Puppies drool for the same reason we all do. Excessive saliva, otherwise known as hypersalivation, is when there is so much saliva that the puppy cannot contain within his or her mouth. When the puppy produces more saliva than it can swallow, it will drool.
Saliva-we all need it. Humans and dogs alike begin the digestive process right at the start. Saliva has essential enzymes that start breaking down our food as we eat. A dog’s drool serves the same purpose. But why do some dog’s drool excessively? How much drool is normal? And when should a new owner be concerned?
While drool is just a fact of life for dog owners, there are times when intervention is needed. If you’re new to puppy ownership, you may not know just how much drool is normal.
Main Reasons Your Puppy Drools
Chewing on a Toy
Most breeds do not drool excessively. A bit of drool here and there, however, is entirely normal. When your puppy is chewing on a new toy, you may notice small amounts of drool.
Smelling Something Delicious
A little extra saliva in response to smelling food is also normal. Just like you might salivate when you smell a perfectly done pot roast, your dog produces excess saliva when he smells something delicious. This is nothing to be concerned about.
Exposure to Heat
Excessive exposure to heat can also cause drooling. It’s normal for your dog to drool a little more when he gets hot, but it’s very important to make sure your dog does not get dehydrated or suffer a heat stroke. Dark-colored dogs are at a much higher risk.
If your dog is in the heat and drooling more than usual, get him into a cool place and offer him water. Watch for signs of heatstroke and dehydration. If your dog doesn’t return to normal quickly, you may need to seek medical attention.
However, if they start drooling a little extra from being out in the heat, they will probably go back to their normal amount of drool once they’ve cooled off and had some water to drink.
It is also normal for a puppy to drool when he is teething. If you notice your puppy is losing his teeth and is drooling slightly more than usual, this is nothing to be concerned about.
Teething can occasionally cause a loss of appetite and upset stomach as well, but this is more rare, so if your puppy is ever exhibiting these signs along with drooling, it’s best to have him checked out by a vet before assuming that it is all side effects of teething.
When Should I Be Concerned?
If you notice your puppy is drooling excessively, you may need to call your vet. Your puppy should not be leaving large amounts of drool on surfaces and you should not see drool dripping from his mouth.
Here are a few reasons your dog might be producing excess saliva.
If your dog has tartar buildup, gingivitis, or a painful tooth, he may drool excessively. This is a reason for concern, and if you suspect any of these dental problems, call your vet and schedule an appointment.
Dental concerns usually affect older dogs and rarely affect puppies. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t affect puppies, so always keep an eye on your puppy’s teeth to make sure they look healthy.
Puppies can also break or fracture their teeth from chewing on objects. A broken tooth can cause a lot of pain, and drooling is one of the symptoms. Your vet can address dental problems.
Gastrointestinal issues (an upset stomach) can also cause hyper-salivation. If your dog is experiencing nausea associated with a gastrointestinal problem, he may drool. This is definitely something to look into as dogs can swallow foreign objects, which can cause problems in their digestive tracts.
Tumors in the mouth can also cause excessive drooling. Some tumors are benign and just need to be removed. Others are more concerning. If you notice your puppy is drooling excessively and you see a growth inside his mouth, you will want to have him seen immediately. Catching a cancerous tumor early could save his life.
What Can Cause Excessive Drooling in My Puppy?
If your puppy gets something trapped in his mouth, it can cause excessive drooling. This can happen from chewing on a stick and getting a splinter embedded in the roof of his mouth, making it difficult to swallow.
When your dog swallows less often or stops swallowing, you will notice the saliva build up and dribble out of his mouth. If you notice your puppy drooling more than what he usually does, call your vet. If your puppy allows, look at the roof of his mouth to see if anything is noticeably embedded there. Also look at his teeth to see if something is stuck in any of his teeth.
Injuries in the mouth can also result in drooling. If your puppy got into a fight at the dog park and you notice he is drooling excessively, check the inside of his mouth for any sign of injury.
If there is a cut inside his mouth that is healing, he will probably drool more than usual. More severe and concerning causes for excessive drooling could include exposure to a harmful substance. If your dog got into some rat poison or other hazardous substance, he might drool.
If you notice any odd behavior along with the drooling, call your vet immediately. If your dog is acting lethargic or the drool looks frothy, he needs medical attention immediately.
Do Some Breeds Drool More Than Others?
Before you panic about the amount of drool your dog is producing, you need to know what is typical for the breed. Dogs with big snouts and floppy lips drool much more than breeds with small snouts and tight lips.
St. Bernards and various types of Mastiffs are among dogs that drool excessively. Other breeds that hyper salivate include Newfoundlands, bloodhounds, English Bulldogs, and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
It can be harder to spot dental issues or mouth injuries in these breeds because an excessive amount of drool is normal for them. That’s why it’s important to be aware of how much your dog normally drools, what’s typical for his breed, and his overall health.
Whenever a dog of any breed is not acting as he usually does, and is also drooling excessively, it’s important to call the vet.
However, if your dog is drooling a lot but seems normal otherwise, it’s probably safe to assume that he is in good health and the drooling is normal for him.
Can I Reduce the Amount My Puppy Drools?
Some breeds just drool. And while it can become annoying to clean up, it’s just part of dog ownership, especially with owning certain breeds. You could try changing foods and making sure your dog is staying hydrated and out of the heat. But aside from that, as long as you have made sure there is nothing wrong with your dog medically, there is nothing you can do to stop the drooling.
How Can I Keep Drool Cleaned Up Around the House?
If you have one of those big fluffy drooling breeds, you will probably want to find innovative ways to keep the drool cleaned up around the house.
If your dog is a couch potato, one of the easiest things you can do to keep the drool from ruining your couches is to invest in a nice couch cover that can easily be removed and sent through the laundry.
Drooling is more common in some breeds than others, but a small amount of drool is considered normal, while an excessive amount may indicate another medical concern. Some breeds will drool more than others, so it’s important to know what’s normal for your dog. If you ever feel that your dog is acting abnormally along with his drooling, seek medical attention.
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