We all remember watching the drool fly in the "Beethoven" movies, something most of us would probably not want to live with. The problem is that all dogs do, to a certain extent, tend to drool, some far more than others. Despite the fact the drooling is a natural behavior in dogs ,when it becomes excessive it can be too much for you to deal with, no matter how much you love your four-legged friend.
Even though drooling is all part of the package when it comes to having a dog in the house, you may be surprised to learn that there are several reasons behind the drool, some of which are more medical in nature than they are part of a natural process. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce of stop the drooling so that you don't spend half your day cleaning up the mess.
Causes and Prevention of Drooling in Dogs
Oral Hygiene Issues
Just like humans, dogs can easily end up with tartar buildup on their teeth and under their gums. This buildup can lead to brown teeth and red, swollen, or bleeding gums.
The most common cause of tartar buildup is a lack of good oral hygiene that typically leads to periodontal disease and drooling.
The best way to prevent this problem and the associated drooling is to brush your dog's teeth on a regular basis, make sure he has plenty of dental chews, and has a regular checkup with his vet.
Your vet can look for problems such as cracked or damaged teeth, periodontal disease, mouth ulcers, and growths, including cancer. Depending on what is found, your dentist will be able to recommend the most appropriate treatment. Taking care of your dog's mouth is one of the best ways to prevent excessive drooling.
The medical term for excessive drooling is hypersalivation, which is often the result of several psychological conditions. These include anxiety, fear, and nervousness. For example, if your dog tends to drool excessively when going for a ride in the car, he may be overly anxious about being in the car, which would lead to his drooling.
Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety when one or more of their "pack" (human family) leaves. While you can't prevent the fact you all have to leave the house from time to time, there are steps you can take to curb the drooling.
One such method is to provide a specific treat that is only to be given when someone or everyone is leaving the house. In time, your dog will associate that treat with people leaving and should no longer be anxious, but instead will look forward to everyone leaving, eliminating the drooling.
If this doesn't work, you may want to talk to your dog's vet as there are a number of treatments (medications) available to help curb the anxiety, fear, or nervousness and help with the drooling.
Problems with His Salivary Glands
Before you get too carried away with trying the many different treatments for excessive drooling, you should probably take your dog in to see his vet for a checkup. There is a possibility that your dog has a medical problem with his salivary glands.
In most cases, if your dog has abscessed salivary glands or they are inflamed, your vet will be able to prescribe medications such as antibiotics of anti-inflammatories that will help cure the problem and stop the drooling.
There are times when the only option left to your vet is for him to surgically remove problematic salivary glands. This may also be the case with other medical conditions that can lead to drooling such as tonsillitis or tumors. In most cases, the surgery is relatively minor and your dog will make a full recovery.
Importance of Preventing Excessive Drooling
Of course, the most important effect of preventing excessive drooling in your dog is a much cleaner and drier home. But in reality, even your dog will be much happier when he doesn't have to deal with drool running out of his mouth all the time.
The good news is that in most cases the various treatments offer long-term solutions to your dog's drooling. However, you should be aware that a certain amount of drooling is quite normal in dogs and you may have to learn to live with it. You might also be surprised at how much happier your dog will be when he isn't constantly drooling.
Find Out if There’s More to the Story
While every breed of dog drools at least to some extent, in certain instances there is a reason behind excessive drooling that needs to be looked into. Your best bet is to start out with a visit to your dog's vet where you can discuss your concerns and let the vet give your dog a thorough examination. In most cases, the treatments are short term, in that things like medications have a limited life-cycle. But at the same time, as long as you use the medications properly or proceed with any necessary surgery, the final result is a long-term cessation of excessive drooling.