From their unwavering loyalty to their cute little tails, dogs are beloved for many reasons. But of all the traits you love about your dog, her tendency to drool a lot probably isn’t one of them.

As a loving owner, you are probably willing to forgive your dog’s drooling as a natural, healthy bodily function that helps him eat and digest his food. But if your dog is drooling too much, it could be a sign of a problem.

Below, we’ve listed some common causes and treatments of excessive drooling, or hypersalivation.

Foreign objects
When your dog starts drooling more than usual, the first thing you should do is look inside her mouth. Check her teeth, gums, tongue, and throat for objects like splinters, shards of bones, hooks, plants, or cloth. Remove the object if you feel confident doing so — otherwise, visit your vet.

Mouth injuries
Check your dog’s mouth for signs of bleeding, wounds, and discoloration. You may be able to help small injuries heal by swabbing your dog’s mouth with a bit of hydrogen peroxide. For larger injuries or excessive bleeding, you may want to consult with your vet.

Dental issues

If tartar builds up inside your dog’s mouth, it can cause him to drool excessively. You may be able to identify problems with tartar build-up by checking his teeth for browning and his gums for redness, swelling, or bleeding. Consult with your vet if you think that issues with your dog’s teeth or mouth may be causing excessive drooling. Your vet can check your dog for dangerously cracked teeth, mouth diseases, growths, and ulcers, and recommend appropriate treatments, such as extraction, a professional cleaning, or routine brushing.

It probably seems counterintuitive, but drooling is actually a symptom of heatstroke. If you’re worried that she’s spending too much time in the sun and notice common signs like drooling, lethargy, and unresponsiveness, heatstroke may be the culprit. Since this is something that can kill your dog, it is vital that you take it very seriously and get her to your vet immediately. You can help prevent heat stroke by ensuring your dog always has easy access to water, and not leaving her out in the sun on hot days or alone in a parked car ever.

Your dog may become anxious or carsick during car rides, especially if he is not used to riding. When anxious, it is not uncommon for dogs to breathe heavily and drool excessively. You can help him feel more comfortable and reduce nausea by taking him on short rides before building up to longer ones. Ginger pills can also help.

Liver or kidney disease
Both of these diseases may cause hypersalivation. Visit your vet if you are concerned with your dog’s health, and remember to schedule routine checkups in order to identify and treat health problems before they become more serious.

Oral infections
If you dog develops a sinus or throat infection, this can cause excessive drooling. Common signs of infections include pus and bad breath. Talk to your vet if you think your dog may have an infection.

Plant consumption
Certain types of plants can be poisonous to dogs and cause excessive drooling as well as other problems. Common plants that are poisonous to dogs include chrysanthemums, tulips, and azaleas.

When it comes to your dog’s health and well-being, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have any doubt or concern about your dog’s excessive drooling, talk to your vet.

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