Salivation or excessive drooling in dogs is universal and is not a sign of poor health. It’s completely normal for dogs to be a little “drooly” at times; It is part of having a dog in the family.
However, a dog with more saliva than usual may be cause for some concern. While you may not need to take your dog to the emergency vet at the first sign of heavy snoring, you should contact your vet to find out the cause.
what is dog Drool
Drool is simply the accumulated drool or spit of the dog. Saliva performs a variety of functions related to taste, smell, digestion, and oral health:
lubrication to help move food down the esophagus
Moisture to break down food (dog drool doesn’t contain enzymes like human drool, and dogs are able to swallow large pieces of food without chewing it – good news for those of us “hoover” dogs who breathe their kibble!)
Antiseptic to prevent injury and help wounds heal (when dogs lick their wounds, they are cleaning and help prevent infection)
Dogs have four salivary glands in their mouths that secrete when needed. In a healthy, normal dog’s mouth, the salivary glands are activated at mealtimes or whenever there is a foreign object in the mouth.
For a healthy dog, drooling is usually the result of offering a tasty treat or waiting for a meal. When they guess that food is on the way, their mouths will start to water (remember Pavlov’s dog?).
Some dogs salivate more frequently and in greater amounts than others. Deep-leaning, hanging dogs can open up a real puddle! Some breeds are known to salivate more than others:
- Basset hounds and other hound breeds
- St. Bernards (like Beethoven!)
These types of dogs drool because the loose skin around their mouths collects and fills with drool until it spreads up and out (often on your clothing or couch). Other breeds rarely or never salivate from their mouths.
Normal drool will be clear or white-ish in color and should be fairly odorless. It can bubble, drip, pool, or seep, but it doesn’t have to be bottomless.
Why is my dog Drooling a lot?
There is a long list of reasons that can explain your dog’s excessive drooling problem. The reasons listed below can help you assess the situation and know if a call to the vet is necessary. We like you to reach out to us regardless so that we can give you peace of mind.
Some dog breeds are notorious for being goofy. This includes Bloodhounds, Saint Bernards, Mastiffs, and other jolly canines. This is considered “typical” drooling, as it is not caused by any kind of health problem.
Rather, it is because the breed’s head and lip structures cannot hold in all the drool, which becomes trapped in the layers of extra skin around their lips and muzzle. Water can also get trapped in these folds when they drink.
If your canines are one of these breeds, keep a drool rag handy at all times!
Other Examples of Typical Dog Drooling
Dogs may also drool excessively when they are expecting a meal (like we do, but a little messy) or when they have taken a drug with an unpleasant taste. Heavy drooling is a normal reaction in a dog in this case and nothing to worry about.
Health problems in dogs that can cause excessive drooling
A variety of conditions dog can cause abnormally heavy drooling in dogs, among other symptoms.
Dogs will drool more than usual due to tooth decay, swollen gums, tartar buildup, and mouth tumors in the mouth and/or throat. Oral and dental diseases, if they progress, can cause severe disease throughout the body and can be fatal in some cases.
Be sure to take your dog’s oral health seriously, and bring them in for a professional dental cleaning at least once 1 year so we can help you manage their oral and dental needs.
The mouth or throat: excessive drooling
Dogs and small puppies like to put things in their mouths and chew on things. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for a foreign body to become stuck in the teeth or in the throat. Wood chips, bone fragments (from chewing bones), pieces of plastic, and even strings are known hazards.
If an object gets stuck in a dog’s mouth, it will start drooling excessively. Don’t hesitate to contact a pet vet if you suspect that your dog has a foreign body.
An upset stomach, whether it is nausea or abdominal pain, can cause heavy drooling in dogs. Drooling due to nausea is certainly temporary and can even be cured with anti-nausea medication prescribed by your vet.
Anxiety is another factor in pups that can cause your dog to drool more than usual. Talk to us so we can help your dog overcome their anxiety and live a happier (and less carefree) life.
Eating something they shouldn’t also cause serious gastrointestinal problems. This includes socks, toys, poisonous plants and chemicals, and even human medicines. In addition to drooling, your dog may also vomit and act lethargic. Don’t wait for things to end; If you think something is wrong, call us immediately.
Heatstroke: excessive drooling
Heatstroke is a serious condition that results from your dog’s excessive exposure to the sun and heat (much like humans). A dog with heatstroke may be gasping heavily in an attempt to cool down, and this is accompanied by panting and excessive drooling. Because heatstroke can be fatal, you should contact your veterinarian in North River immediately before attempting any treatment.
Upper respiratory infection
If your puppy has a nose, sinus, or throat infection, this can cause them to drool as well. Other symptoms of upper respiratory infection include discharge from the eyes and nose, coughing, and loss of appetite.
Like humans, dogs are more prone to disease as they get older. This includes liver and kidney disease, which can cause your dog to drool more than usual. Keeping to your pet’s annual or semiannual health visits is the best way to catch diseases early before they become too hard to treat.
Bloat is a life-threatening condition in dogs in which the abdomen fills with gas or fluid, putting pressure on the surrounding organs. Discomfort and abdominal bloating, along with drooling, are of the warning signs of this condition. Seek immediate medical attention for your puppy if you suspect it may have inflammation.
When in doubt, talk to your vet about your dog’s excessive drooling
Even if your pet’s salvation is not related to a medical problem, we want to assure you. If there ever comes a time when you’re not sure whether their condition indicates something serious, please.