Imagine going out for a walk with your dog in a dog park, only to find that your dog is drooling and slobbering. For some breeds, you may notice little trails when they see a delicious treat. Some breeds, on the other hand, such as Mastiffs and Saint Bernards, are naturally more prone to drool. The anatomy of their head and lips is built so that they cannot contain all the drool inside.
Thus, it is common for their drool to drip slowly or go flying as they shake their heads. It all boils down to the fact that drooling or slobbering is a common occurrence among dogs, and we are here to tell you the possible reasons behind the drooling. Written below is an overview of what drool is and why it happens.
Why Does My Dog Drool at the Dog Park?
Why does my dog drool at the dog park? Dogs drool more when they are either excited or stressed. If your dog is drooling more at the park, they are either happy to be around other canines or stressed being in an uncomfortable environment. Check your dogs’ temperament to know which it is.
What is Drooling?
Drool is simply another word for saliva and is formed in glands with three sets—mandibular, parotid, and sublingual. Each gland produces a slightly different type of saliva for a specific purpose. This secretion may vary depending on the type of food a dog eats. If the food is dry, the secretion appears to be more watery to dampen the food, whereas if it is canned, it does not require softening. In this case, the secretion is often thicker.
Saliva is made and swallowed frequently. It helps keep the mouth hydrated and free of food and removes “bad” bacteria from the teeth. It contains massive amounts of fascinating enzymes and electrolytes such as bicarbonate and sodium. Saliva has numerous roles inside the mouth, such as shielding the oral mucosa and teeth, prepping food into a softball for easy ingesting, starting the digestive process of starch, and destroying microbes.
Is Drooling Ever Normal?
Sometimes it’s not unusual for anyone’s dog to slobber. Pavlov has shown in his famous Bell experiments that awaiting food can start making a dog salivate. Fear can also trigger salivation, which is noticeable in storm-phobic dogs. Drooling is a type of heat control for dogs known as evaporative cooling. Yes, drooling can be natural as a reaction to a dog’s emotions or the environment.
However, drool can sometimes become abnormal. Ptyalism refers to excessive salivation. Excessive drooling can be a consequence of an infection of the mouth and other dental diseases. It may also result from nausea, as well. Carsick dogs also display signs of excessive drooling, a sign that they are in a stressful or uncomfortable situation. Benign and malignant tumors in the mouth, stuck foreign objects like sticks across the palate, injury to the tongue or gums, including electrical cord injuries and exposure to corrosive chemicals, sores, and perhaps even metabolic disorders such as shunt of the liver may cause drooling.
Why Your Dog Drools at the Dog Park
Every dog owner may have experienced slobbering from their dogs in walks, playtime, and even when socializing with other dogs. A dog’s drool at the dog park may be a result of overexcitement. This emotion may trigger a variety of responses, but among the most common responses is drooling. They tend to produce excess saliva. It may be adorable and annoyingly funny to see them run around with other dogs as the excess saliva drools down their face and flies in all directions.
However, excessive drooling at a dog park may also be caused by stress. Sometimes when dogs are not yet fully adjusted and socialized with the environment and the dogs around, they tend to show signs of anxiety and stress. This may be a coping mechanism for them to soothe uneasiness. You may find yourself trying to wipe their mouths, whereas other dogs like labs hardly ever drool.
There may be instances where you could notice that the only time your dog shows excessive drooling is when they are in a dog park. This commonly means that something may be triggering this behavior. Listed below are the six most common reasons for your dog’s drooling at dog parks:
They May Be Stressed
Dog parks are excellent spots for dogs to play and socialize. However, other dogs may find these places as stressful. The anxiety and the stress they may feel in dog parks may trigger excessive drooling.
One may wonder what is in the dog park that is stress-inducing for dogs. There are several things to consider, such as the high number of dogs in the park, the level of noise, being around unfamiliar people, or even the park’s location.
Some dogs could take much longer than others to adjust to new settings and new dogs. Be patient and seize this opportunity to socialize your dog at its pace. Pay attention to your pet’s body language and immediately remove them from the place if you notice signs of stress.
They May Be Excited
Some dogs see dog park visits as the most exciting part of the day. Thus, it is a natural reaction for dogs to drool as a response to the feeling of excitement. Additionally, drooling or slobbering may also be a way for dogs to show that they are happy.
Make sure that you are keen on observing your dog’s body language. Always be on the lookout for changes in behavior, especially when it’s your dog’s first time in the dog park. These measures can help you keep your dog, as well as other owners and their dogs, safe in case your dog’s excitement gets out of hand. If you notice your dog looking happy and is zooming around with other dogs, excitement is most likely the cause of drooling.
They May Be Experiencing Nausea
Nausea can be pretty common among dogs as much as it is in humans. It can be one of the many triggers that can cause excessive drooling in dogs. Nausea may stem from a variety of reasons – it may be the result of the car ride to a dog park and may also occur from being unfamiliar with the environment introduced to them. It can even be a consequence of changes in the routine your dog is used to.
Too Much Heat
When dogs are out on hot days, they may become overheated. Overheating can eventually cause your dog to begin to drool. It is recommended to bring water when going out of the house with your dog when the weather is hot. Playing in sunny temperatures can lead to fatigue and heatstroke. Too much drooling could go alongside panting, suggesting that your dog needs to slow and cool down.
Encounter with Something Poisonous
It is common knowledge that dogs tend to run into things they should not. In taking your dog to the dog park, there is always a possibility that they will come into contact with something toxic. Either can trigger a physiological response from your dog, one of which is drooling. Always be alert of harmful elements in your dog’s surroundings.
Dental Health Issues
Oral or dental health issues can trigger excessive drooling in dogs. Several dental health issues may come to mind, such as gingivitis, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and tartar buildup. These are common issues for dogs, but they are not explicitly associated with why dogs drool in a dog park.
If you notice your dog drooling from your visit to the dog park, they might have acquired a cut in their mouth. In some instances, dogs can get damaged teeth from excessive playing or contact with rough objects. Immediately inspect their mouth and look for any injuries.
When to Be Worried
Drooling at the dog park is usually a dog’s normal physiological reaction when encountering various stimuli at once, and there is usually nothing to worry about. Out of the six causes of drooling at the dog park, the two most common causes are excitement and stress.
However, if excessive drooling is observed outside the dog park, immediately consult your veterinarian. It is crucial to address this as soon as possible to avoid severe medical conditions in your dog. Other areas of concern to look out for alongside drooling include:
- Appetite loss.
- Refusing to drink water.
- Pawing at their face.
- Trouble with swallowing.
Can I Stop My Dog From Drooling at the Dog Park?
In addressing the issue of drooling, determine the cause of this behavior first. If the drooling stems from dental health issues, such as infections, consult your veterinarian regarding administering antibiotics or removing the damaged tooth. If it comes from nausea, consult your vet for medication for motion sickness to relieve your dog of any stress with car rides.
If it is due to stress, be sure to stay with your dog through their ordeal. Place them in a place where they feel most safe and comfortable, offer them their favorite toys or treats throughout, introducing them to new conditions. If the drooling is due to excitement, nothing can be done. On the bright side, be relieved to know that your dog is having fun in the dog park. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that your dog is happy.