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Why Do Dogs Drool

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Drooling is a natural behavior for dogs, but it can also be a sign of health concerns.
  • Drool can have different consistencies, and changes in drool can be important to monitor.
  • Unhealthy drooling can be a sign of mouth/throat issues, tooth decay, stomach issues, heat stroke, or kidney disease.
  • It is important to monitor your dog's other behaviors and consider their individual factors, but always seek vet treatment if concerned.
  • Common non-health related causes of drooling include breed, food, excitement/anxiety, and exercise/overheating.
Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Zoo and wildlife doctor in veterinary medicine passionate about animal welfare and preventive medicine.
Published on
Monday 4 October 2021
Last updated on
Tuesday 16 May 2023
why dogs drool
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When we think of a dog drooling, we may picture a large breed like a Bernese Mountain Dog. However, dogs of all types can drool, and it’s not always a cause for concern. Sometimes, it’s just a natural behavior based on their environment or current state.

However, if you’re worried about your dog’s drooling, it’s always best to visit a vet. They can help determine if there’s an underlying health issue. We’ll also provide you with information on what causes dog drool and when it may indicate a potential health problem. Let’s take a closer look!

What is Drool

Drool is when your dog’s saliva comes out of its mouth in drops, strings, or from its tongue. There are a few reasons why this can happen, like when your dog produces too much saliva or due to their breed or external factors. If you notice that your dog is drooling a lot, you should consider all of these factors.

Drool can also look different, it might be frothy, wet, or stringy, and each type can tell you something about your dog’s current health. Even though it might seem gross, it’s essential to keep an eye on it because changes in drool can be an important sign of a health problem

Reasons Why Dogs Drool

Here are the top most common causes for your dog drooling that do not include health concerns. Check the category below for those.


Some dog breeds are simply more prone to drooling because of their genetics. This is due to the length of certain dog breeds’ flew, a fancy term for their upper lip. Certain dog breeds with longer upper lips are more prone to drooling because they have a harder time keeping saliva in their mouth.


When a dog sniffs or smells food, they may begin to salivate. This is a natural response as the body begins the production to get ready for digestion. Digestion begins in the mouth through chewing and enzymes within the saliva. Therefore, when a dog is thinking about eating, they will salivate more and this may lead to drooling.

Excitement or Anxiety

When a dog is anxious or excited, the adrenal gland will often produce excess adrenaline due to the flight or fight response. When a dog is anxious or excited, it may breathe faster to get more oxygen. This can cause them to pant and drool. Therefore, they may begin to pant, and because their open mouth not holding in saliva, they begin to drool.

Exercise or Overheating

Panting is a method used to increase oxygen intake or to help a dog cool off, hence why they pant after exercise or when they are too hot. This behavior means their tongue is hanging out and their mouth is wide open with rapid breaths. It is easy to see why saliva can quickly form to drool or spittle during this time.

dogs drooling
Drooling is natural for dogs – some breeds just drool more than others.

Signs of Unhealthy Drooling

Dogs drool for many reasons, and excessive drooling can be a sign that your furry friend is not feeling well. Depending on the consistency, frequency, and timing of the drooling, it could indicate different health issues. Here are some of the most common reasons why a dog might drool:

Mouth and Throat Issues

When your dog drools a lot, it could be a sign of a problem with their mouth or throat. They may have ulcers that cause pain and make them try to avoid their tongue grazing the painful area. An infection in your dog’s salivary glands can also make it difficult for them to swallow and cause drooling. In rare cases, a tumor around the neck or throat could be the cause of the drooling, but this is usually accompanied by a lump in the area.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can cause pain and inflammation, which can lead to excessive drooling. As the decay gets worse, your dog may try to avoid touching the affected tooth with their tongue or lip, which can cause them to keep their mouth open or pant more frequently. This can make the drool thicker and more stringy than normal.

Stomach Issues

Stomach problems can also lead to excess drooling. If your dog is stressed or has eaten too much, they may feel nauseous and produce more saliva in preparation for vomiting. Bloat is a serious condition that can also cause excessive drooling and requires immediate vet attention.

Heat Stroke Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that can cause your dog to pant rapidly in an effort to cool down. This can lead to excess drooling and dehydration, which can make the drool frothy.

Heat Stroke

Heatstroke can be fatal to dogs in a very short period of time. It occurs when your dog overheats and struggles to cool down. However, there are many symptoms alongside drooling that you can identify. Lethargy, rapid panting, being unresponsive, dizziness, and excess drinking should be monitored. The drooling comes due to the rapid panting your dog does in hopes of cooling down. Furthermore, they may have become dehydrated which leads to frothy drool in your dog’s mouth and regular drooling to try to remove it from the mouth. If you are concerned your dog has heat stroke, be sure to visit the vets immediately.

Kidney Disease

When a dog’s kidneys begin to fail, they may produce more toxins than their body can remove. This can lead to nausea, stress, pain, ulcers, and excessive drooling. Other signs of kidney disease include a change in appetite and general interest in food, weight loss, lethargy, stumbling, and vomiting.

Although dog drool can be a common and normal behavior, it can also be a sign of health concerns. Monitoring your dog’s other behavior and considering their individual factors can help you to figure out what is expected of them. However, you should always take your dog to a vet visit if you are concerned. Every dog will show a different combination of symptoms for the same illness and therefore do not brush off an illness because they do not show every sign. It may be that your dog is absolutely fine and is just a drooly breed. S be sure to know what is expected of your dog with their specific characteristics.

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