Benefits Of Dog’s Tongues
Have you ever closely examined the amazing muscle that is your dog’s tongue? Chances are you’ve gotten an up-close look whenever Fido has planted happy kisses on your face. But a dog’s tongue does more than administer affection or assist eating and drinking.
Here are some facts from experts at Pet MD, HealthyPet.com and insidepetsworld.com about your pooch’s tongue that may and may not surprise you:
1. A dog’s tongue is a heat regulator — Dogs don’t have sweat glands so they pant after physical exertion and in very hot weather. Open-mouth panting with tongue hanging out allows a dog to expel heat and cool down.
2. A way to show affection or as a cleaning tool — An occasional, gentle kiss from your pooch may make you feel truly loved. Yet, like a human mouth your dog’s mouth is full of germs and it may be wise to avoid Fido’s kisses to your face. Dogs also use their tongue to clean themselves and others. Keep a close eye on excessive licking to rule out wounds and infections.
3. As a heath barometer — The color of a pooch’s tongue (and gums) can be indicative of illness. Not all dog breeds have pink tongues. Consider the Chow Chow or Shar Pei whose tongues can be spotted and turn bluish-black or even purple shortly after they are born. However, if a dog whose tongue is normally pink suddenly appears pale, or yellow to dark in color it should be brought to a v veterinarian right away. Changes in the tongue of a Chow Chow or Shar Pei are more difficult to detect. But any changes at all in a dog’s tongue, including lumps, bums or ulcers need veterinarian attention as soon as possible.
4. As the home to a multitude of taste buds — Dogs possess more tastebuds than other animals, including cats. And they can distinguish between sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Their sense of smell plays a large part in what they choose to eat as well as their plentiful tastebuds.
Many pet health experts agree that any changes in your dog’s appetite or appearance of its tongue should not be ignored. Many serious diseases can be detected early by paying attention to changes to her/his tongue. The earlier these anomalies are detected the earlier treatment can begin and better odds for a favorable outcome.
For more information on the wonders of your dog’s tongue, consult your local Clifton Park veterinarian.