Why Are Our Dogs Drooling?

Dog Drooling
Craig Warner / Flickr

Do you always find yourself carrying dishrags to wipe the floor and other surfaces? If you don’t have a child, this can only mean one thing – you have a dog, and he is a habitual drooler.

Drool is very similar to human saliva. Both enzymes are produced when the host discovers delicious food. Dogs drool when the amount of saliva their mouths secrete is more than enough to digest their meal. Basically, you can refer to drool as dog saliva.

Some dogs drool more than others. Excessive drooling is mostly frequent in giant canine breeds with sagging lips and loose jaws. Some of them include The Bloodhound, the Bulldog, Saint Bernard, and the Sussex Spaniel. People who own these types of dogs often tie bandanas around their dogs’ necks to keep their drooling under control. If your dog is a giant breed, then it’s normal for him to drool often.

However, if your dog doesn’t belong in any of the giant breeds, yet he drools a lot, it might be time to call a vet. Your dog may be suffering from hypersalivation. That said, drooling does not have to be a bad thing. This habit offers dogs some beneficial effects.

Benefits of Drooling

Just like we said earlier, drool is simply dog saliva. A dog’s drool is mostly composed of water and bacteria, electrolytes, and enzymes. One of the major enzymes in dog drool, amylase, is responsible for the first step in food digestion. While the dog is chewing, amylase mixes with the food and breaks it into smaller, digestible units.

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Dog saliva makes swallowing easier for dogs. Since a large percent of saliva is water, food becomes much softer when it is mixed with saliva. Besides, wet food is more delicious than dry food.   

Drool also provides some oral-health benefits for dogs. In addition to water, it contains proteins and minerals that prevent tooth decay by extracting food particles from the teeth. The bacteria in dog saliva works against bad breath.

Except when your dog is a giant canine breed, excessive drooling poses harm to your pet. For one, it might mean that your dog is suffering from tooth decay.

Why is My Drool-Free Dog Suddenly Drooling a Lot?

When you own a giant breed dog, you shouldn’t raise any eyebrows if it drools excessively. But if you suddenly find your non-giant dog- who never drools except it is hungry or nervous- is suddenly drooling at every prompting, it’s a sign that you need to take your dog to a vet immediately. This condition is known as hypersalivation, and any of the following may cause it:

1. Foreign Materials

Hypersalivation may occur when food bits or plant matter stick to a dog’s teeth, its gums or the roof of its mouth. Many dogs communicate that something is stuck in their mouth by rubbing their face on the floor or nearby objects. Once you notice this, help your dog get the foreign material out before the problem escalates.

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2. Tooth Decay

Your dog may drool excessively if he has tooth problems. Red, swollen gums, and a dash of blood in your dog’s drool could be a tell-tale sign that he is suffering from tooth decay. Also, dogs who have bad gums often drop food or chew food on one side of their mouths. Take your dog to the vet if you notice these symptoms.

3. Mouth Ache

Another reason for hypersalivation is mouth ache. Your dog may exhibit abnormal fits of anger or aggression when her mouth aches.

4. Bumps and Warts

Mouth bumps can cause hypersalivation. In extreme cases, bumps may even lead to a mouth tumor. You can discover this problem early if you inspect your dog’s mouth regularly.

Melissa / Flickr

5. Stomach Ache

Sometimes, dogs’ stomachs produce acid refluxes that fill the mouth and trigger extreme salivation. Dogs who suffer from gastric problems often have problems swallowing food. If the gastric reflux recurs, check with your vet to ensure it’s not a symptom of a more severe condition.

6. Poison

Your dog may also manifest hypersalivation if it has inhaled poison. Call your vet if you think your dog has ingested a poisonous substance.

7. Kidney Diseases

Kidney infections can make your dog drool excessively. But, drooling is not the only symptom of kidney diseases. Loss of weight and loss of appetite are other signs that your dog might have kidney disease. Your dog has a higher chance of surviving the disease if it is treated early, so you must seek veterinary care as soon as you discover these signs.

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8. Nervousness

Dogs may drool a lot when they are scared or nervous. They often get shy around strangers or when they are in noisy places. If you suspect your dog is nervous, identify the reason for her anxiety and address it.

9. Nausea

Usually, dogs drool a lot when they are in moving cars. This is because most of them suffer from motion sickness. To avoid this, introduce your dog to car trips with short journeys.

Giving your dog the best possible care cannot be overemphasized. Whenever you notice that he is hyper salivating, always consult a veterinarian to know what’s going on. Like we’ve mentioned above, drooling is common for giant breeds. However, if you think there might be something wrong, see the vet immediately. Ignoring the condition might pose a great threat to your dog.

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