Let’s face it, Chihuahuas are a breed full of personality. And one of their most endearing (or maybe slightly concerning) quirks is their tendency to let their tongue loll out like a tiny pink flag. But what’s the deal with all that tongue action? Is your Chihuahua just being sassy, or is there something more going on?

Why Do Chihuahuas Stick Their Tongue Out? They’re Not Just Being Sassy (Probably)

There are actually several reasons why your Chihuahua might be rocking the perpetual blep. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Cooling Down: Chihuahuas, with their compact bodies and minimal fur (especially smooth-coated varieties), can struggle to regulate their temperature. Panting is their main cooling mechanism, and sometimes that tongue needs to make an appearance to help things along.
  • Tasting the World: Just like human babies, curious Chihuahuas explore their environment with their mouths. A little tongue action helps them gather information about their surroundings.
  • Feeling Stressed?: Anxiety can manifest in all sorts of ways for Chihuahuas, and tongue sticking out can be one of them. If your pup is in a new situation or feeling overwhelmed, a little tongue loll might be their way of coping.
  • Medical Mischief: While less common, there could be an underlying health issue causing your Chihuahua’s tongue to hang out. Dental problems, neurological disorders, or even dehydration can all play a role.

Is It Normal?

A little tongue peeking out here and there is perfectly normal for Chihuahuas. However, if your Chihuahua’s tongue is constantly hanging out, seems dry or discolored, or is accompanied by other symptoms like lethargy or loss of appetite, then it’s best to consult your vet.

Helping Your Chihuahua Keep It In (Their Mouth)

If your Chihuahua’s tongue seems like a permanent fixture, here are some things you can try:

  • Beat the Heat: Provide plenty of cool water and keep your Chihuahua out of direct sunlight on hot days. A comfy pet bandana dampened with cool water can be a lifesaver during walks!
  • Calm the Chaos: If anxiety is the culprit, identify your Chihuahua’s triggers and work on desensitization training. A safe space with a cozy pet bed can be a great way for your pup to retreat and unwind.
  • Dental Health Matters: Regular dental checkups and proper dental hygiene can help prevent mouth problems that might be causing your Chihuahua discomfort.
  • Vet Check: If you’re concerned about your Chihuahua’s health, a trip to the vet is always a good idea.

Apple Heads vs. Deer Heads – Does Face Shape Matter?

There’s a school of thought that apple-headed Chihuahuas (with shorter snouts) might be more prone to having their tongues hang out simply because of the limited space in their mouth. However, there’s no definitive scientific evidence to support this.

Training and Tongue Control?

Training can’t magically make your Chihuahua keep their tongue in their mouth all the time. However, addressing underlying anxiety issues through positive reinforcement training can help your pup feel more secure and potentially reduce tongue-lolling episodes.

Puppies vs. Seniors – Age and the Tongue

Puppies are still learning to regulate their body temperature, so some tongue exposure is normal. For senior Chihuahuas, excessive tongue lolling could be a sign of dental issues or other age-related health problems. Regular vet checkups are crucial for older dogs.

The Environment and the Extended Tongue

Feeling hot, stressed, or overstimulated can all trigger tongue-sticking-out behavior in Chihuahuas. Pay attention to your Chihuahua’s environment and try to identify and manage potential stressors. A calming Printies pet mat in a quiet corner of the house can create a safe haven for your pup to relax.

Remember, a little Chihuahua tongue action is usually nothing to worry about. But by understanding the reasons behind the blep and taking steps to manage it, you can help your Chihuahua live their happiest, least tongue-tastic life!

Sources and References
  • Kirby, Louise. “Chihuahua Health: What Is Hanging Tongue Syndrome?” Chihuahua School by Chihuahua Power, 9 May 2017, chihuahuapower.dog/chihuahua-health-what-is-hanging-tongue-syndrome/. Accessed 19 June 2024.
  • Wadsworth, Jenna. “4 Reasons Your Dog’s Tongue Sticks Out.” DogTime, 14 Apr. 2023, dogtime.com/dog-health/50849-reasons-your-dogs-tongue-sticks-out. Accessed 19 June 2024.

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