Few things beat the excitement of road trips with your furry best friend. Whether it’s a 10-minute drive to the grocery or a trip cross-state to showcase the world to your pup – our canine companions are the best travel buddies. But sticky puddles of doggy drool on the seat and floor ruin these moments.
Is your dog a car drooler? Do you dread car trips with Fido because he can’t stop drooling or he practically gushes saliva all over the back seat? Drooling is something that most dog owners find annoying. You don’t want to worry about driving to the car wash every time you go out with your pup. Plus, strings of saliva hanging from Fido’s jowls is not an amusing sight.
Just like chasing or barking, all dogs drool occasionally. It’s part of the dog package. You will occasionally get drenched in slobbery kisses and licks. But if your dog is constantly drooling in the car, there’s a reason. It could be a normal reaction or something more serious. In this article, you’ll discover why your dog drools during car rides and if there’s cause for concern.
6 Reasons Why Your Dog Drools in the Car
Dealing with drool is part of life with a dog. But when your pup produces bucketloads of slobber during car rides, it might indicate a deeper issue. Below are the possible reasons.
1. Motion Sickness
Perhaps your canine is experiencing motion sickness. Puppies and younger dogs are more prone to motion sickness but outgrow it when they reach one year old. This is because your puppy’s inner ears, which provide balance, are still developing.
Other signs of motion sickness include whining, smacking lips, yawning, vomiting, pacing, and diarrhea. Motion sickness can worsen with rough terrain, sharp turns, or curving roads which causes the fluid in the ears to shift around, interfering with your dog’s balance.
You can do several things to reduce your dog’s misery while traveling. A simple remedy is to allow Fido to travel shotgun: The front of the car has less motion than the back. Furthermore, letting your dog look through the windshield instead of the side windows minimizes the appearance of motion.
Also, talk to your vet about anti-nausea medication such as Benadryl or Cerenia. Alternatively, go for natural remedies such as pressure point massage, aromatherapy, or natural supplements. Withholding food for 10 to 12 hours before travel can also help prevent motion sickness.
Take your dog for frequent car rides to make them feel more comfortable. And don’t wait too long between car rides with your pup, or else they’ll feel car sick again.
2. Heat Stroke
Excessive drooling can signify your dog is overheating or having a heat stroke. Breeds with short muzzles and very thick coats are more prone to experiencing heat stroke, same to pups who enjoy constant playtime and extraneous exercise, especially when it’s hot and humid.
If your car isn’t properly ventilated, your pup can quickly overheat and suffer from heat stroke on a hot day. This can cause serious medical problems such as dehydration, cardiac arrest, seizures, and coma. Furthermore, your dog might experience other signs of discomfort, such as irregular heartbeat, excessive panting, increased drooling, glassy eyes and red or pale gums.
If your pup displays signs of heat stroke, immediate vet intervention is recommended. Before you get to the vet, you can switch on the AC to help cool your pup down or stop the car and get him outside and under a shade. Lay him on a wet towel and provide cool water.
Never leave your dog unattended in a car on a hot day, even with open windows. The inside can become extremely hot, which is dangerous for your pup.
Some dogs can get anxious over car rides which manifests in whining, pacing, aggression, drooling, and barking. You can easily mistake these signs for motion sickness. But remember, dogs can experience both anxiety and motion sickness at a go.
If your furry companion is one of the millions that suffer from anxiety, you know how difficult it is to calm them down. But not to worry. You can help them cope with persistence, love, and patience. When trying to calm your anxious furry friend, avoid shouting or using harsh reprimanding words, as this will only worsen the situation.
Start by having your pup securely attached to their crate or car seat to help reduce the uneasiness of being in a moving vehicle. If your dog only rides the car to the vet, look into going to plenty of relaxing and fun places like the beach or park to change your pup’s perception about car travel.
Some dogs naturally drool more than others. Here are the most notorious droolers.
- Saint Bernard
- English Mastiff
- Dogue de Bordeaux
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Basset Hound
- The Great Pyrenees
These breeds have larger jowls and flatter faces than other breeds, so they end up drooling more. They have leaky lips that can’t firmly hold saliva in the mouth, so it builds up in the skin folds, muzzles, and drips. Tying a bandana across your dog’s neck or carrying towels can help reduce drooling but not fully prevent it.
5. Dental and Medical Issues
Besides car rides, several medical problems can make pups drool more than normal. These include dental issues, nose, sinus, or throat infections, allergies, gastrointestinal upset, or liver and kidney disease. If any of these issues cause your dog’s drool, you’ll notice your dog slobbering both inside and outside the car.
Other serious conditions that can cause extra drool are gastric torsion, rabies, or poisoning. Besides drooling, other signs to look out for are frothing or foaming at the mouth, lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting. Rush your dog to the vet immediately if you see any of these signs.
6. Drool-worthy Scents
The aroma of a tasty meal will get you drooling with anticipation, and your dog is no exception. Does your pup drool in the car when you’ve bought a bucket of chicken nuggets, piping hot pepperoni pizza, or fries for dinner? Or do they seem to drool on the ride home when it’s almost dinner time? They could be fantasizing about munching on some lip-smacking treats.
Drooling is usually normal, and you have nothing to worry about. Yes, it’s messy and can quickly add to your list of clean-up chores, but it’s something you get used to if you’re a dog owner and more so if you have a drooling dog breed.
Excessive drooling when your dog rides in the car can, however, be a response to specific triggers like motion sickness, anxiety, or too much heat, which are easy to fix. If the drooling is more than usual and happens alongside other symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, extreme behavior changes, or diarrhea, there may be cause to worry.
The best course of action is to rush your dog to the vet for an in-depth checkup to rule out possible illness or injury. Not only will you maintain your car’s interiors, but also enjoy more pleasant trips with your dog.