Why Do Dogs Slobber?

Written by: Richard Rowland

As a pet parent, there are many things you love about your dog, but their drool is likely not one of them! If you have a large dog breed, like a St. Bernard, it's not uncommon for them to drool a fair amount. But even small dogs can produce quite a bit of saliva and leave behind wet spots on your furniture and clothes.

November 16 is National Slobber Appreciation Day, and it's the perfect opportunity to learn more about your dog's slobber, its benefits, and a few tips to help keep your home drool-free. So, let's dive in and explore everything you need to know about your dog's slobber.

What is Dog Drool?

A happy dog slobbering on a bed

Drool is an accumulation of saliva in and around your dog's mouth, and it's a necessary and normal part of the digestive process.

Your dog has four salivary glands in their neck and jaw area. When they eat, these salivary glands produce saliva, just like your mouth waters when you smell your favorite meal. The saliva provides moisture, helping your dog easily swallow and break down larger pieces of food.

Some dog breeds, like Saint Bernards and Mastiffs, aren't able to contain the amount of drool they produce within their mouth because of the way their head and lips are formed. This is why these breeds have a reputation for being more drooly than other breeds.

Saliva isn't just for digestion, however – it can also help keep your dog's teeth healthy. Dog saliva is slightly alkaline, helping to provide a buffer between your dog's tooth enamel and the acids that lead to cavities.

Dog drool is also antibacterial. In fact, evidence suggests that when your dog licks their wounds, they heal twice as fast as wounds that they don't lick.

Is Your Dog's Slobber Healthy?

A white dog slobbering on a mountain top

Slobber is normal for dogs, but if you notice that your dog is drooling excessively, it may be a symptom of an underlying health condition.

Because your dog's body produces drool to aid in digestion, their mouth will water when they ingest anything, not just food. If your pup is excessively drooling, it could be a sign that a foreign object is stuck in their mouth or esophagus. Your dog's drool will also increase if they've ingested something toxic.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has eaten something that they shouldn't, as the consequences can be life-threatening.

Other mouth-related issues can also cause excess slobber. Tooth decay and plaque buildup, for example, can rub against the inside of your dog's lips, causing them to drool. Brush your dog's teeth regularly to keep them clean and healthy, and visit your vet biannually for a professional cleaning.

Anxiety is also a major cause of excessive drooling in dogs. When your dog is anxious, they're likely panting excessively, and open-mouthed panting and breathing can cause overproduction of slobber. Motion sickness has a similar effect.

Other common causes of excessive drooling include:

  • Nausea
  • Mouth injuries
  • Growths in the mouth
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Excitement

4 Quick Tips to Clean Up Your Dog's Slobber

If you're the proud pet parent of a dog that frequently slobbers, you know how often you need to clean their drool from around your home. Here are a few tips to make cleaning up after your four-legged friend's slobber easier.

1) Keep a Mat Under Your Dog's Food and Water Bowls

For most dogs, mealtime is the main time that they drool, so you're likely to see the most drool stains on your floor around their food and water bowls.

To help protect your floors and keep the drool contained, create a designated spot for your dog's food and water, and place a West Paw No-Slip Feed Mat underneath both bowls. The mat will catch any drool that your dog drops, and the rubber will be easy to clean.

Creating a food routine can also help reduce how often your dog drools. Keep mealtimes to only twice per day, and stagger when you give them natural dog treats so they don't get used to a particular time of day.

2) Keep a Soft Washcloth or Kitchen Towel Nearby

Keeping a soft washcloth or kitchen towel nearby is always a good idea – you never know when your pup is going to have an accident or make a mess. This is especially true if your dog drools frequently.

Affectionately referred to as a drool rag by many pet parents, this washcloth can help you stop drool at its source. Use one to wipe slobber from your dog's face before it can fall onto the floor or your furniture.

You can also use the towel to clean up any slobber that does fall around your house. The oils and enzymes inside your dog's slobber create hard-to-clean stains when it dries, but cleaning the drool immediately prevents those stains from forming.

3) Use a Magic Eraser

If the drool has dried, a Magic Eraser or similar melamine foam product can help get those stains out of your cabinets, floors, or walls. The melamine foam is abrasive, making it great for dissolving the oils and enzymes inside your dog's slobber.

You can use Magic Erasers on a variety of surfaces throughout your home, like stainless steel, wooden baseboards, or laminate floors, and you only need water to activate them. Simply dampen the eraser, rub it over the stain, and watch as the slobber disappears.

4) Use Vinegar and Water or an Enzyme Cleaner

If you have especially stubborn stains, a solution of one part vinegar and two parts hot water can cut through the mineral buildup without damaging your floors or furniture. You can also add a few drops of your favorite dish soap.

Wet a washcloth with the cleaning solution, and wipe the stained area. Start gently at first, but don't be afraid to use a little elbow grease to work out those stubborn stains. Once you've cleaned the spot, return with a dry rag.

The vinegar and water mixture also works great for cleaning drool stains from windows without leaving any streaks on the glass.

For stubborn, dried-on drool stains, you can also try using a pet-friendly enzyme cleaner. Only Natural Pet Dog Stain & Odor Remover is a great option as it's completely non-toxic and made with an organic bio-enzyme blend. It works effectively on carpets, upholstery, and hard surfaces, so you can use it all around your home.

Embrace Your Dog's Slobber for National Slobber Appreciation Day

Four dogs drooling over some treats

Slobber may not be your favorite part of being a pet parent, but it's part of what makes your furry friend so loveable. Take today to remember that your dog's drool is a natural part of their digestive system, and it keeps them safe and happy while they eat all their favorite natural dog foods.

Armed with a few tips to effectively clean your dog's drool from your home, you can appreciate your pup's slobber today and every day!