So you are at the park with your dogs and there are a lot of other dogs playing around, having a good time. You notice that your dog is drooling as if there is a large, juicy steak kept right in front of him!
Wonder why your dog drools so much on seeing other dogs? Let us dive into some of the most probable reasons why your furry friend is exhibiting this behavior.
When Is It Normal to Drool?
Drooling refers to a process when an excess amount of saliva is produced in the dog’s mouth. As this saliva accumulates, it might drop out of their mouths and make a mess everywhere they go.
However, this is part of having a canine in your life. Just like barking, chasing its tail, sniffing everything, and chasing smaller creatures, your dog will inevitably drool.
This is truer for larger breeds such as mastiffs or bloodhounds because their face is designed in a way that excess saliva gets trapped in the lip folds and eventually keeps dripping slowly.
In short, drooling is normal behavior, especially for larger breeds, that can occur in a variety of situations. It is really impossible to say when or how much your dog will drool and what potentially triggers it.
What Triggers Drooling?
Maybe there is no trigger! Since drooling is an involuntary action, maybe your dog does it even when it is having a luxurious afternoon nap.
That said, there is some research on what causes drooling and when is it right to get concerned about this behavior.
Out of the many reasons why dogs drool, the top of the list is when they are anticipating food.
Are you making something delicious in your kitchen and your pup is sitting right next to the oven with those puppy dog eyes and a puddle of drool on the floor?
This is because your dog is expecting to be fed. Salivating is an important part of the digestive process and helps the dog in processing what it ingests. Don’t our mouths also start watering when we see a delicious hamburger?
Similarly, there are a host of other reasons that may cause your dog to drool. Let us look at some of the most common ones.
Also Read: Why Does My Dog Scratch the Floor?
Dogs with a short snout, such as a boxer or a bulldog, may drool because of their facial anatomy. There just isn’t enough space to accommodate the natural secretions of the salivary glands.
Similarly, larger dogs with several folds on their lips may exhibit drooling as the excess saliva gets accumulated and slowly drips out over time.
It’s just the way they are made! If you have a dog that is more prone to drooling than other breeds, make sure you have a mop and some wipes ready at all times!
Your dog may start drooling when it is in a high-energy state. Maybe it wants to run around and have a good time.
This is a completely normal and involuntary action that is just a result of a heightened state of mind in some dogs.
It is sometimes not advisable to keep your dog in an excited state for too long, because it may engage in unexpected behaviors that may unintentionally cause harm.
Stress or Anxiety
Dogs are known to drool when they are stressed out or worried about something in their environment.
If you feel like your dog is drooling, ensure that it feels safe and try to identify any potential threats that may be causing it to drool.
Over time, you will notice that as your pooch gets more familiar with new environments, the drooling may stop altogether.
As mentioned earlier, saliva plays an important role in the digestive process in most mammals. The anticipation of food can trigger the production of excess saliva.
For this reason, dogs are often seen salivating either when it is meal time or if they smell something delicious in their environment.
At a time like this, give your pooch a nice treat or a hearty meal so that all those bucket loads of saliva are put to good use!
Drooling may be triggered if your dog ingests a poisonous plant. It may also occur if your dog, out of curiosity, licks a poisonous creature such as a scorpion, spider or toad.
In order to ensure that your dog does not mistakenly come into contact with toxic substances in its environment, please refer to the relevant guidelines published by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Also Read: Why Do Dogs Spin In Circles When Excited?
Drooling Around Other Dogs
Now, let’s get to specific instances where your dog’s drools are triggered by being around other dogs. Consider your own observations about when you have noticed your dog around other dogs, and use this list to help yourself identify the possible causes behind drooling.
Just like all other species in the world, sexual desire is hardwired into the dog’s physiological makeup. When a dog sees another adult dog, it may feel an inclination to socialize and explore that dog for the purpose of mating.
For this reason, when you’re in a setting where there are other adult dogs near your dog, you may notice drooling as a sign of sexual desire.
This is generally considered a harmless situation. However, if you are concerned about your dog when it is in heat, try to distance it from other dogs in order to prevent it from getting sexually excited or overly restless.
Similarly, other pet owners may not be comfortable with possible sexual advances that your dog may make on their pets.
Fear and Stress
When surrounded by a number of other dogs, your pup may not able to make full sense of the situation.
Other canines can potentially be perceived as a threat by your dog. As a result, when it sees other dogs in its environment, there is a high chance it might get stressed out or confused about its own safety.
While you may consider your dog to be very self-confident and secure, that is not always the case. In strange environments surrounded by the scents of different dogs, for example, it may drool as a result of the fear and stress that comes with it.
In this situation, try to reassure your dog by petting it every now and then and proceed to a play where your dog might feel safer and less overwhelmed by too many other canines.
Similar to facing fear and stress in new situations or environments, dogs are prone to get confused by the scents coming from other creatures.
For example, if you introduce a small puppy to your adult dog, it may not know exactly how to react to that situation. This kind of behavior is also common when dogs encounter human babies in their environment.
The drooling is a result of this confusion and not knowing how to react to the new individual that they are encountering. For this reason, keep a close eye on your dog and ensure that it does not do something unexpected as a result of being confused.
In such a situation, ensure that you are in full control of the situation when introducing a puppy or another dog to your own. You will notice that over time, the drooling around the puppy may get significantly reduced or stop altogether.
Excited for Play Time
When dogs get excited about physical activity or the chance to interact with other dogs who are equally interested in engaging in play, they might start drooling.
When you are in a park, for example, your dog may constantly be on the lookout for its friends or other dogs who it wants to run around and play with.
This anticipation of having fun and being in an excited state of mind is one of the reasons your dog may be drooling around other dogs.
In a situation like this, feel free to introduce your dog to other dogs in a safe and appropriate manner.
We all know that dogs can be very emotional and dramatic. Did you just pet your other dog, or worse, somebody else’s dog? Unacceptable.
When your dog sees other dogs around itself, it may get potentially envious of them. Say your aunt brought in her dog during a visit to your house. If you start petting her dog too much, you will soon see that your new rug has now been anointed with a bucket fool of envy drool.
This is very harmless behavior but may accumulate if you choose to ignore it completely. If you think that your dog might be feeling left out or ignored, ensure that it is given the right amount of attention and love when it is surrounded by other dogs.
You could also encourage the two dogs to become friendly by engaging in play with both of them or doing activities that involve equal participation and rewards for both the dogs.
While we as humans rely a great deal on visual information present in our environment, dogs are significantly more sensitive to scents.
The way in which a dog makes sense of and gets comfortable with its environment is by sniffing out all the usual scents that can occur in that place.
So when you take your dog to a new environment, it may face a sensory overload consisting of too many new and unidentified scents. A park full of dogs or a friend’s house with other pets may lead your pooch to start drooling as a result of the stress of being surrounded by unfamiliar scents.
In a situation like this, you will find that after getting familiarized with new places and knowing their environments better, your dog will start drooling lesser.
When to Be Concerned
The underlying medical conditions that could potentially cause drooling are many. They could range from the inability to swallow saliva, a broken tooth, or a foreign object irritating the throat.
More serious conditions, such as a heat stroke or damaged kidneys, can have similar symptoms as well. In a situation like this, it is best to get your dog checked out by a professional veterinarian just to be safe.
It is important to keep in mind the following health conditions if you are worried about too much drooling:
- Car sickness, nausea, motion sickness
- Vomiting, shaking, and lethargy due to being poisoned
- Excess exposure to heat
- Infections of the nose, throat or sinuses
- Diseases related to the kidney or liver
Furthermore, there are signs in the saliva itself that can help you determine if medical intervention is required. If the saliva smells rotten and foul or is uncharacteristically thick, or has traces of blood in it, it is advisable to immediately consult a professional.
Similarly, if you feel like your dog is retching too often and throwing up only saliva, it may be time for a thorough check-up to eliminate any medical concerns.
Thus, if you are concerned about excessive or uncharacteristic drooling, please ensure that your dog gets checked for any medical conditions that may later turn out to be a problem.
Also Read: Can You Spoil a Puppy By Holding It Too Much?
Drooling is part of a dog’s natural anatomy. It can be annoying to have to clean up puddles of drool around the house, but that is part and parcel of being a responsible pet parent!
We hope that the above list helps you identify the exact reasons why your dog may be drooling around other dogs. After all, each dog’s personality and physiological makeup are unique, so only you can use your discretion and assess why and when your dog engages in this behavior.
Please ensure that you take into account the more serious medical and health-related reasons behind why your pooch may be drooling too much. Any physical or medical conditions that cause drooling are best addressed immediately for the comfort of both you and your dog.
Besides that, it is always helpful to get to know your dog better, so that you can be better equipped to take care of its needs and ensure that they are growing up to be healthy and free of any potentially dangerous conditions.