Why do Dogs drool?


Dogs drool, certain breeds of dogs drool more. What causes excessive drooling? How can it be controlled? Let’s see how.

Kritika Manchanda

Why dogs drool?
Dog’s salivary glands form saliva in the mouth. The saliva keeps getting collected in their cheek pools and when they shake their head, we all know the consequences. This aids in digestion and lubricates the dog’s food as well. Other than this, the saliva also helps your pooch cool down and keeps oral tissues and teeth under protection. Till a limit, drooling is normal and as pet parents you should accept it, but the problem is when that drooling goes beyond control. Excessive drooling is also known as hyper-salivation. Another thing that needs to be highlighted is that drooling is not just about too much saliva; it is also the inability of the canine to hold it in the mouth or to swallow it.
Drool‘y’ breeds: There are certain breeds who drool more than the others – the reason being the face structure. The common breeds who drool excessively are:

  • St Bernard
  • Bloodhounds
  • Basset Hounds
  • Newfoundland
  • Mastiffs
  • Great Dane
  • Boxer
  • Bulldog
  • Shar Pei
  • Bull Mastiff

It is quite normal for these breeds to drool, all you need to do as a responsible pet parent is to keep their towel handy. One must realise that dealing with drool is a part of being parents to these breeds and not much can be done.
What causes excessive drool?
There can be various causes for hyper-salivation in dogs.
Psychological trigger: Saliva production increases when the nervous system is triggered. A psychological trigger like fear, anxiety and stress may lead to excessive drooling. After drinking or rather lapping water, your pet might drool, which is completely normal. Don’t be surprised if your pet is drooling too much even when he is happy because happiness is also considered a trigger. The sight of treats or their favourite food and motion sickness are some other major causes. It is also possible that hyper-salivation is a reaction to an abscess, periodontal diseases, nausea or mouth pain.
Foreign objects: Another strong reason at which a dog may drool excessively is the presence of a foreign object. There might be a possibility that a foreign object like piece of plastic, fabric or a wrapper may be embedded in your pet’s gums, stuck in between his teeth or the roof of the mouth. It can cause irritation that can lead to excessive drooling and in serious cases, the dog may also get injured.
Infections or injuries: The salivary glands can be injured during a fight and as a result, the damaged gland would keep leaking saliva and other fluid in the neighbouring tissues. Other cause can be bacterial infection. But keep in mind that there is always some foul odour in an infection. The best way to keep a tab on this is to regularly brush your pet’s teeth with pet toothpaste.
Summer time: Harsh summers can be painful for our furry companions. Sudden excessive drooling during summers can be a sign of heat stroke. In addition to hyper-salivation, the dog might look tired and would be panting. In such case, you should take your pet to a cooler place and give some cool water. Consult your vet as well.
Irritants: There is a possibility that your pet could have chewed something that was not supposed to be chewed and this can result in mouth irritation. Chewing some plant, wire, piece of toxic plastic, etc. can be dangerous; thus always keep an eye on what your pet is taking into his mouth. You can also get your pet some chewy bones. This would help in two ways. One, it would control plaque, tartar build up and keep dental problems away and two, they would be occupied and would not look for things here and there.
How to control excessive drooling?
Prevention is always better than cure. With regular care and keeping a watch on the symptoms, you can avoid the problem of excessive drooling. If your pet has been drooling excessively and is acting in an irritable manner, it can be a symptom of rabies. The other two diseases associated closely with excessive drooling are pseudo rabies and distemper. Get in touch with your vet immediately if you suspect anything unusual in your dog’s behaviour.
There can be chances that the hyper-salivation may be the result of a neurological problem – the nerves of the mouth not functioning properly or blockage in the oesophagus. The vet would be the best judge to enlighten you with the correct diagnosis and the remedy.