Why do dogs drool?

Most people rarely think about dog drool. Until their car seats are drenched in a glistening layer of slobber. Or they step barefoot into an icky, slimy puddle in the kitchen. Then they wonder, why do dogs drool anyway? 👀

Why dogs drool: The good, the bad, and the scary

Coming up: Frequent causes of excessive drooling, plus whether it's normal or a cause for concern. Because curious minds need to know!

#1: Emotional stimulation

Good or bad, emotions like excitement, fear, and stress send canine salivary glands into overdrive. This is why it's no coincidence that the sight of tasty treats, intriguing scents, or the sharp crack of lightning elicits a slobbery response in your pup.

Verdict: Normal

#2: Motion sickness

Does your pup drool like crazy in the car? It's to be expected. Moving vehicles, plus the onslaught of overwhelming stimuli, can cause an upset tummy and trigger exaggerated drooling. In other words, your little guy may be experiencing motion sickness, nausea, or car ride anxiety.

Verdict: Normal

#3: Breed characteristics

Some dog breeds drool more than others because of the physical anatomy of their mouths. Namely, they have jowls: Loose, saggy lips and folds of skin around the lower jaw that aren't as effective at keeping saliva in. Bloodhounds, Boxers, and Great Danes are prolific droolers for this reason!

Verdict: Normal

#4: Heat and exercise

Pups drool more than usual after walks, runs, strenuous activities—and on warm days. There's a reason for that: Drooling—like panting and sweating through their paws—helps dogs regulate their body temperature. It's also worth noting that excessive slobber can signal your pupper is dangerously close to heat exhaustion.

Verdict: Normal (but may also be cause for concern)

#5: Health issues

A range of conditions can cause massive drooling, including dental problems (swollen gums, decaying teeth, trauma), throat troubles, pain and more: Neurological conditions, infections, an upset tummy, tumours, allergies, and congenital (present at birth) defects.

Verdict: Not normal

#6: Medicines

Side effects from pet medications like painkillers and, surprisingly, eye drops can make your furry friend drool more than usual. This is because meds are typically bitter-tasting; the unpleasant taste triggers saliva production.

Verdict: Normal, provided your vet gave you a heads-up

#7: Pet poisoning

Another unfortunate cause of hypersalivation is accidental exposure to household or environmental toxins (for example, harsh cleaning products) as well as venom from poisonous critters.

Verdict: Not normal (get to the vet)

When does excessive drooling warrant a visit to the vet?

The quick answer: When you notice anything that looks/feels off about your pet's drooling.

Your vet will probably ask you:

  • When did it start, and how long has it been?
  • Are there other worrying signs and symptoms like lethargy, diarrhoea, lack of appetite, etc?
  • Has your dog eaten or been around anything out of the ordinary?

How to manage and minimise dog drool

Did you know that saliva also plays a vital role in canine health?

  • Without saliva, Fido's mouth would feel uncomfortable.
  • Drool keeps the mouth moist, helps move food down the oesophagus, and jumpstarts the digestive process.
  • Slobber contains interesting enzymes (we're all about enzymes here at PetLab 😉), electrolytes, and anti-microbial properties that inhibit the development of cavities and prevent bad breath.

All this to say, the best you can do is learn to live with drool. Our practical tips for slobber control can help!

Wipe drool

Serious drooler or not, it's always good practice to dry your dog's chops of excess drool. Doing so keeps the snout area clean and protects against sores. Just so you know, the Grubby Paw Slobber Swabber has 220 saliva-absorbing tentacles, making it 600% more effective than a sponge and 5x more absorbent than similar products. That, while being gentle on sensitive canine skin. 💖 It's so practical that you'll want one for the car, one for home, and one exclusively for grooming.

Use feeding mats

Place an ultra-absorbent rug with non-slip backing where your dog eats to wick up spills and spittle. Look for a machine-washable mat with rapid drying properties, like the Grubby Paw Chenille Feeding Mat, for hassle-free cleaning.

Disinfect surfaces

Drool may have anti-bacterial properties for canines, but not for us! In fact, dog saliva carries pathogens that can harm kids, seniors, and those with weakened immune systems. Eliminate 99.9999% of risks with our Eco Disinfectant Cleaner—a 3-in-1 solution that's pet-safe and suitable for most household surfaces!

Get a drool bib

From exercise to blistering weather, the PetLab Dog Cooling Bandana solves two problems: Overheating and slobber. It's a nifty, hands-free, and lightweight solution whenever you're on the go.

Dog drool keeps us on our toes and our surfaces a little gloopy. 😅 But hey, that's pet parenthood! And it's a small price to pay for the immeasurable happiness fur babies bring us.

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. It is not and does not intend to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information on this website is at your own risk. Always consult with your veterinarian.


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