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Pug Dog Drooling


While of course, all dogs have saliva in their mouths and some is bound to dribble out now and then, many Pug owners want to know more specifics about this. 

Therefore, this section will cover all you want to know about saliva and drooling in regard to the Pug breed. 

What is Saliva? 

Canine saliva has a lot more going on with it than you may initially assume. While it is comprised of 95% water, the other 5% contains:
  • Electrolytes (helps maintain the balance of fluids in the body)
  • Mucus (serves to moisten air as it enters the body, traps some inhaled particles such as allergens and helps protect the body due to containing some antibodies, enzymes & proteins to help rid germs from the body)
  • White blood cells
  • Epithelial cells (this is what is accessed when extracting DNA samples)
  • Glycoproteins (proteins that have sugars attached to them)
  • Enzymes (such as amylase, which is involved in the very beginning stage of chemical digestion before the food even reaches the stomach)
  • Antimicrobial agents (such as lysozyme, which comes into play when dogs lick their wounds; this promotes blood clotting)
  • Proteins, such as histatins, which also helps a dog when licking a wound;this promotes the migration of new skin cells
Saliva is constantly being produced via the salivary glands; it is swallowed and almost immediately replaced. This is an ongoing, never-ending process. There are some things that can trigger the salivary glands to produce more than normal (more ahead). 

What is the Difference Between a Pug Having Saliva and Drooling? 

Both saliva and drool are the same substance. The terms of 'saliva' and 'drool' refer not to what they are but how much there is and if it remains in the mouth or flows out of it. 

If there is an overproduction of saliva and it puddles up in the folds of the lips and/or dribbles, drips or flows out of a dog's mouth, it is then referred to as drool. The Pug breed has thick lips with folds on his face, so if a Pug is drooling, the liquid may puddle up in his mouth folds; whether or not it then dribbles to the floor, the fact that it accumulated to the point of leaving the mouth classifies it as drool. 

In some cases, the drool that leaks out of a dog's mouth may be thicker than his normal saliva due to pooling of the mucus or a higher mucus count than normal which would lead to a thicker liquid. 

Is it Normal for a Pug Dog to Drool? 

Some drooling is completely normal for dogs, including the Pug. Since drool is saliva, there are certain times that minor to moderate drooling is just part of being a canine and is of no concern. However, there are instances in which moderate to severe drooling is a red flag of issues, including very serious conditions. We will go into details ahead. 
Photo courtesy of Stacy
So much fun! A Pug dog themed Monopoly game!
Too cute!

How Much Drool is Normal for a Pug?

Of course when a Pug licks someone, it's normal for that kiss to be very wet.; some refer to this as 'sloppy kisses'.  And it's common for a Pug to have some spittle and little bits of drool flying out of his mouth if he's running or otherwise engaging in exercise.

Also, it really is true that some dogs drool in anticipation of food, either seeing it being prepared or hearing the sounds of preparation. Really enthusiastic Pugs may drool a bit just hearing the words 'Dinner time' or another term that lets them know that food is on its way.

In addition, the salivary glands, which produce saliva and thus leading to drooling, can be triggered by excitement; so it's not uncommon for a Pug to drool a bit more than normal if he is really excited by something. 

In general, minor to moderate drooling that happens occasionally is no reason for concern.

Excessive Drooling 

If there is an overflow of saliva (an excessive amount being produced to the point that it dribbles or drops from the mouth), this is referred to as ptyalism or hypersalivation. 

It's a good idea to take note of what is normal for your particular Pug in regard to drool, so that it is clear to you if there is a sudden increase. In some cases, this can be a minor issue, but in others it can be a serious red flag of an emergency situation. 

In general, however, if a Pug is drooling to the point that bubbles of spit are forming all around his mouth or large streaks of drool are hanging down or falling from his mouth, this is considered excessive. 

Common Reasons for Excessive Drooling with Pug Dogs:

Motion sickness - If a Pug drools heavily while in the car, this is considered a clinical sign motion sickness and should not be ignored. 

Even if the puppy or dog does not have other signs such as restlessness or vomiting, drooling is an indication that some steps should be taken to help the Pug feel more comfortable and better handle being driven in the car.

You will want to have the Pug fastened securely. Most Pugs that drool when being driven do best with a raised booster car seat that allows them both a visual line of sight out of the windows and to be closer to fresh air coming in from the window. 
It can help to stop every 20 minutes. You'll want to pull over to a safe area, let your Pug out to stretch his legs, have a drink of watergo to the bathroom if needed and importantly, take a break to reset himself and gain his balance before being put back into the car. 
A nice little trick is to give a Pug a small bit of sugar beforehand. Don't give too much, but a small jelly bean or teaspoon of table sugar can help ease his stomach. 
Overheating - Excessive drooling while exercising or while outside, particularly on warm or hot summer days, can point to overheating. And this is a most certainly a concern with the Pug dog since this is a brachycephalic breed (short compressed snout) that has trouble with this issue to begin with. 

When overheating and entering heat stress or stoke,  a dog may have one, some or all of the following signs: 
  • Rapid panting
  • Bright red tongue
  • Red or pale gums
  • Thick, gooey saliva
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting - sometimes with blood
  • Diarrhea
if not treated for this, the dog may slip into a coma and death may occur. 

If your Pug is drooling a lot and you believe that it may be due to overheating, you will immediately want to bring him to a cooler area. If you can, go into an air-conditioned building or house. If you cannot reach one, find shade. Slowly bring down his body temperature by placing cool wet towels over his body (not ice) and using fans to circulate the air. Only once his is safe from entering shock, should he be transported to the vet. 
Teething - It is common for Pug puppies to drool if they are in the teething phase; this is often minor to moderate and will resolve once all of the adult teeth have emerged. Severe drooling is not typically common and should be reported to the veterinarian even if the pup is clearly teething. 
Queasy stomach - Though one must always be very aware of the differences between this and poisoning (see next), an acute upset stomach that may make a dog feel nauseous can produce drool. Often, a dog will drool and then once he vomits, the drooling will stop. 

Acute stomach distress can be caused by eating the wrong food (high in fat, grease, etc.) or spoiled food (sneaking food from the trash can, etc.)

Poisoning - As mentioned, sudden excessive drooling can appear right before a dog vomits, but since this can be due to ingestion of toxins, it's important to access. If a Pug has just been outside there is the risk of eating poisonous plants, weeds or lawn care chemicals such as fertilizer. If inside, check all cabinets and such to see if they have been riffled through. 

Even so, something that was on the floor could have been swallowed, leaving no evidence. 
While symptoms will vary quite a bit depending on what was ingested, typically a dog will have one, some or all of the following signs:
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Excessive drooling
  • Blood in the stool
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bruising
  • Nosebleeds
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Inability to urinate
If you suspect that your Pug is drooling heavily due to ingesting a poison, do not hesitate to call the vet. 

If the office is closed or you cannot get someone on the phone, you may opt to call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-213-6680, however do keep in mind that they require that you pay a $49 fee before answering any questions.

Do not force your Pug to vomit without first receiving instructions to do so; however, if it is advised one of the most effective methods is to give a dog 3% hydrogen peroxide for every 10 pounds of weight.

Using a small plastic medicine syringe (the type that comes with children's liquid medicine) is a quick way to do this.

Other, Less Common Reasons for Heavy Drooling 

While most cases of minor or moderate slobbering are normal for this breed and are very acute and the most common reasons for moderate to severe drooling are car sickness, overheating, upset stomach. teething and ingestion of poison, there is a host of other health issues that are possible: 
  • Oral disease (abscess, gingivitis, periodontal disease)
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Kidney disease
  • Tumor
  • Salivary gland cyst
  • Foreign body in the mouth or esophogus
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Gastric ulcer
  • Neurlogic disorders
  • Reaction to a medication
Which nootie spritz does your Pug have? A great way to keep a Pug smelling fresh!

Hygiene for a Drooling Dog

If the reason for your Pug's drooling is known and is not a cause for concern (teething, getting excited a lot, etc.) while you don't need (or really can) do anything about it, you will want to be sure to keep the areas on the face as dry as possible. 

This is because any area on a dog's body that stays continually moist is prone to developing yeast infection and the Pug is particularly prone to this with all his folds and wrinkles. A few times per day, wipe the folds with dry cotton gauze to swipe up the liquid and keep the folds around the mouth nice and dry.
Did you find these care tips for Pugs to be helpful? If so, you will love The GIANT Book of Pug Care, available in both hard copy and eBook.
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