My Dog is Drooling and Acting Strange

If your dog is drooling excessively, it can be a sign of any of the following:

  • Heatstroke
  • Anxiety
  • Motion sickness
  • Mouth disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Organ disease
  • Poisoning from certain plants
  • Stomach ache
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Hypersalivation
  • A tumor in the salivary gland
  • Distemper
  • An intruding foreign object
  • A drug side effect
  • Epilepsy


It might seem like a lot of things to be concerned about, but then, it could all just be your dog eyeing some food and drooling over that.

However, knowing why your dog is drooling will help you figure out the correct treatment to give him.

Let’s face it. Dogs drool…a lot. Sometimes, there’s just no stopping them.

Other times, however, drooling can also be a symptom of an underlying issue that needs to be treated promptly.


So what do you do? What could be the reason

As a pet owner, I completely understand how worried I’d be if my dog is drooling and acting strange…well, stranger than usual.

But it is important to understand why your dog is drooling so you can accordingly decide what to do about it.

Here’s a list of possible reasons why dogs might drool.


Diagnosis of excessive drooling and strange behavior



Some dog breeds inherently have long, droopy jowls that make them drool quite a bit while other breeds will drool relatively less.

Saint Bernards, Mastiffs, Bloodhounds, Newfoundlands, and Bulldogs are some of the dog breeds that drool a lot.

Breeds like Dachshunds, Spaniels, Terriers, Maltese, Greyhounds, and Poodles, however, do not drool a lot.

So, if your dog appears to be drooling a lot, there is a good possibility that he’s genetically bred that way to have floppy, drooly jowls. He has glands near his jaws that secrete saliva.

When he salivates naturally, the saliva will gather in the loose pouches of his jowls, and when they fill up, the saliva will overflow and drool down the side.

This is perfectly normal, depending on the breed.



If your dog loves the outdoors and spends his day out in the backyard, under the sun, then there is a very good chance that the high temperature outside will result in him feeling tired and dehydrated.

Signs of dehydration include dry nose, visible tiredness, excessive panting, and sunken eyes.

Heat exhaustion or hyperthermia in pets occurs when their body temperature rises above the healthy range.

This might cause a heat stroke. All this will definitely cause your dog to drool a lot from thirst and exhaustion.

You will need to make sure that he has plenty of cool, shady places to play in and more importantly, that he stays hydrated.

Make sure he has the chance to cool down every hour or so, to prevent the risk of heatstroke. If his body is cool, he will naturally pant, salivate, and drool less.

Keep in mind that when he is dehydrated he loses even more water from his body via drool, so make sure he’s drinking enough fluids.


Dental issues

Dogs need to have clean teeth as well, just like you and I do.

While you don’t necessarily need to brush and floss his teeth every day, you do, however, need to clean his teeth for him regularly to prevent any kind of diseases from developing inside his mouth on his teeth and gums.

Over time, his teeth, just like a human’s teeth might will develop tartar. Only, with your dog, he might suddenly start drooling excessively.

Gum diseases that cause him to drool are increasingly painful, so keep an eye out for anything stuck on his teeth and make sure you keep up his dental hygiene.

If you leave any food particles to sit inside his mouth, there is a good chance that it will rot his teeth and he will get an infection inside his mouth and tongue.

Sometimes, a chipped or loose tooth and inflamed gums can cause him to drool excessively. A growing puppy will teeth, which will make him drool a lot as his teeth grow.


Cancerous growths, lumps, or infections

As a dog owner, you will need to monitor your dog’s health.

While you clean your dog’s teeth, keep an eye out for any lumps and bumps you might find along his jowls as these can turn out to be cancerous growths that have been making him drool or act strange, tired, and listless.

Your dog might be suffering from certain diseases of the liver, stomach, or kidneys which will not just secrete saliva excessively but also cause him great pain.

Oral Papillomavirus is a condition that once again offsets heavy secretion of drool. It is an infection that is transmitted from other infected dogs.

If you notice a cluster of pink patches or rashes, there’s a good chance your dog is infected and drooling as a result of that.

Irritation in his nose and throat or even an inflamed sinus infection can also make his slobber.

Your dog might also have hyperplasia of the salivary glands, a condition in which the cells of the salivary gland grow too quickly and cause excessive drooling.

A physical examination, first at home and regularly at that, and subsequently by a vet to confirm and diagnose what’s actually wrong with him is advised.


Tummy Trouble

 As much as you try to closely monitor and control what your dog eats, let’s face it, he’s going to ingest things that will make your skin crawl.

This can be mice, insects, toads, random plants and mushrooms…anything that he can reach, he will eat.

When your dog suffers from indigestion, the most common symptoms he will experience will be nausea and heartburn.

However, indigestion can also make him drool incessantly, and he will definitely be under the weather. Look out, because a dog with indigestion will definitely be gassy.

A fairly accurate indication that he’s eaten something off is the odor that comes off his mouth and his drool.

If it is particularly pungent, then there is a chance that he might have a bacterial infection like lip fold dermatitis which will cause his jowls to become inflamed and drip.

There is also the possibility that he might eat something that might be toxic or even poisonous. So always watch out for what he eats.

Indigestion will make him look pale and wan so if he’s acting strange, this might be why.


Anxiety and Stress

 Severe anxiety and stress will definitely affect your dog’s behavior. It will make him jumpy and you can expect him to be lethargic and sleepy.

There are many reasons why your puppy is sad. Many dogs suffer from severe separation anxiety when they are away from their owners.

A nervous dog will not just act strange, he will also lick and drool excessively, and sometimes even pee from being very nervous.

If your dog has been behaving strangely or appears to be losing weight, looking under the weather, and generally low on morale, it might be possible that he is depressed or anxious.

Carefully monitor his behavior for a few days and then take him to a vet if he’s still drooling or acting strange.


Reaction to food and smell

Most of the time, your dog drools and acts like a real nutter when he smells or sees food. His mouth will salivate, much like human beings’ mouths salivate and he will drool till you feed him.

This is nothing to worry about. Now him not drooling at the sight of a meaty bone, is something to worry about.


How to treat your dog’s drooling

It is important to first understand the reason he’s drooling or acting weird in order to treat him for whatever ails him- be it depression or gluttony.

Next, understand that drooling isn’t all that bad. Dogs drool naturally, especially during Spring and Summer months when it is warm. Drooling helps them stay cool.

Cleaning your dog’s jowls and teeth regularly and thoroughly to remove dirt, food particles stuck in them, and any foreign substance is paramount to maintaining good dental hygiene.

He is less likely to develop any fungal, viral, or bacterial infections if you regularly clean his mouth.

If you notice any cuts, bruises, boils, or lesions, you can wash the affected area with fresh water and a canine antiseptic solution that your vet can prescribe.

Make sure you test the solution beforehand to check if he is allergic.

If his drooling is a result of indigestion, the best way forward is to get him to flush out whatever he ate out of his system.

Make sure he drinks enough water to keep him hydrated. The water will also flush out whatever he ate that was upsetting his tummy and disposition.

If he’s showing signs of food poisoning: putrid-smelling jowls and general signs of distress like moaning, whimpering, or howling, take him to your vet promptly in order to pump his stomach.

How to tell if your dog is just being his usual oddball self and drooling over the food, or if his drooling and behavior is instead indicative of an underlying issue?


Signs and symptoms to watch out for

1. Keep an eye out for any signs of distress from your dog. Look out for whimpering and whining, or snipping, growling, and yapping.

Your dog might alternatively get really quiet and withdraw into himself if he is ill.

2. Check his stools to see if they are irregular.

You can find out if he is sick and gets to the bottom of why he is drooling and acting strange just by checking to see if his stools are normal.

3. Keep a close watch to see if his appetite and eating habits change. If it does and his behavior is still not normal, take him to a vet to get him checked.

4. Along with runny jowls, your dog might also have runny eyes and nose as a result of any of the aforementioned issues.

If your dog’s nose and eyes are secreting a murky, mucous-like substance, again, have him checked out by your vet.

5. One particular thing to look out for if your dog is excessively drooling is an underlying issue with his kidneys, which is not as easily treatable and requires prompt and diligent action to diagnose the problem and provide your dog with the subsequent care he needs.

6. Watch out to see if your dog is constantly vomiting, or is unable to keep down his food, all the while secreting drool.

The vet might prescribe a dose of antibiotics, or deworming medication. Keep him well hydrated, and feed him soft, easy-to-digest food that will be kind to his digestion.


How to control your dog’s drooling?

1. Make sure your dog stays hydrated and has fresh water to drink. Replace the water in his bowl frequently.

2. Try tying a bandanna around his neck to reduce the amount of saliva secreted. This will also be useful to absorb saliva as it falls.

3. You can refer to your local vet and discuss alternative medication for your dog drooling. He might be able to prescribe homeopathic remedies that may curb the secretion of saliva.

Keep an eye out for signs that these medications are drying your dog’s mouth.

4. Alternatively, you can also consider surgery to tighten the excess skin around your dog’s mouth. This is definitely not popularly recommended as it can modify his facial structure.

However, in extreme cases, your vet might be able to permanently correct the issue.

5. Try laying a washable rug or a towel on the floor around where your dog sleeps to catch his drool.

This will definitely make cleaning it much easier and keep your floors free from pet stains.



 So what do you do?

1. Keep him hydrated

2. Remember to clean his teeth, muzzle, and jowls regularly, removing any bits of food stuck in his teeth

 3. Perform a weekly examination of his gums and jowls for signs of infection, bumps, cuts, or lumps.

Disclaimer: This website is reader-supported, which means we may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Visit our Affiliate Disclaimer page for all details.