Although St. Bernards, Mastiffs, and several other large breeds are known for their tendency to drool, it may be quite a shock if your usually drool-free pup suddenly starts to salivate. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place if you find yourself asking, “Why is my dog drooling?”
We’ve looked into many causes of excessive and sudden salivation, from the easy fixes to the more concerning problems. Most likely, drooling is nothing to worry about, but it never hurts to take a more careful look — especially if your pup is behaving oddly. Here’s everything you’ll want to know about canine salivation.
Though drooling has many harmless causes, which we’ll cover later in this article, you may want to keep a closer eye on your pet if you notice sudden salivation — especially if it’s a large amount.
Nausea and stomachaches are common causes of sudden drooling for dogs, although they will be temporary. If you think about it, many humans experience the very same thing! You may also notice vomiting or lethargy if your pet has ingested something they’re not supposed to, so don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian if you’re concerned about your best buddy’s wellbeing.
On a more urgent note, dogs may also salivate if a foreign object becomes lodged anywhere in the mouth or throat. This can become a dangerous situation if the object blocks their airways, so you should waste no time in getting your fur baby to your closest veterinarian’s office if this could be the case.
Excessive, sudden drooling can also occur when a dog is overheated. Ashely Gallagher, DVM, explains that although salivation can act as a way of cooling off, just like panting, dogs don’t usually resort to this technique unless they are having trouble regulating their temperature through panting alone.
One last cause of sudden drooling is an upper respiratory infection. An illness of the nose, throat, or sinuses is more likely for pups who have been in group settings, such as shelters or kennels, but any dog can catch one, according to Amy Flowers, DVM. Luckily, your veterinarian will be able to guide you toward the best treatment for your furry friend. In most cases, it’s a quick fix!
A stressed-out pup may show their emotions in different ways, including salivation. The team of veterinarians with VCA Hospitals lists both drooling and excessive licking as symptoms of anxiety in dogs. You might even notice a stress yawn, which looks “more prolonged and intense than a regular yawn.”
If your dog is feeling overwhelmed, you will likely notice at least one of the other signs of stress in canines. These are some of the most common, as listed by VCA Hospitals:
- Rigid posture
- Tail tucked between legs
- Increased shedding, or “blowing their coat”
- Barking out of normal occasions
- Dilated pupils and rapid blinking
Like a number of symptoms, excessive drooling can, but doesn’t always, occur in a dog’s final days. Adrienne Farricelli, DVM, explains that drooling can be a common symptom of nausea and imminent vomiting, which could be present for a number of reasons. As you likely know, the vast majority of nausea cases are not fatal, but it can hint at the end if a dog is already in a severe health decline.
Farricelli also reminds pet parents that drooling can happen when a dog loses their ability to swallow. In this case, the pooling of saliva can be indicative of a dying canine’s final hours.
Overall, drooling can have so many causes, from harmless to harmful. This can make the diagnosis hard to identify at first glance, which is why it’s so important to keep an eye on your pup if you notice a change in salivation habits. Here are a few symptoms — and their causes — you can watch out for:
- Discolored teeth, bad breath, and inflamed or bleeding gums are all signs of dental disease
- Increased thirst and urination, bad breath, vomiting, and diarrhea are all signs of kidney disease and failure
Even though a few of these signs of excessive or sudden drooling can be scary to read about, you don’t necessarily need to worry. As long as you’re able to keep an eye on your pet for any further symptoms, you shouldn’t run into any problems you can’t handle. Remember, your veterinarian is always there if you need them, too, and you should waste no time if you think you may need their advice.
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