Drooling for their favorite treat can be cute, but when your dog drools for no obvious reason, we need to take a closer look. Excessive drooling, also known as hypersalivation, occurs when your dog’s body produces more saliva than they can swallow. When this happens, the saliva pours out the sides of their mouth, often creating personalized drool artwork on your favorite pair of pants.
So, what is saliva anyway?
Saliva, produced by the salivary glands located near the jaw, is a thick liquid composed mainly of water. It also contains enzymes, electrolytes, and antibacterial compounds. One of the most important enzymes contained in saliva is amylase. When your dog chews their food, the saliva mixes with the food, and the amylase helps to break down the food and initiate digestion. Saliva is also a natural lubricant for the mouth.
When a literal outpouring of saliva occurs, there are a handful of factors to consider in order to determine the cause of the problem. Some are ‘normal’ causes, such as the natural shape of the dog’s head and when they anticipate food, while others indicate an abnormality, such as an oral mass.