Why Does My Dog Drool so Much?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. October 17, 2017
Why Does My Dog Drool so Much?

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If you own a dog you've probably noticed that sometimes they drool a little. Canine drooling is a normal occurrence, with the animal's salivary glands constantly working to help them as they eat, contributing to the digestion process.

However, your dog may salivate more than they should, in which case their drooling could indicate a problem that must be treated by a vet promptly.

If you've ever wondered 'why does my dog drool a lot?', this AnimalWised article will explain what may be occurring, giving you all the knowledge necessary to understand what is going on with your pet.

You may also be interested in: Why Does My Hamster Scratch So Much?

Is it normal for your dog to drool?

Apart from drooling as a result of the digestion process, which is usually completely natural, some dog breeds constantly drool due to the drooping shape of their lips and mouth, such as the Great Dane, St. Bernard, Boxers or the Bordeaux Mastiff, among others.

In addition, some external stimuli can also cause excessive salivation, which is called ptyalism. Ptyalism may appear when the dog smells a food that they like, since the anticipation of waiting to eat it causes drooling.

Also, situations that cause nervousness or fear in the dog can cause drooling, as well as strong emotions: the thought of going out to play, very hot weather or travel sickness caused by a long journey.

Why Does My Dog Drool so Much? - Is it normal for your dog to drool?

Something is wrong in their mouth

However, when the salivation lasts for longer than it should do, without the dog having received any such stimuli, it's time to start worrying and begin ruling out possible factors that could be causing this problem in your dog.

We need to identify what is causing the salivation problem. Not only because it can dehydrate the animal, but also because it is usually a sign that something else is wrong in the dog's body.

The first thing to do for excessive drooling is to carefully assess whether there is something in your dog's mouth that is causing this, such as:

  • A foreign object: maybe your dog has swallowed something that is causing discomfort in their stomach or esophagus, or that the object is stuck in their teeth or gums.
  • Teeth diseases: inflammations, infections, broken teeth and other ailments related to the mouth can cause your dog to drool more than usual.
  • Tumours: if you detect any abnormal lumps around the mouth, consult a vet immediately.
  • Inflammation: gingivitis and stomatitis, which come accompanied with other symptoms, can cause excessive salivation.

In any of these cases, you should give primary attention to your dog (like trying to remove the foreign object from their mouth, when safe to do so), and then take them to the vet.

Why Does My Dog Drool so Much? - Something is wrong in their mouth

Other problems

If drooling is not cause by a mouth problem, then it's time to explore other possible causes:

  • Rabies: if salivation is accompanied by foaming at the mouth and abnormally violent behaviour, your dog needs immediate medical attention.
  • Poisoning: symptoms of poisoning include salivation, rapid breathing, dilated pupils and nostrils, among others. It doesn't only happen with the consumption of poison, but also with other substances such as household cleaning products, and so on.
  • Bite: they may have been stung or bitten by an insect, toad or reptile.
  • Food poisoning: the dog may be allergic to certain foods.
  • Neurological disease: this can prevent the animal from swallowing saliva.
  • Sickness, where the cause is yet to be diagnosed.
  • Use of tranquilisers.
  • Problems with metabolism.
Why Does My Dog Drool so Much? - Other problems

Symptoms that accompany drooling

When excess salivation isn't caused by food or nervousness, to name just a couple of things that shouldn't be cause for concern in the animal's owner - it is usually accompanied with other troubling symptoms:

  • Bad breath
  • Strange lump in the mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Problems swallowing and eating
  • Breathing difficulties


When the problem relates to some of the problems mentioned above, the vet is responsible for conducting a series of tests to reveal the real cause, such as:

  • A complete physical examination.
  • If there is a lump in the mouth, lips or gums, a biopsy will be necessary.
  • Examination of the mouth and teeth.
  • Blood tests to rule out anemia and infections.
  • If metabolic disorders are suspected, a urine test and a chemical profile will be required.
  • Tests to check liver condition

Your vet will decide on the best treatment according to the dog's symptoms.

Why Does My Dog Drool so Much? - Diagnosis

Types of Treatment

Obviously the type of treatment that needs to be applied will depend entirely on the cause of your dog's excessive drooling.

If it concerns dental diseases, it's possible that the invasive tissue will need to be removed. Also, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics may need to be prescribed in the case of infections. It is likely that the doctor will recommend an oral hygiene routine for your dog.

If there is a tumor, only a biopsy can determine the prognosis; the results of which will be used in the consideration of different treatments.

If it is suspected that there is a foreign object in the digestive tract, an endoscopy must be performed. After this, the vet will decide on the best way to remove the object.

These are some of the treatments that can be provided. Always remember to provide your furry friend with the medical care that they need, don't wait for the situation to worsen before you take them to a trusted physician.

Why Does My Dog Drool so Much? -  Types of Treatment

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Why Does My Dog Drool so Much?, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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