enjoy it, while others may find it unsettling or even startling.

It largely depends on the dog’s personality, past experiences, and comfort level with physical contact during sleep.

Observe their reaction to determine whether your puppy enjoys being petted while sleeping.

If they show signs of enjoyment, such as relaxed body language, wagging tail in a circle, or contented sighs, it’s likely that they find it comforting.

However, if they seem startled, tense, or show signs of discomfort, it’s best to avoid petting them while they sleep.


A dog sleeping with tongue out and twitching is a common and endearing sight for many pet parents.

While occasional tongue protrusion during sleep is generally harmless, if you notice any concerning changes in your dog’s sleeping patterns or behavior, it’s always a good idea to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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