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Drooling

Beagle Drooling

Overview

Many owners wonder what the difference is between drool and saliva. A dog’s drool really is just saliva, however when it is in excess and slobbers from the mouth, it is referred to as drool.

Each Beagle is different, however some of the more common times that you may see your puppy or dog drool is:
  • Before eating, as the dog sees that his food is being prepared
  • During or right after a good bout of exercise
  • While sleeping
  • In the car, while it is in motion
12 week old Beagle
Hera, 12 weeks old
Photo courtesy of owner: Marie, BC Canada
This said, not all heavy drooling is normal, and in some cases it may point to a serious acute or chronic issue. This section will cover what is normal and what is not. 

Drooling before Eating

Dogs drool in response to anticipation of food, as proven by Russian scientist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (who won the Nobel Prize in 1904). 

Saliva contains enzymes that work to break down food and to coat the throat so that food can be easily be swallowed. Sometimes, when a Beagle sees that his food is being prepared, this triggers the body to begin to produce saliva in preparation.

Particularly when a dog is very hungry and the stomach is empty, the body may overreact in response to seeing food and thereby causing the Beagle to drool. 

During Exercise

Canines cool themselves off by panting. When a Beagle is exercising and the body becomes hot, the dog will pant in response to this. This type of heavy breathing can cause saliva to be expelled out with the breaths, causing drool to drip down.

If drooling becomes excessive, it is a sign to take a break. Preferably, an owner will want to bring the dog into the shade, offering rest and a drink of cold water.

Note – It is a good idea to bring along water for moderate exercise jaunts away from home. A bottle of water and a pop out travel bowl can help cool your Beagle down and give him needed hydration.

While Sleeping

When a dog is in a deep sleep, the jaw muscles fully relax. This causes the mouth to open, allowing drool to leak out. With some, the mouth may appear to be closed, however overlapping lips may hide this…the jaw will actually be open enough for saliva to drip out. 

Drooling in the Car

Slobbering in the car is a common sign of motion sickness and many dogs suffer from this. The nausea that develops can cause a dog to drool. If a dog is sensitive to the motion of car travel, this is not something that can be resolved with training. However, there are some things that you can do:
1. Position your dog at a height that allows him to see out of the car window. With the use of a booster seat, any sized dog can be positioned to be able to look out of the window which can be a great help if the dog has motion sickness

Doing this addresses part of the problem: the eyes do not see what the body feels. Allowing your Beagle to see outside elements that the car drives by can offer some relief. 

2. If you will be traveling for longer than 15 minutes, pull over to a safe area and allow your Beagle to have a break. Allowing a dog to stretch his legs, have a drink of water, and gain his bearings on the ground can help him continue on with the journey.

3. Offer dry crackers(low or no salt) before leaving. This can help to soak up stomach acids and works to counteract nausea symptoms. 
Beagle face up close
Lacey, 4 months old
Photo courtesy of owner: Jodi Johnson (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) 

Excessive Drooling and Red Flag Signs

As we talked about above, some drooling is quite normal and can be handled at home. However, there are some illnesses and disease that can cause excessive drooling. Owners should be aware of the following:
Beagle dog brown ears
Periodontal disease – Tooth and gum infections can cause excess drooling. Providing dental care at home will keep the teeth clean and healthy. In addition, yearly or bi-yearly professional cleanings are recommended. Even so, there is always the possibility of infection and drooling is one of the signs of this.

Infection – The salivary glands can become infected. Some glands such as the zygomatic salivary gland is located high on the face, near the cheek bone. Infection here can cause drooling, eye discharge and swelling around the eye.

Cysts and Tumors – While rare, and tumors that can develop in the head or neck region and drooling is one of the symptoms of this. 
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