You know that feeling on Thanksgiving, when you first smell the pumpkin pie coming out of the oven, or the crispy cooked turkey wafting through the air? Your mouth waters, because it registers to your brain that a delicious feast is on its way. Saliva is rich with enzymes that lubricate the mouth to help aid the process of digestion. Animals are similar to humans in that they salivate when they are hungry or about to eat food; this is a natural way that the body helps break down food particles before entering the stomach.
While salivating is normal, some dogs tend to store an excess of saliva in their mouths, which collects and becomes drool. For some dogs it can be as simple as a little drip that sags down around his lips, or as extreme as tube of slobber that leaves puddles of slime everywhere he roams! Not every dog has this problem and several breeds are more inclined to drool than others. The tendency to drool usually is a result of the dog’s anatomy: the shape of his mouth and lips, which is why hypersalivation is most commonly associated with certain breeds. According to Animal Planet, the below top ten breeds are the most notorious pool-producers.
Heavy drooling breeds
- Basset Hound/Blood Hound
- Saint Bernard/Newfoundland
- English Bulldog
- Great Pyrenees
- Dogue De Bordeaux
- Mastiff breeds
- Great Dane
Why dogs drool
Aside from the aforementioned cause of drooling (the normal process of consuming food, and retaining a saliva excess in pockets of the mouth), dogs sometimes drool for other reasons. Here are some possible scenarios that are causing the deluge in your pooch’s smooches:
- Objects in the mouth: Check to make sure no foreign item has gotten stuck in your pet’s teeth, corners of his mouth, or under his tongue. Something as small as a sliver or piece of foil can make your dog naturally salivate in an attempt to wash the item out of the mouth.
- Injuries: Look inside your dog’s mouth to see if there is any cut or puncture that resulted from him chewing on a sharp item, such as a pencil or stick. Mouths water when they are trying to heal a minor wound.
- Dental health concerns: Irritated gums, gingivitis and other oral inflammatory diseases can cause an increase of saliva production. If this is the case, take your pet to the vet to have his teeth cleaned and infections treated.
- Anxiety: If the dog has experienced a recent change of environment, such as moving to a different home, or being introduced to a new pet in the family, he can struggle from anxiety-induced drooling. The best way to curb this problem is to bring as much stability to your dog’s life as you can, spending quality time comforting and praising him. Drooling caused by anxiety tends to subside after a few weeks.
- Nausea: Sometimes motion can cause nausea in dogs, such as driving in a car, or sitting on a swing or rocking chair with their owner. Similar to anxiety, when the motion stops, the nausea is alleviated and the drooling should decrease.
- Health Complications: If you have checked the above possibilities and yet your dog keeps drooling, it could be a sign of a severe condition that needs medical attention right away. Some dogs drool heavily when they are suffering from GDV (gastric dilatation and volvulus), meaning a twisted stomach. They also can drool if a tumor is growing in their mouths, or if they have eaten something poisonous and their body is preparing to vomit and expel the toxins. If the drooling seems to increase inexplicably, or is abnormal for your dog, see a vet right away!
NOTE: Other possible medical causes for drooling include: distemper, rabies, heat stroke, mouth lesions, kidney or liver disease, stomach pain, stomatitis, abscessed teeth, ulcers, injured/rotting tissues, and megaesophagus, etc.