Why Do Dogs Have their mouth open most of the times?


An open mouth on a dog that's balanced is an indication of the level of the dog's degree of relaxation.* An open mouth is an indicator of a generally calm, relaxed, and unstressed dog, although it is never a guarantee.

When a dog is uncomfortable, anxious, uneasy, tense, etc., they tend to keep their mouths closed: their external, physical structure will seem to parallel and mimic their internal milieu.

A dog's nature is to be calm and submissive, and a calm, submissive dog keeps its mouth open; it takes almost no energy for any dog to walk around with its mouth open--that's why they do it! Thus the dog's outward display parallels its internal world.

Since being stressed internally is an elevated energy level that takes some effort to reach, the external effort also parallels that internal effort in that it takes energy for a dog to hold its mouth closed; the inside is like the outside, and generally vice versa.

It’s normal for dogs to pant, especially when they’re hot, excited, or energetic. Heavy panting is different, though, and may be a sign your dog is dangerously overheated, coping with a chronic health problem, or has experienced a life-threatening trauma.

Unlike humans, one of the few places that dogs can sweat is their tongues. By keeping their tongues out dogs can cool down. Usually it means that they're trying to cool down. When a dog pants, moisture from the dog's exhaled breath condenses on the tongue and then evaporates into the air. This evaporation causes the surface of the tongue to cool. As the tongue cools, the blood flowing through it also cools and helps cool the dog's entire body through the circulatory system.


It's interesting to note that the energy involved in keeping the dog's mouth closed can be seen as;
1An indicator of the dog's stress
2. A communication of the dog's stress (to those subtly aware of it), 
3The dog's brain's manifestation of a facet of its stress, as well as 
4A reinforcement of the very same stress.

The dog shows uncomfortable signs if it stop panting. You will also notice the tension in her mouth and around her eyes and her ears are pinned back and low. Their mouths are always wide open, and their tongues are usually hanging out as well. Those are relaxed dogs!


When a dog showing signs of stress suddenly stops panting and closes their mouth, that's a warning!  Dogs often close their mouths shortly before they escalate to a snap or bite.



Posted by: Lusubilo A. Mwaijengo

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