Dog Drooling

Dog Drooling: When is This a Concern?

Dr. Cassie Knapp

Jun 12, 2023

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Do you have a dog who drools a lot? Are you worried about what this could mean for them? When is drooling a problem in dogs, and when is it perfectly normal? Don’t all dogs drool?

If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, you’re not alone. In the article below, you’ll find a list of situations in which your dog’s drooling is normal, as well as some advice about when it might not be normal, too. Read on to learn more about drooling in dogs and find out more about your own pet’s needs.

When is Drooling Normal?

Listed below are the times when this behavior is normal: 

Temporary Excitement or Anxiety

If your dog’s anxiety or excitement is temporary and causes her to drool for a short time, then you don’t have to worry about this behavior.

Car Sickness

Car sickness is a common cause of drooling and lip licking in dogs. Although your dog may not vomit in the car, she may experience some nausea-related drooling in a moving vehicle. It is not abnormal for dogs to be get car sick, but your veterinarian can help you treat this problem if your dog experiences car sickness.

Smelling Something Good

If your dog smells something good, she may drool about it! Even if the smell is not something you yourself are interested in, it could cause your dog to start drooling. This is not abnormal and should clear up in a few minutes.

Medication Side Effect

Some types of medication, especially bitter-tasting ones, may cause excessive drooling in your dog. Talk to your vet for more information about potential side effects of any medication your dog is taking. If your dog’s drooling has just started along with a new medication, ask the vet if the medication could be the culprit.

Hot Days

It is perfectly normal for a dog to pant and drool slightly on a very hot day, especially if she’s been active recently. If she is at rest and is still panting or drooling, however, this could be an indicator that something is wrong. If you do notice that your pet is panting or slightly drooling on a hot day, then it’s time for them to have some shade, a good rest and a water break.

Breed-specific Drooling

Of course, it may go without saying, but some breeds are more prone to drooling than others. If your dog is from a breed that is known for its drooling, then you don’t have anything to worry about—this is perfectly normal behavior for her.

Kissing a Frog

Although some toads and frogs are very poisonous if touched or licked, most toads in the United States cause only mild and temporary signs in dogs, which includes drooling. Oral irritation and vomiting can also occur. If you suspect your dog has caught or licked a frog, expect quite a bit of drooling. Make sure your dog has access to fresh, clean water to rinse out her mouth.

When is Drooling Abnormal?

Listed below are the times when this is abnormal:

Long-Term Anxiety

While short-term, temporary anxiety is often nothing to worry about, any dog who has long-term anxiety severe enough to cause drooling should be treated by a vet for this problem.

Mouth Injury

If your dog has any type of mouth injury affecting the tongue, inside of the cheeks or roof of the mouth, she is likely to drool as a result. The presence of severe dental disease such as tooth decay or gum inflammation may also lead to drooling. 


Pain of any type can cause some dogs to drool. If your dog is drooling along with panting, and especially if she shows other signs of being in pain too, then pain could be the root cause of her drooling behavior. Work with your vet to determine what is causing your dog to hurt.

Significant Nausea

Like anxiety, short-term nausea with a clear cause (like car sickness) is not anything to worry about. However, if your dog has significant nausea or seems to be sick with something causing her to feel nauseated, then she may drool excessively. This is a situation in which she should see a vet for treatment.


Heatstroke is a very dangerous and often deadly cause of drooling that can happen to dogs who spend time outdoors on hot, humid days or even dogs who are locked in a vehicle. Unlike other causes of drooling, dogs with heatstroke often have additional signs of illness such as: rapid panting, rapid heart rate, high body temperature, weakness, collapse, coughing up blood, rectal bleeding, and even loss of consciousness. . Take your pet to the emergency vet immediately if you know or suspect she has heatstroke.


Several ornamental flowers and plants cause serious illness in dogs, and drooling can be one of the signs of toxicity. ASPCA has a helpful website listing out numerous toxic plants. If your dog is drooling and has recent exposure to a toxic plant, reach out immediately to an emergency vet or poison control center for advice.

VEG is Here if You Have Concerns About Your Dog Drooling 

With the help of this guide, you should have a better idea of when drooling is normal and when it isn’t. If your dog has suddenly started drooling and you aren’t sure why, closely examine her for any signs that something is wrong. And if you’re unsure about what’s going on, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution and go to the vet or emergency vet.

For more information, or if you would like to speak to an emergency vet, contact VEG by calling one of our locations. Our emergency vets are available 24/7 to help you and your pet when you need us the most. When you come to VEG, you can be rest assured that your dog will get the proper care they need.