Grooming and Hygiene

Dog Drooling Solutions: Keeping Faces & Furniture Clean

Nora Quinn

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Why Do Dogs Drool?

Dogs drool for several reasons, all of which are natural and vital to their health. It’s important to understand the reasons behind excessive drooling as they can help you manage and possibly reduce the mess.

Pleasure and Anticipation

Your dog might drool while anticipating food or during excitement. In his famous work, “Conditioned Reflexes,” Ivan Pavlov demonstrated that dogs naturally drool when expecting food. This is a response to the stimulation of salivary glands. You might notice your dog’s mouth water from just seeing or smelling food or during playful activities.

Physical Response

Dogs drool to help with cooling down. Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat much; they mostly release heat through panting. When a dog is panting, the excessive saliva helps cool the mouth and throat region. Breeds with shortened snouts, like Bulldogs and Pugs, are particularly prone to drooling.

Dental Health or Medical Issues

Dental problems can also cause drooling. If your dog has bad breath, swollen gums, or is struggling to chew, it’s a good idea to take him to the vet for a check-up. Other medical issues like foreign objects stuck in the mouth, gastrointestinal problems, or even nausea can cause excessive drooling.

Environmental Factors

Certain environmental factors like anxiety or fear can also trigger drooling. You might observe this when your dog is scared of thunderstorms or during car rides. By understanding the factors that cause your dog to drool, you can better manage the issue.

Practical Solutions to Manage Dog Drooling

Managing dog drooling can be straightforward if you use the right strategies. Here are some practical solutions on how to keep your dog’s face and your furniture clean:

Regular Grooming

Grooming is essential in managing drooling. Keeping your dog’s fur around his mouth trimmed can make a lot of difference. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Trimming: Use rounded safety scissors to trim the fur around the mouth. This helps prevent the saliva from soaking into the fur, which can create bacteria and cause odor.
  2. Brushing: Regular brushing helps remove dirt, which might contribute to drooling. Use a soft brush to avoid irritating the sensitive mouth area.

Invest in Absorbent Products

Using absorbent products designed specifically for pets can be highly effective:

  • Drool Bibs: These are available in pet stores and can catch drool before it lands. They are usually made from absorbent material and can be worn during meal times or car rides.
  • Furniture Covers: Protect your furniture with washable covers. Choose materials that are easy to clean and can absorb liquids.
  • Absorbent Mats: Place absorbent mats in areas where your dog frequently lays down. These are especially useful for keeping floors clean.

Regular Face Wiping

Keeping a cloth or pet-specific wipes handy can significantly help manage drooling:

  • Timing: Wipe your dog’s face multiple times a day. Pay special attention after meals, playtime, and when he’s excited.
  • Type of Cloth: Use a soft, absorbent cloth that doesn’t irritate the skin, like a microfiber cloth. Pet-specific wipes can also be beneficial for quick cleaning.

Address Medical Issues

Root out any underlying medical or dental issues by scheduling regular vet visits. Treating issues early can help reduce excessive drooling and improve your dog’s overall health:

  • Dental Hygiene: Brush your dog’s teeth regularly and provide dental chews to help maintain oral health.
  • Regular Check-ups: Make regular vet appointments to catch any potential health issues early. Discuss drooling concerns with your vet.

Best Products to Manage Dog Drooling

Using the right products can make it easier to manage drooling. Here’s a list of some helpful items:

  • Absorbent Dog Bibs: Bibs designed specifically for dogs can be worn around the neck to catch excess drool. Look for machine-washable options to ease cleaning.
  • Waterproof Furniture Covers: Stay one step ahead by using waterproof covers for your sofa and other furniture. These are designed to withstand wear and tear and can be easily cleaned.
  • Microfiber Cloths and Wipes: Keep a stash of microfiber cloths or pet wipes handy for quick cleanups. They are soft and absorbent and won’t irritate your dog’s skin.
  • Cooling Mats: Dogs may drool more when they’re hot. A cooling mat can help regulate your dog’s temperature, resulting in less drooling.
  • Dental Chews and Toys: These can promote dental health, reducing the chances of oral issues that lead to drooling.

Cleaning Tips for Your Home

Drool can be tricky to clean, but these tips can help keep your home fresh and clean:

Cleaning Dog Drool from Furniture

Removing dried drool from furniture can be challenging but not impossible:

  • Use Vinegar Solutions: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water. Dampen a cloth and gently wipe the drool. Vinegar helps break down the residues.
  • Enzymatic Cleaners: Specially formulated for pet messes, enzymatic cleaners break down proteins in drool, making it easier to clean.
  • Regular Maintenance: Clean spots as soon as you notice them. The faster you address it, the easier it is to remove.

Floors and Car Interiors

Keeping floors and car interiors drool-free requires some regular maintenance:

  • Vacuum and Mop Frequently: Use a vacuum cleaner with a pet hair attachment to pick up fibers before mopping. Use a pet-friendly floor cleaner to wash away residues.
  • Protective Car Seat Covers: In your car, use seat covers designed to catch pet hair and drool. These are easy to remove and wash, keeping your car clean.

Behavioral Training to Reduce Drooling

While it might not be possible to stop drooling entirely, certain training techniques can help reduce the situational drooling:

Desensitization

Gradually desensitize your dog to situations causing anxiety and drooling, like car rides or thunderstorms:

  • Gradual Exposure: Slowly expose your dog to the stressor, rewarding calm behavior. This could mean short car trips to start, increasing length as your dog becomes more comfortable.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Use treats and praise to reward your dog for staying calm during previously stressful situations.

Creating a Calm Environment

Reduce excitement or anxiety triggers that increase drooling:

  • Safe Spaces: Create safe spaces where your dog can retreat during stressful times, such as a cozy bed or a quiet room.
  • Comfort Objects: Offer comfort objects like a favorite toy or blanket to help soothe your dog.

Training Commands

Teach commands to manage situations where drooling increases, such as “stay” or “calm down”:

  • Consistency: Be consistent with training and use the same commands and rewards each time.
  • Patience: Training takes time, so be patient and persistent.

Seeking Professional Help

Sometimes, managing drooling might require professional help. If you find it challenging to control your dog’s drooling, consider these options:

Consulting a Veterinarian

A vet can help identify if there is an underlying medical condition causing excessive drooling. Solutions might include:

  • Medical Treatment: If diagnosed, the vet can prescribe treatment to address the root cause, potentially reducing drooling.
  • Specialist Referral: In some cases, your vet might refer you to a veterinary specialist for more specific care.

Professional Training

Hiring a professional dog trainer can be beneficial for addressing behavioral causes of drooling. A trainer can help with:

  • Customized Training Plans: A professional can develop a training plan tailored to your dog’s needs.
  • Behavior Modification Techniques: Trainers are experienced in techniques to reduce anxiety-induced drooling.

Finishing Thoughts

Managing dog drooling might seem like

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