Don’t Let Dog Slobber Get You Down
Saliva has a lot going for it. Not only helpful to the process of digestion, but a healthy mouthful of saliva also improves the sense of taste and promotes dental health. But when your floors or furniture endure a thick coating of dog slobber each and every day, the benefits of saliva seem a lot less…beneficial.
Battling copious amounts of slobber can be an exercise in futility. Instead, understanding why dogs drool can help dog owners learn to live with it.
No Big Thing
Many dog owners don’t mind or have simply accepted doggie drool. They figured out early on that following their pup around with a quick wipe minimizes any buildup. Additionally, covering couches and chairs with absorbent, washable fabric can intercept saliva puddles before they get out of hand.
The Basics of Doggie Drool
Saliva is mostly water but is also made up of enzymes, electrolytes, and antibacterial agents that are essential to a dog’s health.
Glands near the jaw produce saliva. It is then deposited and stored in ducts before it is called on to lubricate the initial stages of digestion. Saliva helps with chewing and swallowing food, but it also covers the teeth with protective minerals and proteins that combat decay.
Normal Causes of Dog Slobber
Certain dog breeds, such as mastiffs, Saint Bernards, and Newfoundlands are famous slobberers. Other dogs simply don’t come equipped with the anatomy to hold a lot of liquid in their mouths.
Another reason that dogs slobber is that it’s the body’s automatic response to the idea of enjoying a particularly tasty meal. Dogs have over 200 million receptors to smell and react accordingly to delicious food.
Lastly, dogs drool when excited or agitated.
Where’s the Line?
Too much of a good thing can become problematic. Beyond the possible gross factor and/or inconvenience, when does too much dog slobber become an issue?
When an excessive amount of saliva is produced, dogs cannot swallow it. It quickly overloads the mouth, collects in the corners of the lips, and runs out of the mouth in thick rope-like strands. The following possibilities can explain excessive dog slobber:
- Dental disease
- Injury to the mouth, teeth, and gums
- Foreign bodies
- Lump and bumps in the mouth
- Gastrointestinal problems
If you ever notice an uptick in dog slobber accompanied with changes in their behavior or appetite, please seek help immediately.
Sometimes dog slobber can be linked to certain conditions that can be determined by blood tests, digital x-rays or ultrasounds, and other diagnostics. Treatment may include tending to their teeth and oral health, removing foreign bodies, or prescribing certain medications.
A behavioral intervention can be helpful before you plan to travel, interact with visitors, or attend public events together. And, if dog slobber is simply the result of your dog’s breed and anatomy, don’t worry. A clever-looking bandanna tied to their neck can help you clean up any drool and instantly increase their cuteness factor.
Please call us at (570) 424‑6773 with any questions or concerns about dog slobber. We’re always here for you at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital.