Why Is My Dog’s Tongue Cold? (6 Causes And Solutions)

The sheer happiness dogs show when their owners give them attention is contagious. Who doesn’t smile when their dog is wiggling with joy?

I’d venture to guess that the bond between humans and dogs is unparalleled in the animal kingdom, making them loyal friends for life.

Doing your part in that unmatched friendship isn’t all ear scratches and wiggles though. Obviously, your dog needs to have a safe place to live with plenty of love, but you also need to pay attention to any strange behaviors your dog starts to have as well as know when your furry best friend needs medical attention.

If you spend time with your dog, you’re likely to notice right away when things seem off.  Observing that something is off is the first important step, but knowing if there is a problem and what to do are just as important.

So, what about a dog with a cold tongue? Why is my dog’s tongue cold? Your dog’s tongue might be cold for a variety of reasons, some of which are a little more evident than others. There are obvious reasons like licking or drinking or eating something cold.  Panting can also lead to a cold tongue. There is also the possibility your dog has vasoconstriction or the side effect of the medicine he’s taking is causing his tongue to be cold. Finally, your pooch could have underlying health problems like poor circulation which can lead to a cold tongue.

Reasons Your Dog’s Tongue Could Be Cold 

It’s always a bit concerning when our furry friends aren’t quite acting like themselves. One thing that may come as a surprise is when your dog’s tongue suddenly feels cold and you don’t know why.

To help put your mind at ease, let’s take a deeper look into the most common causes of cold canine tongues. Later I’ll go over what you should do if it happens to your good boy. 

He Ate Or Drank Something Cold 

One obvious reason why your dog’s tongue could be cold is that he ate or drank something cold. If he just had an ice cube or lapped up some ice-cold water, his tongue will likely be cooler than usual.

If your kids are like mine, they probably sneak your dog treats that they shouldn’t…like an ice cream cone for instance.  Of course, that will bring the temperature down too!

These cold tongue causes are nothing to worry about since the chilliness will go away once your dog stops eating and drinking his cold treats. 

He Licked Something Cold 

Another possible explanation for your pup’s surprisingly chilly tongue is that he recently licked something cold. For instance, if your dog has a habit of licking things he’s curious about like cold windows on a winter morning then he’ll probably have a cool tongue.

This will usually only last until his tongue warms back up again naturally so there’s no need to panic if this happens occasionally. 

He Was Panting 

When dogs get hot, they pant to cool down. And sometimes panting can cause a dog’s tongue to feel cool due to evaporative cooling.

In other words, as dogs pant, their saliva evaporates quickly which makes them lose heat more efficiently than normal breathing does.

This can result in colder temperatures on the surface of their tongues and around their mouths which can be alarming but totally natural!


A condition called vasoconstriction may also lead to a cool doggy tongue in some cases. This occurs when blood vessels around certain areas constrict causing less blood to flow through them which can leave those spots feeling cooler than usual due to reduced heat transfer from the body core outwardly towards them.

Dogs may experience vasoconstriction during cold weather as their bodies attempt to conserve energy by directing warm blood away from extremities like paws and ears while keeping it close to vital organs such as their hearts and brains instead.

His Medicine Is Causing It 

It’s possible that your pooch might have a side effect of taking medication which results in cooler tongue temperatures as well. If your dog started a new medication or his dosage was changed, your vet probably told you of the side effects.

If you don’t remember any side effects being mentioned, then give your vet a call and ask if this could be the cause of his cold tongue.

Health Problems

A cold tongue in itself isn’t always an alarming symptom, but it can definitely be a sign that something is amiss. It’s important to be aware of when your pooch’s tongue changes. If you notice that your pup’s tongue has become consistently cold, then it could be a sign of underlying health

Circulation issues are an obvious problem that can lead to a cold tongue, so keep an eye out for other symptoms your dog isn’t feeling well.

If you notice anything crazy, like your dog’s tongue losing color, then call your vet as soon as possible.

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

It really depends on the reason why your dog’s tongue is cold.  As you have seen, there are some silly reasons and some scary reasons why your dog’s tongue could be cold.

If you know the reason your dog’s tongue is cold, and you’re reading this, then it probably is okay that it’s cold.  If it wasn’t okay, I’m assuming you’d be tackling the underlying problem rather than reading this article. 

If you don’t know the reason, and your dog’s tongue doesn’t quickly warm back up then there is a problem you need to address, likely with the help of your vet.

What Should I Do If My Dogs Tongue Is Cold?

If your dog’s tongue feels cold, the first thing you should do is try to determine why. If it’s not from something like your pup drinking cold water or eating ice cubes, then it may be a sign of an underlying health issue.

If that is the case then it’s important that you contact your vet for further evaluation and advice.

Should I Take The Temperature Of My Dog’s Tongue?

Dogs use their tongues to regulate their body temperature, so trying to figure out the temperature of their tongue isn’t going to tell you much. To accurately measure your pup’s temperature, you need to use a rectal thermometer.

That probably seems intimidating and difficult. So, unless you have the right equipment and know-how, then opting for some professional assistance from your vet is probably your best bet!

Summary: My Dog’s Tongue Is Cold

A cool canine tongue can be caused by a variety of reasons, both silly and serious. These include things like drinking cold water or eating ice cubes, panting, vasoconstriction, the side effects of medications, and underlying health issues.

If you don’t know the reason for your pup’s cold tongue then it’s best to seek professional help from your vet as soon as possible, they’ll be able to give personalized advice about your dog’s unique situation.

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