My Dog Is Drooling And Acting Strange

All dogs will slobber from time to time.

Though we expect to encounter the occasional drip of drool, any excessive drooling can point to underlying health complications in our furry friends.

Excessive drooling in itself can already be concerning, but the addition of strange behavior can really amplify your worry.

So what is causing your dog to drool and act strange?

In this article we will help you better understand what is considered excessive drooling in dogs, and discuss the potential factors behind your dog’s strange behavior.

Why Is My Dog Drooling And Acting Strange

Is Drooling Normal In Dogs?

If you have a canine friend in your life, it’s safe to assume that they will drool occasionally.

Drooling can occur when your pup smells a delicious meal cooking in the kitchen, or even after an intense play session.

A small amount of slobber from your pup is completely normal, especially if they are a breed that is prone to drooling.

While excessive drooling can point to underlying illness, the occasional slobber is nothing to be concerned with.

Do Some Dogs Drool More Than Others?

As we mentioned above, some breeds of dog are more prone to drooling than others.

Certain furry friends have loose skin around their mouth and short snouts, making it challenging for them to keep saliva in their mouth.

Because of this, these pups will often leave a trail of drool behind them.

Some of the breeds that are known to drool more than others include:

  • Great Pyrenees
  • Basset Hounds
  • Mastiffs
  • Boxers
  • Bloodhounds
  • St. Bernards
  • Great Danes

Even if your dog is not one of the breeds listed above, some dogs simply drool more than others.

If you often ask yourself why your dog drools so much, we suggest reaching out to your vet to make sure it is normal for your furry friend.

Identifying Excessive Drooling In Dogs

Though a dog that slobbers occasionally is completely normal, excessive drooling in dogs can point to underlying complications.

A sudden onset of drooling and strange behavior can point to everything from dental pain to toxicities, making it an important symptom to be aware of.

We know it can be challenging to determine just how much drool is too much drool, so let’s break it down a bit.

When assessing your dog’s drool production, it’s important to simply be aware of what is normal for them.

If your once drool-free pup is suddenly slobbering all over everything they touch, this is not something to ignore.

This is also true of a dog suddenly having drops of saliva hanging from their mouth, especially when this is not a common occurrence for them.

If it is different enough to catch your attention, it is likely excessive for your dog.

11 Possible Reasons Why Your Dog Is Drooling And Acting Strange

Excessive drooling in itself can be concerning in our furry friends, but even more so when it is accompanied by strange behavior.

These strange symptoms in dogs can point to an array of possible health conditions, so let’s discuss some of the most common causes below.

Your Dog Is Stressed Or Has Anxiety

Excessive drooling is not always a result of health issues, but rather an intense emotional response to the world around them.

Our canine friends can experience stress and anxiety just like you and I can, and these reactions can have a bodily response.

Drooling for dogs can be comparable to biting nails when we are nervous, making it fairly normal for some furry friends.

In addition to the drool that begins to pull in their mouth, your pup may also display other strange behaviors like whining, shaking, panting, hiding, and pacing.

Your Dog Is Excited

Not only can dogs begin to drool and act strange when they are anxious, but they can experience these same symptoms with excitement as well.

A dog that is overcome with joy may begin to salivate and slobber, whether they are excited for a meal or they are seeing their favorite person.

If it seems like your happy pup is slobbering and whining each time they get excited, this may be completely normal for them.

Your Dog Has Motion Sickness

Does it seem like your dog starts drooling each time they are in the car?

This is extremely common in our furry friends, and typically points to the presence of motion sickness.

Motion sickness can occur in dogs just like it would in humans, causing the dog to become nauseous each time the wheels start turning.

Not only can the motion itself make a dog sick, but so can the anxiety of traveling to an unknown location.

If your dog starts drooling and acting strange each time they are in a vehicle, their symptoms should disappear once you reach your location.

Your Dog Has Nausea From GI Upset

Not only can a dog drool and act strange when they are experiencing nausea from motion sickness, but they can drool due to nausea of any kind.

GI upset can occur in dogs for many reasons, ranging from dietary indiscretion to infectious disease.

If your dog is fighting the urge to vomit due to their illness, you may notice them drooling more than usual.

Some of the other signs of nausea to be on the lookout for include:

  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Whining
  • Panting

If you think your pup is experiencing GI upset for any reason, we suggest reaching out to your veterinarian for guidance.

Your Dog Has Dental Pain

Dental pain is one of the most common causes of excessive drooling in our furry friends.

Dental disease can lead to inflammation of the gums in a dog’s mouth, causing a significant amount of pain for the pup affected.

This painful inflammation can cause a dog to drool more often than usual, especially if they have developed a dental infection.

Dogs with dental pain may also experience bad breath, blood on their toys, blood in their water bowl, difficulty eating, and even facial swelling.

If you ever notice these symptoms in your furry friend we suggest having them seen by your veterinarian.

Your Dog Has Heat Stroke

When a dog is beginning to overheat to the point of heat stroke, many dogs will begin to hypersalivate and display strange behavior.

Heat stroke can occur when a dog spends a long period of time in a hot climate, as well as when a dog is overworked without the ability to calm down.

This can cause their body temperature to rise to a dangerous level, leading to what is known as a heat stroke.

Some of the most common signs of heat stroke in dogs include drooling, panting, disorientation, ataxia, excessive thirst, vomiting, weakness, seizure, and collapse.

If you think your dog may be having a heat stroke, it is important to have them seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Your Dog Has An Oral Foreign Body

If your dog has something trapped in their mouth, they may begin to drool and behave erratically.

Items ranging from pieces of bones to sticks in your backyard can get stuck in your dog’s mouth, causing them to frantically paw at their mouth in search of relief.

Not only will these pups often become desperate to remove the foreign body from their mouth, but you may also notice them drooling and swallowing as well.

Our dogs can’t make sense of what is happening, so they will participate in any effort in an attempt to bring them relief.

If you think your dog may have something stuck in their mouth, we suggest having them seen by a vet.

Your Dog Is Experiencing A Toxicity

Toxicities of any kind can cause some strange symptoms in our beloved pups.

There are potential toxins everywhere in the world around your dog, with some even being common household items.

If your dog ever gets their paws on something toxic, this can lead to a life threatening toxicity.

Based on the type of body system the toxin effects, you may notice an array of concerning symptoms.

Some of the most common signs of toxicity in dogs include drooling, lethargy, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, disorientation, ataxia, seizures, twitching, and even collapse.

If you think your dog has developed a toxicity, or has just consumed something potentially toxic, we suggest having them seen by your vet immediately.

If the toxic item has a label of any kind, be sure to bring it with you to your vet’s office.

Your Dog Has A Seizure Disorder

Many canine friends will drool excessively either during or after having a seizure.

This can be due to a variety of factors, and can continue hours after the seizure has occurred.

While some pups will simply be more slobbery than usual, others will have huge ringlets of saliva hanging from their mouth.

In addition to hypersalivation, a dog that just had a seizure may experience:

  • Disorientation
  • Ataxia
  • Temporary blindness
  • Confusion
  • Vocalizations
  • Muscle twitching
  • Aggression

We always suggest reaching out to your vet if you think they may have just had a seizure, especially if this is their first seizure experience.

Your Dog Is In Respiratory Distress

If a dog is struggling to breath for any reason, they may experience excessive drooling and strange behavior.

Respiratory distress can cause a dog to panic if they are unable to get enough air in, leading to an array of erratic behaviors to find relief.

The huffing and puffing of respiratory distress may also cause a dog to drool excessively, with some of their saliva even foaming up around their mouth.

Some of the most common signs of respiratory distress in dogs include:

  • Drooling
  • Labored breathing
  • Loud breathing
  • Coughing
  • Weakness
  • Purple or muddy gums and tongue
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Collapse

Respiratory distress is a major medical emergency no matter the cause, so we always suggest having them seen immediately if your dog is ever struggling to breath.

Your Dog Has A Metabolic Disease

There are many different types of metabolic disease that can cause drooling in dogs.

This can be a result of symptoms of their condition ranging from nausea to oral infections, causing a dog to drool and appear unwell.

This can include kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and any other form of chronic illness that impacts a dog’s health.

These conditions will typically cause other concerning symptoms as well, so we always suggest having your pup seen if they ever display any strange behaviors.

When Should I Take My Dog To The Vet?

If your dog is dripping drool, you may wonder, is it time to take them to the vet?

Though drooling can be normal in situations involving emotional responses and mild motion sickness, it can also point to serious health complications.

Due to this, we always suggest reaching out to your vet if you cannot pinpoint a harmless cause of their drooling.

If it is not an emotional response or breed related, it is always best to just reach out to your veterinarian to be safe.

Diagnosing The Cause Of Drooling And Strange Behavior In Dogs

If you take your dog to the vet for drooling and strange behavior, there are typically a few things you can expect.

First, your veterinarian will gather a detailed medical history and account of the current symptoms they are experiencing.

Your vet will also perform a physical exam that searches for any obvious complications, as well as obtaining their vitals.

Based on the results of their physical exam, your vet can decide which diagnostic tools are necessary.

Blood tests and x-rays are typically the first stop when getting to the bottom of strange behavior in dogs, but every situation will vary.

Due to this, we suggest trusting your vet’s guidance as they determine the best route for your pup.

Based on the results of your dog’s diagnostics, your vet will discuss which treatment options are available to assist in their recovery.

Each of the possible scenarios discussed above have different treatment options and recovery rates, so your veterinarian is the best one to offer advice on prognosis.

Final Thoughts

Though drooling may be abnormal behavior in some dogs, it can point to underlying illness in other furry friends.

As long as you understand what is typical of your furry friend, you can quickly spot any symptoms that require veterinary attention.

There is one comment:

  • Jody K at 7:26 am

    My senior Golden Retriever (12 1/2 years) is experiencing anxiety more and more as time goes by. Medication doesn’t seem to help with the excessive drooling and panting. Any unexpected noise sends him into a state for hours and is not easily remedied. He’s also experiencing mobility challenges in his hind legs for some time now. It’s difficult seeing your loved one with health issues.

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