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Why Do Dogs Drool? Should I Be Worried About Excessive Drooling?

If you’re a dog owner, you’re probably used to seeing your furry friend drool from time to time. Some dogs drool more than others and some situations can trigger excessive drooling. But have you ever wondered why dogs drool in the first place? In this article, we’ll explore the biology of dog drool, the reasons why dogs drool and how to manage excessive drooling.

The Biology of Drooling in Dogs

Before we dive into the reasons why dogs drool, let’s take a closer look at the biology of dog drool. Dogs have three pairs of salivary glands that produce saliva: the parotid, mandibular and sublingual glands. The parotid glands are located in front of the ears, the mandibular glands are located under the jaw and the sublingual glands are located under the tongue. These glands produce saliva, which is a mixture of water, enzymes and other proteins.

Saliva plays an important role in the digestive process. When a dog eats, saliva moistens the food and starts to break down carbohydrates. Saliva also helps dogs swallow food and protects their teeth and gums from bacteria.

Reasons Why Dogs Drool

Now that we understand the biology of dog drool, let’s explore the reasons why dogs drool. Some reasons are normal and physiological, while others can be caused by underlying medical conditions.

Normal physiological reasons for drooling include:

  • Hunger: Dogs may drool when they’re hungry or anticipating food.
  • Excitement: Dogs may drool when they’re excited or happy.
  • Anticipation: Dogs may drool when they’re anticipating a treat or a meal.

On the other hand, excessive drooling can be caused by underlying medical conditions, such as:

  • Dental problems: Dogs with dental problems, such as gum disease or tooth decay, may drool excessively.
  • Nausea and digestive issues: Dogs with upset stomachs or digestive issues may drool excessively.
  • Pain and discomfort: Dogs in pain or discomfort may drool excessively.
  • Neurological disorders: Certain neurological disorders, such as rabies or distemper, can cause excessive drooling.

Should I Be Worried If My Dog Is Drooling?

If your dog is drooling occasionally and for normal reasons (like being hungry or excited), there’s usually no need to worry. However, if your dog is drooling excessively or for no apparent reason, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue. Excessive drooling can lead to dehydration, skin irritation and other health problems.

If your dog is drooling excessively, you should monitor their behaviour and look for other signs of illness, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, or lethargy. If the excessive drooling persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, you should seek veterinary attention.

Health Issues Caused by Excessive Drooling

Excessive drooling can be a symptom of a variety of health issues in dogs. Here are some of the most common health issues that can cause excessive drooling:

Dental problems: Dental problems are a common cause of excessive drooling in dogs. Dogs with gum disease, tooth decay, or other dental issues may drool excessively.

Nausea and digestive issues: Dogs with upset stomachs or digestive issues may drool excessively. This can be a sign of a more serious health problem, such as pancreatitis or gastroenteritis.

Pain and discomfort: Dogs in pain or discomfort may drool excessively. This can be a sign of a variety of health issues, such as an injury or an underlying medical condition.

Neurological disorders: Certain neurological disorders, such as rabies or distemper, can cause excessive drooling. If your dog is showing symptoms of a neurological disorder, such as seizures or a change in behaviour, you should seek veterinary attention immediately.

What Breeds Drool the Most?

Some dog breeds are more prone to drooling than others. This is usually because of their anatomy, with breeds that have larger jowls or more skin around their mouths being more likely to drool. Here are some of the breeds that are known for drooling the most:

  • Mastiffs
  • Bloodhounds
  • St. Bernards
  • Great Danes
  • Bulldogs

If you’re considering adopting one of these breeds, keep in mind that you may need to manage their drooling more carefully.

What Breeds Drool the Least?

While some breeds are known for excessive drooling, others are known for producing less drool. Here are some of the breeds that are known for drooling the least:

  • Greyhounds
  • Whippets
  • Basenjis
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Boxers

Keep in mind that even these breeds may drool from time to time and that each individual dog is unique.

How to Manage Drool

If your dog drools occasionally and for normal reasons, there’s usually no need to manage it. However, if your dog drools excessively or for no apparent reason, you may need to take steps to manage it. Here are some tips for managing excessive drooling:

  • Treat underlying medical conditions: If your dog is drooling excessively because of an underlying health issue, you should work with your veterinarian to treat the condition.
  • Manage anxiety and excitement: If your dog drools excessively because of anxiety or excitement, you can try to manage their behaviour through training, exercise and other techniques.
  • Provide appropriate food and water: Make sure your dog has access to clean water at all times and feed them a high-quality diet that is appropriate for their age, size and breed.

Drooling is a normal behaviour in dogs, but excessive drooling can be a sign of an underlying health issue. By understanding the biology of dog drool and the reasons why dogs drool, you can better monitor and manage your dog’s drooling behaviour. If you’re concerned about your dog’s drooling, or if it persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, you should seek veterinary attention.

Drooling Information by Breed

Are you trying to find out how much a particular breed drools? See below for detailed drooling information on all of the most popular breeds.

Why Do Dogs Drool? Should I Be Worried About Excessive Drooling?