What Does It Mean When A Dog’s Tongue Is Cold? 9 Cool Facts

It can be disconcerting to realize that your dog’s tongue is unusually cold. Upon making this realization, you will probably want to know why the dog’s tongue is cold, if it is something to worry about, and what you can do about it. Read on, for answers.

What does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold? It may simply mean that the dog had licked something cold. It may also be due to panting, hypothermia, hypothyroidism or due to circulatory problems.

Therefore there are many things that can make a dog tongue cold. Some of these dog cold tongue causes (like for instance, licking cold things or panting) are not worth worrying about.

But some other factors that make dogs’ tongues cold (such as hypothermia, hypothyroidism and circulatory problems) can be rather worrisome.

What does it mean when a dog's tongue is cold
What does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold?

In answering the what does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold question, there are several considerations to make. For instance, you need to explore any other symptoms the dog is presenting, alongside the cold tongue.

For instance, if a dog has cold tongue and ears, the implications would be different. They would be different from another case where the dog’s mouth is cold as a whole, and not just its tongue.

Other factors like the dog’s age and general state of health are relevant too. They are relevant in figuring out why would a dog’s tongue be cold.

Ultimately though, the cold tongue situation is usually less worrisome than another where the dogs tongue is hot. So that should be a bit of a reassurance.

 

Is It Normal For A Dog’s Tongue To Be Cold?

In answering the what does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold question, a good place to start would be by finding out whether it is normal for a dog’s tongue to be cold.

The answer is that there are certain situations in which it is normal for a dog’s tongue to be cold. Then there are other situations in which it is abnormal for dogs’ tongues to be cold.

Take, for instance, where a dog’s tongue is cold on account of licking cold things.  Those may be cold things such as ice, grass, cold water or window panes. In that case, the answer to why is my dog’s tongue cold question would be obvious.

And in that case, the state of the dog’s tongue being cold would be quite normal.

Take another instance where, on account of it being generally cold (in terms of ambient temperatures), you find the dog’s tongue being cold as well. In this case, the answer to why is my dog’s tongue so cold question would also be easy to figure out.

And in this case, the dog’s cold temperature would be normal: though not necessarily good.

But where, for instance, the dog’s tongue is cold due to hypothyroidism or circulatory diseases, then it is not normal at all.

How long the problem of the dog’s tongue being cold persists can be helpful in determining whether it is normal.

Where, for instance, a dog’s tongue is cold for a few minutes after licking cold stuff, then that is normal. But where you have a dog whose tongue is always cold, then it is not normal.

If, besides coldness, you are also seeing unhealthy dog tongue color, then here the dog tongue coldness would abnormal.

 

What Temperature Should A Dog’s Tongue Be?

Before proceeding any further in tackling the what does it mean when a dogs tongue is cold question, we need to find out what the dog’s tongue temperature should be like.

As it turns out, dog tongue temperature should be in the 101 to 102.5 degrees (Fahrenheit) range.

Thus if, for instance, you find the temperature lower than, say, 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then that would be manifestly colder than usual.

You would therefore be entitled to ask, why is my dog’s tongue so cold?

And then you can take it further and ask, what does a cold tongue mean in a dog? Or what does it mean when your dog’s tongue is cold?

Conversely, if the dog’s tongue temperature is much higher than 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, it means that it is abnormally hot.

If, for instance, you find the temperature at 105 degrees Fahrenheit, you may assert that my dog’s tongue is warm to an abnormal degree.

And if, for instance, it is at 105 or 107 degrees Fahrenheit, it would be a case where dog has hot tongue.

You would therefore need to start investigating the dog hot tongue causes, and how to deal with them. So the question to tackle there would be, why is my dogs tongue hot and what can I do about it.

Some of the factors that can make dog tongue hot are quite worrisome, just like some of factors that can make dogs mouth cold.

Ultimately though, a dog’s tongue temperature should be in the 101 to 102.5 degrees (Fahrenheit) range.

 

How Do You Know If A Dog’s Tongue Is Cold?

Another important aspect in this discussion (on what does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold) is that of how to tell if a dog’s tongue is cold.

The subjective way is by sensing how the dog’s tongue feels against your body. Most pet dogs have a tendency to lick their owners at every opportunity.

There are times when the dog’s tongue feels unmistakably cold when it licks you. Indeed, this is how most people come to realize that their dog’s tongues are cold. That is also generally how the problem of a cold mouth in dogs is usually detected.

Indeed, even a case where we have the dog’s tongue warm, the dog owner will normally detect it when the dog licks them.

Even where someone complains, my dog’s tongue is hot, the detection is usually when the dog licks the owner.

The objective way to tell if a dog’s tongue is cold is by using a thermometer.

As noted earlier, a dog’s tongue temperature should be in the 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit range.

Therefore if you find the temperature much lower than 101 degrees, you know that it is cold.

But it is worth mentioning that when it comes to taking a dog’s overall body temperature, the mouth is usually not the best place to do so.

This is because dog’s mouths are sometimes colder than the rest of their bodies. Why are dogs tongues cold, one may ask? And the answer is that dogs pant a lot, which lowers their tongue temperatures.

In most cases then, when one needs to take a dog’s body temperature, the best way is via rectal thermometers.

 

What Does It Mean When A Dog’s Tongue Is Cold?

In some cases, when a dog’s tongue is cold, it is simply on account of the dog having licked cold things.

Certain other cases of dogs’ tongues being cold are due to panting. When a dog pants, it is usually in a bid to lower its body temperature. And that normally involves the tongue, which is a key thermoregulation organ in dogs.

We also have cases where dogs’ tongues are cold due to hypothermia. If a dog is cold (due to being in very cold conditions), its tongue may also feel cold.

Then there are cases where dogs’ tongues are cold due to hypothyroidism. Here, you find that the thyroid is not properly producing the hormones it should be producing. That may manifest through a cold dog tongue.

Further, there are instances where dog’s tongues are cold due to circulatory problems. So on account of circulatory problems, the dog’s tongue doesn’t get all the blood it needs. Therefore it becomes cold.

To pinpoint the exact reason for dog’s tongue being cold, you may need to look at the other signs that the dog is showing. Therefore those are relevant in answering the what does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold question.

Take for instance, a case where both the dog’s tongue and nose are cold. There, the question to ask yourself would be, why is my dog’s tongue and nose cold? That will give you hints on why exactly the tongue is cold.

Take another case where the dog’s tongue is cold and pale. There the question to ask yourself would be, why is my dog’s tongue cold and pale. Again this will give you hints on why exactly the tongue is cold.

 

Licking Cold Things As A Reason For Dog’s Tongue Being Cold

Sometimes, the answer to the what does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold question is very simple and straightforward. It turns out to be on account of the dog having licked cold things.

For instance, if a dog licks on ice or cold water, its tongue will be cold. This would be on account of temperature conduction.

Similarly, if a dog licks on cold window panes glass, its tongue may become very cold.

This sort of coldness tends to be transient though. After a while, the dog’s tongue will go back to its normal temperature.

Nonetheless, in trying to answer the what does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold question, this is a worthwhile consideration to make.

 

Panting As A Reason For Dog’s Tongue Being Cold

There are cases in which the answer to the what does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold question turns out to be on account of panting.

When dogs pant, it is usually in a bid to lower their body temperatures. When a human being is hot, he sweats and thus manages to lower the body temperature.

But when a dog is too hot, it lowers its temperature through, among other mechanisms, that of panting.

Thus if a dog that was panting licks you with its tongue, the tongue will feel abnormally cold.

Again, this is a possibility you need to consider, while trying to figure out what does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold.

What does it mean when a dog's tongue is cold
What does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold?

 

Hypothermia As A Reason For Dog’s Tongue Being Cold

If a dog is cold (on account of being in a place with low ambient temperatures), then its tongue may become cold.

Therefore in answering the what does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold question, this is yet another possibility to consider.

Even in a case where my dog’s breath & tongue are very cold, this would be a possibility to consider.

So this would mean that there is need to raise the dog’s temperatures urgently (through blankets, heating pads and so on). Otherwise the dog’s condition may deteriorate fast.

 

Circulatory Problems As A Reason For Dog’s Tongue Being Cold

Quite a number of cases where dog’s tongues are colder than usual are due to circulatory problems.

Therefore in trying to figure out what does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold, this would be a possibility worth considering.

Sometimes, the circulatory problems may simply be due to the dog sleeping in an improper posture.

Suppose a dog sleeps in a posture that impairs supply of blood to the tongue. Then the tongue will become cold.

It is worth remembering that dog sleep tends to be very eventful. It sometimes leads to the dogs even biting their tongues as they sleep. That is why, for instances, questions like ‘why do dogs bite their tongue while sleeping’ are so common.

Or, due to that very reason, you may find someone asking, what to do if my dog bit his tongue?

Ultimately though, improper sleeping position can impair the supply of blood to the dog’s tongue. This would lead to the dog having a rather cold tongue upon waking up.

There are also circulatory problems that are due to problems in the dog’s heart. Then there are others that are due to problems in the dog’s arteries and veins. And there are those that are due to inadequate blood, as in the case of anemia.

All these can lead to a dog having a cold tongue.

If, for instance, my dog’s gums are cold, as well as its tongue, this could be the reason. Even where my dog feels cold and is lethargic, this would be a possibility worth considering.

In the final analysis, while trying to answer the what does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold question, it being  due to circulatory problems is worth considering.

 

Hypothyroidism As A Reason For Dog’s Tongue Being Cold

If a dog has hypothyroidism, its thyroid doesn’t produce all the hormones it is supposed to produce. This can sometimes lead to, among other signs, that of a cold tongue.

Therefore in answering the what does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold question, this is another worthwhile consideration.

This is a particularly likely thing if my dog feels cold and is lethargic.

This can be a serious problem, and upon diagnosis usually requires long-term or lifelong medication.

 

My Dog’s Tongue Is Cold – Should I Be Concerned?

Right after the what does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold question usually comes this one: on whether a cold dog’s tongue is something to be concerned about.

Whether or not a dog’s cold tongue is something to be concerned about depends on the apparent cause behind it.

Take, for instance, where it is simply due to the dog having licked something cold. In this case, it wouldn’t be worth worrying about.

But take another case where, for instance, it is due to hypothyroidism. Or where it is due to circulatory problems that are related to anemia, vein or artery problems. Here it would be worth worrying about.

Ultimately, the other symptoms the dog is showing can give us useful clues.

The appearance of the tongue itself is worth looking into.

According to the standard dog tongue color chart, the dog’s tongue should be pinkish. That sometimes gives the illusion of a dogs tongue cleaner than humans.

 So if, for instance, the dog’s tongue is cold and white in color, the problem may be something to do with circulation (like anemia – lack of adequate blood).

Where the dog’s tongue is always cold and the dog is always lethargic, the problem may be hypothyroidism or something to do with circulation.

And where the dog’s tongue is cold, and the dog is shivering, the problem may be hypothermia setting in…

Even in case where the dog’s tongue was hot, I would still be concerned while trying to figure out, why is my dogs tongue hot?

Just as I would urgently try to figure out why my dogs tongue is hot (or even what makes the dog’s tongue warm), so would it be necessary to identify the reason for it being colder than usual.

 

My Dog’s Tongue Is Cold – What To Do?

The first step is to try to figure out the most likely reason for the dog’s tongue being cold.

While answering the what does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold question, we saw that there are several possibilities.

It may be due to the dog having licked cold things. Or it may be due to hypothermia/the dog being under cold weather conditions. Further, it could be due to circulatory problems, panting or hypothyroidism.

Once you figure out the most likely reason for the dog’s tongue coldness, it should be easy to chart the way forward.

Take where it seems to be due to the dog having licked cold things. Here, all that may be necessary is to give the tongue enough time to go back to its normal temperature.

What of where it is due to the dog being in cold weather conditions/hypothermia? What may be necessary there is to figure out ways to warm it up. Use blankets, heating pads and so on.

Where it is due to circulatory problems or hypothyroidism, it may be best to consult a vet.

That is also the approach I would take, upon finding that my dog’s tongue is warmer than usual (or that my dog’s tongue feels hot). So I start by figuring out, why is my dog’s tongue so hot?

Then after finding out why is my dog’s tongue hot, I can address the underlying problem – whether that happens to be a fever or anything else.

Similarly, where the dog’s tongue is unusually cold, you first identify the reason behind it. Then take the appropriate corrective measures, in line with the most likely for the cold dog tongue reason you identify.

 

Final Verdict – What Does It Mean When A Dog’s Tongue Is Cold

When a dog’s tongue is cold, it may simply be because the dog had licked cold things – such as ice, cold water or window glass. It could also be due to hypothyroidism, circulatory problems or simply because the dog is cold.

Some reasons for a dog’s tongue being cold are not worth worrying about. For instance, where it is due to the dog licking cold things, it is not worth worrying about.

What does it mean when a dog's tongue is cold
What does it mean when a dog’s tongue is cold?

But if it is due to more serious issues, like the hypothyroidism, circulatory issues or hypothermia that is setting in, then it is worrisome.

A viable solution may be just allowing the tongue to go back to its normal temperature, if it is due to licking cold things. Or you may need to warm the dog up (via blankets, heating pads and so, if it is due to the dog being cold).

Where the dog’s cold tongue seems to be due to circulatory problems or hypothyroidism, it may be necessary to arrange a veterinary visit urgently.

As a pet lover, make sure to learn about pet more and give your pet dog a good and comfortable life!

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