Excessive Drooling in a Dog: What it Means for River North Pet Owners

It’s completely normal for dogs to get a little “drooly” sometimes; it’s part of having a canine in the family. However, a dog drooling more than usual might be cause for some concern. While you probably won’t need to rush your dog to the emergency vet at the first sign of heavy slobber, you should contact your veterinarian to find out the cause. We’re dedicated to educating River North pet parents about their dogs and helping them be more proactive about keeping them healthy. What might seem normal could be indicative of an underlying problem, and we want to prevent that problem from getting worse. Here’s why your dog could be excessively drooling in River North.

excessive dog drooling in river north

So, Why is My Dog Drooling A Lot?

There’s a long list of reasons that could explain your dog’s excessive drooling problem. The causes listed below can help you assess the situation and know whether a call to the vet is necessary. We would prefer if you would reach out to us regardless, so we can give you peace of mind.

“Typical” Drooling

Certain dog breeds are notorious for being slobbery. This includes Saint Bernards, Bloodhounds, Mastiffs, and other jowly canines. This is considered “typical” drooling, because it isn’t caused by any kind of health problem. Rather, it occurs because the breeds’ head and lip conformation cannot hold in all the saliva, which becomes trapped in the folds of the extra skin they have around their lips and muzzle. When they drink, water can also get stuck in these folds.

If your dog is one of these breeds, have a drool rag handy at all times!

Other Examples of Typical Dog Drooling

Dogs can also drool excessively when they’re anticipating food (kind of like we do, but a little messier), or when they take a medication that has an unpleasant taste. Heavy drooling is a normal reaction in this case and nothing to be worried about.

Health Problems that Can Cause Excessive Drooling in Dogs

A variety of conditions can cause abnormally heavy drooling in dogs, in addition to other symptoms.

Oral Diseases

Tooth decay, gum inflammation, tartar buildup, and oral tumors in the mouth and/or throat will cause dogs to drool more than normal. Oral and dental diseases, if they advance, can cause serious illness throughout the body and even be life-threatening in some cases.

Be sure to take your pet’s oral health seriously, and bring them in for a professional teeth cleaning at least once a year so we can help you manage their oral and dental needs.

A Foreign Body in the Mouth or Throat

Dogs love to put things in their mouth and chew on things. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for a foreign body to get wedged in the teeth or lodged in the throat. Wood chips, pieces of plastic, bone fragments (from chewing on bones), and even string are known hazards.

If an object gets stuck in their mouth, they’ll start drooling excessively. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you suspect that your pet has a foreign body.

Stomach Upset

An upset stomach, be it nausea or a stomachache, can also cause heavy drooling in dogs. Drooling brought on by nausea is of course temporary, and can even be resolved with anti-nausea medication prescribed by your veterinarian.

Anxiety is another factor that might cause your dog to drool more than normal. Talk to us so we can help your pet overcome their anxiety and live a happier (and less slobbery) life.

Eating something they shouldn’t can cause serious gastrointestinal issues as well. This includes toys, socks, poisonous plants and chemicals, and even human medications. In addition to the drooling, your dog may also be vomiting and acting lethargic. Don’t wait for things to blow over; call us immediately if you sense that something is wrong.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a serious condition resulting from your dog’s overexposure to sun and heat (much like in humans). A dog with heat stroke will be panting heavily in an attempt to cool down, and with this panting comes excessive drooling. Because heat stroke can be fatal, you should contact your veterinarian in River North right away before attempting any treatment yourself.

Upper Respiratory Infections

If your dog has an infection of the nose, sinuses, or throat, this can also cause them to drool. Other signs of an upper respiratory infection include discharge from the eyes and nose, coughing, and decreased appetite.

Organ Disease

Like humans, dogs get more prone to disease as they grow older. This includes kidney and liver disease, which may cause your dog to drool more than usual. Keeping up with your pet’s annual or semiannual health visits is the best way to catch diseases early on, before they become harder to treat.


Bloat is a life-threatening condition in which the stomach becomes filled with gas or fluid, putting pressure on the surrounding organs. Drooling is one of the warning signs of this condition, along with restlessness and swelling of the stomach. Seek medical attention for your dog immediately if you suspect they might have bloat.

When in Doubt, Talk to Your Veterinarian About Your Dog’s Excessive Drooling

Even if your pet’s drooling is not related to a medical problem, we still want to give you assurance. If there is ever a time when you’re not sure whether their condition signifies something serious, please call us at (312) 643-2901!

Share This Post

Recent Posts

tips dog bad breath river north

Tips for Getting Rid of Your Dog’s Bad Breath in River North

heatstroke in dogs in river north, chicago

Heatstroke in Dogs in River North: What to Keep an Eye Out For

garden plants to keep away from your pets

Garden Plants to Keep Away from Your Pet in River North

About Us

Companion Animal Hospital of River North is dedicated to the complete, progressive care you and your pets deserve. Experience our outstanding care by becoming a member of our family.