Why is My Dog's Tongue Hot

icon August 1, 2023

A dog's tongue is one of their signature features. They enjoy licking it. Some even like to stick out their tongues. When your dog licks you, you flinch. Because you're surprised to find your dog's tongue is hot. As a dog owner, you may begin to worry if they are sick. In this article, we'll explore the causes of a dog's hot tongue and learn about the physiological and health aspects associated with this phenomenon.

Is It Normal for a Dog's Tongue to Be Hot?

A dog's tongue being slightly warm is generally considered normal and is a common occurrence. Dogs don't sweat like humans do; they primarily regulate their body temperature by panting, which allows them to release excess heat. As they pant, their tongues will naturally become warm. In addition this,
A dog's tongue serves several crucial functions, making it an integral part of their overall health and well-being.

  • Sense of Taste and Smell: A dog's tongue is equipped with taste buds that help them discern different flavors and textures. Additionally, their tongues serve as a scent organ, allowing them to collect and analyze odors, which is why dogs use their tongues to "taste" the air.
  • Cleaning Tool: Dogs use their tongues to groom themselves, keeping their fur clean and free from debris. The tongue's rough texture aids in the removal of loose hair and dirt.

What is the Normal Temperature for a Dog’s Tongue?

A dog's tongue temperature may vary depending on factors such as its activity level, ambient temperature, and overall health. However, a dog's tongue temperature is usually slightly lower than its body temperature. The normal body temperature range for a healthy dog is 100.5°F to 102.5°F (38°C to 39.2°C) when measured rectally. Since a dog's tongue helps regulate body temperature, it is usually a few degrees lower than its core temperature.

In addition to checking your dog's tongue temperature, other signs to look for include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or changes in behavior or activity level.

Why Does a Dog's Tongue Feel Hot?

1. Increased Blood Flow

The tongue contains an extensive network of blood vessels, which supply oxygen and nutrients to the cells. When dogs are active or excited, blood flow to the tongue may increase, causing it to feel warmer.

2. Infection or Inflammation

Occasionally, a dog's hot tongue may indicate an underlying health issue. Infections, inflammations, or other oral problems (Infections in the mouth, such as gum disease or periodontal infections) can cause a rise in temperature. If you notice persistent warmth in your dog's tongue, it's essential to consult a veterinarian for a thorough examination.

Related: Mouth Ulcers in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms& Treatment

3. Natural Cooling

Aside from natural body heat, the most common reason for a dog's tongue to be hot is that they are cooling down. Dogs don't sweat like people do. Instead, they use their tongue as the primary method of lowering their body temperature.
As mentioned earlier, dogs pant to regulate their body temperature. The evaporation of moisture from their tongue and respiratory tract helps cool them down. Consequently, during panting, the dog's tongue may feel particularly warm to the touch.

4. Dogs Biting Tongues

It is possible for a dog to accidentally bite their tongue and cause it to become inflamed or swollen and red and hot. Just like humans, a dog's tongue can be injured by a variety of events. When a dog bites its tongue, it can cause pain, swelling, and sometimes even bleeding.

Some common situations where a dog might accidentally bite their tongue include:

  • During play: Dogs can get very excited during playtime, and in their exuberance, they may accidentally bite their tongue while playing with toys or interacting with other dogs.
  • While chewing on objects: If a dog is chewing on a bone, toy, or any other object, there is a possibility that they may bite their tongue in the process.
  • After dental procedures: If a dog undergoes dental work or has dental issues, they may accidentally bite their tongue as they recover from anesthesia or while their mouth is still numb.
  • Seizures: During a seizure, a dog may involuntarily bite their tongue due to muscle spasms and lack of control over their movements.

If your dog has bitten their tongue, gently lift your dog's lips to examine their mouth. Look for signs of bleeding, swelling, or any visible injuries to the tongue.  If you notice any bleeding from the tongue, apply gentle pressure to the affected area with a clean cloth or gauze pad. This can help control the bleeding. If the bleeding is severe or doesn't stop within a few minutes, seek immediate veterinary attention.

5. Dog Tongue Burns

Dogs can burn their tongues on hot food, just like humans can. Dogs' tongues are sensitive, and exposure to hot temperatures can cause burns or injuries.

Signs that your dog may have burned their tongue include excessive drooling, pawing at their mouth, reluctance to eat or drink, and vocalizing in discomfort. It is hot to the touch. In severe cases, you may observe blisters or inflammation on the tongue or inside the mouth.

 Common situations where a dog might burn their tongue include:

  • If a dog consumes food or drinks that are too hot, it can result in burns to their tongue and mouth.
  • In hot weather, dogs may try to drink water from sources like hoses or metal bowls left in the sun. The water inside can become scalding hot and cause burns to their tongues.

If you suspect your dog's tongue has been burned, you can offer your dog cool, fresh water, but make sure it's not so cold that it irritates their sensitive mouth. If the burn is severe or your dog is in significant discomfort, it is best to seek veterinary care. A veterinarian can examine the mouth, provide appropriate treatment, and relieve pain if necessary

When Is a Hot Tongue a Concern?

While a warm tongue is generally normal, there are instances when it could signal an underlying health problem. It is crucial to be aware of potential red flags, including:

1. Excessive Heat

 If your dog's tongue feels exceptionally hot, and they are panting heavily without an apparent reason (e.g., hot weather or exercise), it might be a sign of heatstroke or fever. Heatstroke is a severe condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.

The Signs and Symptoms of Heatstroke in Dogs

Some common signs and symptoms of heatstroke in dogs include:

  • Heavy Panting
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Bright Red Tongue and Gums
    Rapid Heart Rate
  • Lethargy or Weakness
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea
  • Thick, Sticky Saliva
  • Elevated Body Temperature: A dog's normal body temperature is between 100.5°F to 102.5°F (38°C to 39.2°C). During heatstroke, their body temperature can rise to dangerous levels of 104°F (40°C) or higher.

A fever can also cause your dog's tongue to become hot. You may have noticed that your mouth and tongue get warm when you have a fever. When your internal temperature rises, the temperature of your tongue naturally rises as well. The same is true for your dog. When a dog's body temperature exceeds 103 degrees, it has a fever.

The Signs and Symptoms of Fever in Dogs

  • Elevated Body Temperature
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Shivering or Trembling
  • Warm or Hot Ears and Paws
  • Dehydration
    Coughing and Sneezing
  • Rapid Breathing and Heart Rate
  • Nasal and Ocular Discharge


2. Persistent Warmth

If your dog's tongue consistently feels hot to the touch, and they show signs of discomfort, reluctance to eat, or unusual behavior, it could indicate an infection or inflammation in their mouth or throat.

3. Dehydration

A very dry and hot tongue, along with other symptoms like lethargy, sunken eyes, and loss of skin elasticity, may point to dehydration. Dehydration can be dangerous and necessitates immediate intervention.

4. Pale or Blue Tongue

Most breeds have dark pink or red tongues because they are highly vascularized. A pale or blue tongue may indicate poor oxygenation or circulation problems and may indicate an underlying heart or respiratory problem. However, some breeds, such as the Chow Chow and Chinese Shar-Pei, have naturally blue-black or flat tongues. These are normal phenomena.

Other information about dog tongue color and signs of disease

  • Red tongue: It might indicate a bacterial infection, diabetes, fever, bladder or kidney problems, hyperthyroidism, cancer, or accumulation of toxins in the body.

  • Blue or purple tongue: This could be a sign of heart and circulatory problems, poisoning, organ stress, liver disease, hepatitis, or autoimmune problems.

  • Yellow/orange tongue: If your dog has a yellow/orange tongue, it could be a result of liver, gallbladder, or gastritis dysfunction. Additionally, if the dog is suffering from jaundice, the tongue may turn yellow.

  • Pale tongue: A pale tongue in dogs may be due to weakness, such as anemia, or possibly even leukemia.

  • Black raised area on the tongue: An unusual black lump on the tongue could be a potential sign of melanoma.

Why is My Dog’s Nose and Tongue Hot?

If your puppy's nose and tongue feel warmer than usual and he has mild diarrhea, he may have a viral or bacterial infection in his system. I'm glad to hear that his energy level and diet are normal, but it's best to have him evaluated by a veterinarian If you would like to check his temperature, use a regular rectal thermometer, lubricate it with petroleum jelly and insert it 1 inch into his anus. Hold for 1-3 minutes, then remove and read. A dog's normal body temperature is between 100.5 and 102.5. If he's above 103, you should get him to the vet today. Make sure he's drinking enough water because diarrhea can cause him to lose more fluids during training If he does have a low or high fever, this can also cause him to be more dehydrated.


In summary, a dog's hot tongue is a natural part of their physiology and serves various essential functions, including heat regulation, taste, smell, and grooming. While a warm tongue is generally normal, it's essential to be aware of any concerning signs or symptoms that may indicate health issues.


Leave A Comment
All comments are moderated before being published.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Join The Puainta

Become one of pet parents and get professional tips, immediate product info, updated promotions and discounts, and more surprises from us!