Our beloved dogs are full of cute moments, from the puppy dog eyes to the sweet roll over for belly rubs.
What’s not as cute, though, is when they start pouring sticky saliva out of their mouth in the form of drool.
If you don’t have a dog whose breed is predisposed to drooling, you might be concerned if you see your dog drooling in their crate - and rightfully so.
Dogs drool in their crate when they are nauseous or have a stomach ache, have a respiratory infection, a toothache or other dental problem, are way too hot, have stress pertaining to the crate, or suffer from separation anxiety. The drooling can generally be addressed once you know the root issue.
In this article, I will dive deep into why your dog is drooling in the crate and what you can do to stop this from happening!
Ready? Let’s begin.
Assuming you do not own a breed that drools by nature (such as a saint bernard, an American Bully, a Great Dane, and similar types of dogs), your dog may be drooling in the crate for a variety of reasons. None of which are to be ignored as they could be serious.
Much like us, dogs can also suffer belly pains and nausea that comes with it.
However, unlike us, dogs tend to display this pain by drooling out of the mouth, making lots of swallowing noises, and hanging their heads fairly low.
If your dog is showing these symptoms inside the crate, immediately check to ensure your pup couldn’t have gotten something down their gullet.
If your dog ate a toxic plant, swallowed a piece of toy or bedding, or has otherwise picked up something they shouldn’t have - time may be of the essence for you and a trip to the emergency vet is in order.
Drooling can also be an early sign of obstruction - a condition in which something gets lodged in your dog’s intestines. Obstructions can be life-threatening.
If your pup has been unusually drooling for a couple of days, this might be signs of a canine respiratory infection or disease. Upper respiratory infections are also accompanied by coughing, wheezing, and foaming of the mouth alongside the drooling. You’ll usually be able to tell your dog is sick with something!
Luckily, most respiratory infections are very easy to treat if your dog is healthy. Usually, a vet will prescribe a round of antibiotics that should do the trick.
Just make note that, like people, respiratory infections are highly contagious, so you’re going to have to quarantine your pup and sanitize all the places they have been to prevent its spread to other dogs.
Continuing forth with medical reasons for drool is dental problems. The mouth is a very sensitive area and can trigger drooling when in pain. Instead of swallowing the drool, your pup won’t want to have much interaction with their mouth and will let all of the drool pour out.
Common dental problems with dogs include toothache, broken teeth, periodontal disease, gum pain, or something lodged in between the teeth. Because settling down in a crate is supposed to be still and calming, this can be where your dog realizes they have discomfort in their mouth and begin to drool.
As such, it’s important to check your dog’s mouth regularly to see if there are any issues and place a call to your veterinarian or canine dentist.
Believe it or not, your dog can overheat in their crate!
Because dogs excessively pant when they are too warm, they can begin drooling as a sign of overheating.
Overheating also leads to nausea and serious illness, leading directly to drooling. The crate is somewhere your dog is trapped, so they cannot move to a colder spot to escape the heat. The drooling can easily cause your dog to dehydrate, which is a serious issue.
If you see these two symptoms in conjunction with one another, you need to rush to get your pup cooled off with a fan, some ice, or strategically placed cold objects on the inside of your dog’s thighs and stomach.
Crate training aims to make the kennel feel like a safe haven, a relaxing oasis, and a positive place to hang out in.
But if something went astray in the process, or you have a rescue pup you couldn’t raise from a wee little nugget age, your puppy might have a negative connotation with the crate.
If that negative association persists, your dog will begin displaying very anxious behaviors pertaining to being in or near their crate.
One of these symptoms includes excessive drooling, as your dog becomes highly uncomfortable with the prospect of being locked inside.
If your dog is drooling or anxious solely when it concerns the crate, then you can be pretty positive it’s due to crate-specific stress or anxiety. If this happens, it is best to go back to the very basics of crate training (such as having all good things happen in the crate, like feeding time and playtime) and consult a behaviorist for help.
If your dog is acting distraught when you leave, and it may or may not be specific to the crate, your pup may have separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is one of the most common behavioral issues plaguing domestic dogs worldwide, even more so during the 2020 pandemic that caused a lot of dogs to become very accustomed to their owner being around twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Separation anxiety is a bit of an umbrella behavioral term that holds under it all anxious types of behaviors displayed when a dog’s owner is away from them. This can range from howling and crying to destruction and (in extreme cases) self-mutilation. Somewhere in the middle of those extreme behaviors is drooling at an excessive rate.
If the drooling starts pretty specifically after you’ve left, it’s definitely a symptom of this type of anxiety.
To stop the drooling, the first thing you should do is rule out any medical cause.
Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a check-up. Your vet can determine if the drooling is caused by a medical condition, such as a respiratory infection, and can treat the problem (thus ending the drooling dilemma).
If the drooling happens spontaneously and unexpectedly (and is very unusual for your dog), go to the emergency vet in case your pup has eaten something toxic. Better safe than sorry on this front!
If a medical cause has been ruled out, check the temperature of the crate. If you’re finding that your dog is drooling in the summertime or when the house does not have the air conditioning running, then heat may very well be the cause of the puddles of slobber. Remedy the situation by using a crate fan or other such methods.
If none of the above are the cause, then the drooling is likely from anxiety. This could be anxiety towards the crate itself or separation anxiety as a whole. Consulting with an expert dog trainer or behaviorist can help remedy this issue and resolve all of the other problems that can stem from anxious behavior (well beyond just yucky drool). When looking for a trainer, make sure that you research those specializing in anxious behavior, as it can be difficult to navigate.