Dogs tend to drool when they’re nervous because stress can cause hypersalivation. If your dog is drooling more than usual due to stress and anxiety, see if you can remove the stressor. It’s also important to keep your dog hydrated, they’ll be losing a lot of fluid from drooling.
Dogs are curious little critters. From their complex hierarchy system to an amazingly observable pack mentality, our beloved pups’ behavior proves to be amazing.
Oftentimes, dogs may experience the same emotions as us (humans). The difference is how they deal with their distress. As similar as our emotions can be, our methods of dealing with them can be vastly different.
In this article, we will discuss one of the most notorious emotions a dog can endure, nervousness, and why dogs drool when feeling uneasy.
But before we get into those reasons, let’s start by discussing whether or not hypersalivation is something to be concerned about.
Drooling When Nervous is Completely Natural
First and foremost, drooling is just as natural to dogs as barking (or making messes). Sometimes they simply can’t help themselves.
Of course, this also depends on the breed of dog. Large dog breeds tend to drool more (A LOT more). A few examples of these breeds include Mastiffs, Bloodhounds, Saint Bernard’s, Bulldogs, and Newfoundland’s. These dogs have a “whole lotta mouth,” so that’s a lot of space for high volumes of slobber.
I have two boxers. One who is more traditional looking and the other has a huge mouth (sorry buddy!). My big mouth boxer is always drooling, to the point where he blows little bubbles on the sides of his cheeks (trust me, it’s cuter than it sounds).
The point being, he’s as happy as a clam and is rarely bothered. So if you are concerned about the amount of drool your precious pooch is providing, be sure to assess the situation and don’t jump to conclusions right away.
How many times have you asked your dog to sit before tossing them a tasty treat? And when you do, I’m sure you’ve noticed the buckets of drool that accumulates. Dog’s notoriously drool when experiencing high levels of anticipation. Excited “tippy taps” are usually accompanied by drooly mouths.
Stress Causes Saliva Build Up
With that out of the way, let’s move on to why dogs drool when they’re nervous.
As luxurious of a life that we may provide for our four-legged friends, no living creature is immune to stress and anxiety.
If you notice that your pooch is drooling a little more than usual, this could mean aspects of their environment are stressing them out. Fireworks, foreign objects, and other aggressive dogs can all be triggers for this type of behavior.
When a pup is stressed out, this can cause heavy panting or even trembling. The extra panting can cause a build up of saliva, causing them to drool more than usual.
In most cases, once you alleviate the stressors, the drooling will cease (or at least go back to normal).
The cure to this may simply be showing your pup some extra love, which I’m sure isn’t too hard to accomplish!
Nausea Adds To The Stress
Sometimes the stress caused in dogs isn’t emotional, rather a physical reaction to something that isn’t agreeing with them.
If you know that your dog has gotten into something they probably shouldn’t have, you may notice some extra slobber. This may be because they have an upset tummy, and need to expel the vial components in which they consumed.
This is something a lot of us are well aware of after a long night of drinks…
Maybe your pup drools a bit more after a car ride? Dogs commonly suffer from car sickness. Car rides can cause dogs to suffer vertigo (a type of motion sickness), which prompts a salivatory reaction.
If you notice that none of these issues are causing your dog to drool, the problem may lie internally. Kidney and liver disease are, unfortunately, common in dogs. Disorders such as these may prompt heavy saliva deposits.
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from an infection or disease, contact a professional immediately.
Pain Can Make Your Dog Nervous
Discomfort and moderate-severe pain can cause a dog to slobber.
Usually, pain in the mouth or throat will cause a dog to resist swallowing, which means all that drool to cascade from their mouths.
Chipped teeth or even a tooth infection can make it painful for them to swallow. This results in heavy saliva build up and will fuel your pooch with anxiety.
Tumors in the mouth and throat are also known to cause this behavior. If left unchecked, further complications could arise.
As a dog owner, you understand that dogs explore the world with their nose and mouth (how many times have you had to pull something from their mouth?). Common obstructions such as sticks, fabric, or pieces of broken toys can cause significant distress and discomfort.
These obstructions can make it difficult for your pup to swallow, causing drool to accumulate. This is potentially dangerous for your dog, so be vigilant and contact a veterinarian if it’s severe.
Warning Signs of Stress, Anxiety, and Nervousness
Sometimes, it’s best to catch the behavior before it even happens. So, let’s go over some of the most common reasons dogs become nervous.
When you leave for work, your dog does nothing more with his day than waiting for you to get home. This is a form of separation anxiety which can cause them to drool a bit more than usual.
Do you notice that your pup can’t sit still? Dog’s (like humans) tend to pace about when experiencing elevated levels of anxiety. This can be a precursor to high amounts of drool.
Is your dog not eating the way they should? The beginning stages of distress involve a lack of appetite. And let’s be honest, when our pups are happy, a lack of appetite is the last thing we expect.
Drooling is Typically Nothing to Be Worried About
All in all, several things can make your dog nervous, each of which will cause excessive drooling. In most cases, it’s nothing to bat an eye at.
Dog’s have been drooling since they were derived from their wolf ancestors. But you shouldn’t always fall back on that. From major health problems to minor changes in their usual routine, your pup’s health should always be taken seriously.
It’s important to understand your dog and to know when it’s time to ask for help from a trained professional.
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Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.