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3 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About a Dog’s Tongue

by Nathan Zachary
3 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About a Dog’s Tongue

Whether panting heavily after a run or game of fetch, licking off the last morsel of food from the bowl, or painting your face wet with much love and affection, your dog’s tongue plays a crucial role.

The tongue helps a fur baby interact with its environment, which is why it is considered one of the busiest muscles in its body. It assists in eating, drinking, swallowing, regulating body temperature, and more.

Foul odor, drooling, and tongue hanging out are signs of potential health issues like bacterial infections, tongue/mouth inflammation, sore throat, and diabetes. Meet your vet when you suspect mouth disorders in your puppy because early intervention can save your pup from much pain and suffering.

Dental insurance for pets covers a canine fur baby’s unplanned dental bills. Consider buying pet insurance in NZ, including dental coverage, so dealing with unexpected oral and dental issues need not be financially cumbersome.

Meanwhile, read this article to learn three facts you probably didn’t know about a dog’s tongue.

Fact 1: Dog’s tongue helps with cooling down the body.

While humans eliminate toxins through tiny pores in the skin, the same is true with dogs. Dogs sweat through “Merocrine glands” on their noses and paw pads. They also have “Apocrine glands” all over their bodies, functioning to secrete pheromones (scents) and not to sweat.

Dogs rely on panting instead of sweating to keep themselves cool. Air swiftly moves into the mouth, over the tongue, and is channeled into the lungs when your puppy pants, thereby helping with the evaporation of moisture and body cooling. This heat regulation process is critical to maintaining your puppy’s health when its body gets hot.

What must you do when your puppy pants excessively on a hot day? The answer is simple, take your pupper to a cooler location and provide it with plenty of fresh water to drink to avoid dehydration and heatstroke.

Fact 2: Dog’s tongue is smoother and efficient.

If you have ever noticed a cat’s tongue, you will know it is rough and feels sandpapery. However, a dog’s tongue is smooth, unlike a cat’s. The difference is mainly due to their food and living habits.

Cats love hunting and are known for their predatory instincts; at the same time, smaller cats can also become prey for bigger animals. So, they meticulously groom themselves with the help of a barbed tongue to reduce the stench that enables their easy detection.

In contrast, dogs have mostly played the role of predator, whether they lived in the wild, were domesticated, or wandered as strays. Because grooming and scent reduction are unnecessary, a smoother tongue is sufficient to meet their needs.

Fact 3: The tongue helps with drinking water apart from eating.

If you have had experience petting cats and dogs, you would have noticed that your cat rarely spilt a drop while sipping water. Whereas your dog made a splash on the floor while quenching its thirst.

Dogs make a mess while drinking water because they curl their tongues to drink liquids. They curl the tongue tip backwards to spoon water into their mouths, which is why a bigger tongue leads to a bigger spoon and a huge mess.

Spilling water is pretty standard for a dog eager to drink. However, if your puppy has eating difficulties like being unable to pick food, chew, or swallow, there can be a physical issue that needs attention. Take your pup to the vet for testing and treatment.

Dental insurance for pets helps provide your fur baby with quality medical care with little economic stress. Consider purchasing pet insurance NZ that covers dental issues, so dealing with potentially hefty vet bills in times of oral or dental concerns is easier.

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