Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pet Tongues | Letting It All Hang Out

Our pet's tongues are used for more than just giving us licks and kisses. The tongue is a helpful tool that allows them to clean themselves and their young, scoop up water when they drink, gives them a sense of taste, and for dogs the tongue acts as a thermometer. When they pant, air passes over the tongue which in turn helps to cool a dog's body down.

Tongues are not only useful, but they are darned cute too! Have you ever seen a dog or cat who's tongue is permanently hanging from their mouth? Their little pink tongues just hanging there and won't stay in. For example, the famous cat Lil Bub. Her tongue is perpetually sticking out of her mouth. Why is that anyways?

Lil Bub. Photo via The All-Nite Images on Flickr. 

Why Do Some Pets' Tongues Hang Out of Their Mouth?


Why do some pets' tongues hang out of their mouth all the time? It is part of their plan to look extra cute and adorable? It's a nice thought, but unfortunately not.

The reason is because these animals have no teeth, or have a lot of missing teeth. The teeth in a dog or cat's mouth hold the animal's tongue in place inside of the mouth. Did you know that Lil Bub has no teeth? That's why her tongue hangs out like that all of the time.

I've also seen several dogs whose tongues hang out of the sides of their mouth. They don't have to be missing every tooth, but perhaps they are just missing several on the side of their mouth. My personal observation is that pugs and chihuahuas very commonly have this trait.

Photo via Adrian Scottow on Flickr. 

I know it might be a little troubling to think about a pet having no teeth. After all, they don't make doggy and kitty dentures... yet. Honestly, most dogs and cats do just fine having no teeth. In fact, many are still able to eat their crunchy kibble.

So just a little bit of fun and interesting pet trivia for you today. If you didn't know before, now you do!

Have you ever met a dog or cat who's tongue hangs out? What did you think? 

19 comments:

  1. I think because we cats can be very relaxt and let it all hang out...looks quite silly, hehehe...but Granny says that it has something to do with the upper or under jawbone. Pawkisses :)

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  2. I very seldom hang my tongue out, maybe I have too many teeth?

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  3. So that's why lil bub's tongue us always out. Now I know...

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  4. Some tongues are cuter than others MOL!

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  5. Wow! Many thanks, I've learnt something today, GREAT!

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  6. When it comes to the furries, even their tongues are cute.

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  7. You just reminded us of Reuben of Floppy Tongue Joy as his tongue hung out for that very reason. Have a serene Sunday.
    Best wishes Molly
    Get some big easy on today.

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  8. For the past weeks, we are learning so much about Dog's Tongue ... lots of interesting information. Yes, we've seen a dog recently with no teeth. I sticky tongue all the time ... for lots of reasons. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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    1. I bet you are learning lots about the tongue right now Sugar. I love seeing your cute tongue hanging out! It goes great with your smile :)

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  9. The gene that makes Chinese Cresteds bald is also responsible for making them lose their teeth!

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    1. You know, I almost wrote them down as another breed that does this too.

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  10. I don't know of any pets with their tongues that hang out. My oldest kitty is missing most of her teeth, but fortunately does not have this issue, and yes she still eats hard kibble just fine!!

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  11. Thanks for the interesting information about pet tongues. We love it when we see an animal's little pink tongue peeking out. :)

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  12. I love learning new stuff,thanks Ann,xx Rachel

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  13. I never knew this. I guess I always thought it was because of some weird genetic thing where they had extra long tongues....no seriously.

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    1. Well, you aren't entirely wrong. Lil Bub does have a genetic condition, but that has caused her to have no teeth.

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