Ask the Vet: Why Does My Dog Drool?

Oct 19, 2018 by

Saint Bernard
 
Slobber! It’s just another delightful part of having a dog! … or is it?

It goes without saying that some dog-owners will end up dealing with more slobber than others. But when is lots of slobber too much slobber? And when are some slobbering habits … just not right?

Below, we’ll answer some commonly asked questions about what we’re sure is your favorite subject — dog slobber!
 

What causes dogs to slobber? What’s the slobber made of?

 
Slobber, drool, spit — whatever you want to call it, it’s completely normal for dogs to do.

Generally speaking, dogs slobber or salivate because it’s their way of cooling off. Saliva is created in dogs’ cheek pockets, so when they move violently (like when they shake after getting up), the slobber inevitably comes out.

Dog slobber is much like the saliva in humans’ mouths; however, it does not begin the digestion process as it does in humans. Dogs’ saliva helps reduce cavities and again, is a way to reduce body heat (like sweating in humans).
 

What breeds / types of dogs are most likely to slobber?

 
Dogs who drool the most include:

  • Bloodhounds
  • Bulldogs
  • Bull Terriers
  • Mastiffs
  • Saint Bernards
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs
  • Newfoundlands

 

Is it just “normal dog slobber? Or cause for concern?

 
Most causes for concern related to dog slobber have to do with overheating and heatstroke. If your dog begins to drool excessively in the heat, take him to a cool area as soon as possible and provide cold water. If he’s having trouble breathing, take him immediately to an emergency animal care center.

Other possible issues that may cause excess drooling:

  • Dental issues like a tooth abscess or periodontal disease
  • A blockage in the esophagus — other symptoms will be gagging, retching, “coughing”
  • A burn or irritation in the mouth
  • Nerve problems in the face (neurological disorder)

 

How can an owner manage dog slobber?

 
Well … you can’t really. Dog slobber is completely normal, so it’s not preventable nor should you try to prevent it.

The only thing you can really do (after making sure your dog isn’t overheating or ill) is to wipe their face from time to time and clean up after them.
 

Worried About Your Dog’s Slobber? See a Vet Today

 
It’s never a bad idea to make an appointment with a vet if you have concerns related to your dog’s health. If you’re worried about your dog’s slobbering habits, feel free to contact Sunset Veterinary Clinic today.

One of our experienced and friendly veterinarians would be happy to see your dog and assess if anything’s wrong with his or her slobber and habits.

Schedule your appointment here.

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