Some dog breeds are well-known for their non-stop drooling, unleashing buckets-worth of slobber onto the ground and your shoes.
It’s especially gross when you’re eating and that giant, sticky, wet dollop of slobber lands on your leg and starts sliding down, leaving a trail of drool residue like snail slime.
But not every breed drools this much. A few breeds hardly drool at all.
For Pitbull owners, the question is: do Pitbulls drool?
Pitbulls drool, just like all dog breeds, but they’re not a breed that’s known for heavy drooling. Compared to other dog breeds, Pitbulls drool a low to average amount. Pitbull mixes might drool considerably more though, depending on the other breeds in the mix.
Have you ever wondered why your Pitbull drools or how much drool is a healthy amount? Some drool is necessary, but if your dog is drooling incessantly, then it could be a sign of something more serious.
In this post, we’re going to explore the reasons Pitbulls drool under normal conditions, how to tell if your Pitbull is drooling too much, and what that could possibly mean for your dog.
How Much Do Pitbulls Drool?
Breeds that are known for excessive drooling tend to have lots of loose skin and around the lips and large jowls in the cheeks. Saliva gathers in pools in the pockets of this loose skin until it starts to drip out of the dog’s mouth and onto the floor.
This excessive drooling is a condition known as ptyalism, and breeds like Saint Bernards and Mastiffs are famous for it.
Pitbulls, however, do not generally have a lot of loose skin around the mouth. Therefore, most purebred Pits tend to be pretty light droolers. They will still slobber under the right conditions though, such as when they see a tasty food they want to eat or when they get excited.
If your Pitbull is mixed with another breed, then it might drool substantially more than your average Pitbull. Pits are often mixed with American Bulldogs, for instance, and these mixed dogs are more likely to be heavy droolers because of the larger, looser lips of the American Bulldog.
Why Do Pitbulls Drool Normally?
Even though Pitbulls aren’t on the heavy end of the drooling spectrum, they do drool for completely normal reasons. All dogs drool at certain times, even if they’re not a breed known for drooling much.
It Helps with Digestion
Saliva is vital in the digestive process, which is why your dog needs to slobber some. It lubricates the mouth and throat so that food can go down. Dog saliva is also somewhat antibacterial, helping to prevent your dog from getting sick from bacteria on their food.
This is also the reason that your dog’s mouth starts to water when it sees you eating something delicious, resulting in excess drool and slobber.
Of course, you’ve almost certainly experienced similar yourself when a delicious plate of food was sat in front of you and your mouth started watering almost instantly.
Your Pitbull’s saliva contains amylase, which is an enzyme that gets the digestive process started.
Simultaneously, saliva cleans teeth with proteins and minerals, protecting enamel on the teeth and protecting against gum disease.
Whenever your Pittie gets excited, you might notice that they start to drool more. This is a normal time for dogs to drool since the excitement causes excess production of saliva.
You likely see this whenever you take your dog to the dog park or they meet another dog. Both dogs are likely to start salivating more due to their excitement. If one of the dogs isn’t well socialized, they might drool quite heavily due to the stress and anxiousness they feel.
After Drinking Water
Even though a Pitbull’s facial structure doesn’t hold onto excessive drool under normal conditions, there are still some places for water to accumulate, which happens whenever your dog takes a big drink.
Every Pitbull owner has had their pooch come over wanting love and affection directly after drinking from their water bowl. But then they shake their head and all that water and slobber goes flying in all directions and you get covered!
It might be mostly water, but it’s still pretty gross!
Have you ever awoken from a really deep sleep and found a wet spot on your pillow from where you were drooling? It’s a common occurrence in dogs too, not just people.
When your dog has a deep, comfortable sleep, it’s quite likely for them to start drooling. This is especially the case if your Pit is sleeping with their mouth open. The lips won’t hold back the saliva and it will dribble out onto your dog’s bed. Since Pitbulls certainly love to sleep, if they also drool in their sleep it can seem like they’re drooling more than they really are.
Why Is My Pitbull Drooling Excessively?
Most of the time, your Pitbull’s drooling is healthy and not a cause for concern. All dogs drool a little, but if your dog is suddenly drooling excessive amounts, then there’s probably a reason for the change that needs to be discovered.
Many different health issues can cause your Pitbull to drool more than normal. These can sometimes be quite serious, so if your Pitbull starts drooling heavily out of nowhere, you should take them to the vet for a checkup because they could be suffering from any of the following health issues.
Dental Health Problems
Any problems with your Pitbull’s mouth can make it difficult for them to swallow, which leads to a buildup of drool.
Granted, there are a wide range of dental health problems that your Pitbull could be suffering from, and just about all of them can cause excessive drooling.
Mouth diseases of all kinds can lead to inflammation and pain, stopping your Pitbull from swallowing normally. Broken teeth can also be the culprit, as can tumors or ulcers inside the mouth or even the throat.
A foreign body stuck in your Pitbull’s mouth or throat can prevent swallowing and lead to excessive drooling. Even tartar buildup can irritate the gums so much that it causes your dog to drool more than normal.
When Pitbulls are dealing with stomach pains and problems, it can result in outrageous amounts of drool. Conditions such as acid reflux can be to blame, but your dog might also drool more when they just have a stomachache.
Lots of diseases can cause your dog to suddenly start drooling more.
Rabies is rare in domestic dogs, especially because most are vaccinated against it, but rabies can result in sudden and excessive drooling.
Bloat, a life-threatening condition that occurs rapidly and becomes serious immediately can make your dog start drooling copious amounts with no prior signs or warnings.
These types of conditions are incredibly dangerous and should be taken very seriously. If your Pitbull is suddenly drooling large amounts for no apparent reason, you should take them to the vet immediately to see if one of these potentially fatal conditions is the culprit.
Dogs regulate their temperature through panting. They can’t sweat like we do, so they pant harder when they need to cool down.
When a dog is overheating, they’re going to pant their absolute hardest in an effort to get their core temperature lower. This is even harder for dark-colored dogs and while most Pitties aren’t black there are plenty of dark coat patterns that attract the heat.
It’s this open-mouthed panting that leads to excessive drooling. The more your Pitbull pants, the more drool is going to be released.
In this case, it’s not the drool that’s a problem but the heatstroke causing it! Make sure not to let your dog’s temperature exceed 103 degrees Fahrenheit. At 106 degrees, your Pit has heatstroke and you might be surprised at how quickly this can happen on a sunny day.
Respiratory infections in dogs are any infections of the lungs and windpipe. This can make swallowing hard for your Pitbull. When they don’t swallow, the saliva builds up until it starts to come out of their mouth.
Often, you’ll see other symptoms if your dog is suffering from a respiratory infection. They’ll usually have classic cold symptoms like watering eyes and a runny nose. A honking, loud, hacking cough is also a common sign of respiratory infection.
Anxiety isn’t all that rare dogs. Many people complain that their Pitbulls are destructive and behave poorly when they’re home alone. Often, this is due to separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety can lead your dog to drool excessive amounts, but so can fear or aging anxieties. No matter what type of anxiety is affecting your Pit, it could be causing over-salivation. This is especially true if you’re noticing your Pittie drooling more in their crate when they’re left alone.
Eating the Wrong Plants
Pitbulls eat grass all the time. They’ll also eat weeds, flowers, and all sorts of other things, and this usually isn’t too big of a deal.
Many plants are essentially harmless for dogs to eat and it’s probably normal behavior for them to do so. In fact, 79% of dog owners surveyed said that they’ve seen their dogs eating plants at some point.
But if your dog eats the wrong plants, it could poison them, resulting in excessive slobber.
For example, a common plant that’s toxic to dogs is the tulip. According to the ASPCA, if a dog ingests a tulip, hypersalivation can be a result, along with diarrhea, vomiting, and depression.
They’re Panting Excessively
Anytime your Pitbull pants hard and fast they’ll be drooling more than usual. It can be hard to identify the cause of heavy panting at times because there are so many potential causes.
If it’s hot out, this could just be heavy panting intended to cool your dog down. Things like motion sickness from a car ride and nausea can also cause your dog to pant harder than normal.
Hard exercise, which Pitties absolutely love, can make your Pitbull pant harder, even more so when that exercise was performed in the heat.
Pain from an injury can also cause your dog to pant heavily. If the injury is internal, then you might not be able to find any external signs.
If your Pitbull is currently on medication, then check to see if heavy panting is a side effect of it. This is a common side effect for many canine medications.
Allergies and infections can both make your Pitbull pant heavily, as can dietary deficiencies like low blood calcium.
They’re a Mixed Breed
Purebred Pitbulls aren’t usually heavy droolers, but these dogs are commonly mixed with other breeds that are. If your dog is actually a Pitbull mix, it could look just like a Pitbull, but with some subtle differences that could potentially cause your dog to drool more than a pure Pitbull.
Two breeds commonly mixed with Pitbulls are Boxers and American Bulldogs. Both of these breeds are known for excessive drooling because of their floppy lips. If your Pitbull has a little Boxer or Bulldog blood in them, then it could be causing your dog to drool more than a standard Pit.
Rottweilers are less commonly mixed with Pittie, but still out there, and can also enhance drooling thanks to a Rottie’s powerful jaws and jowls.
How to Know When Your Pitbull Is Drooling Too Much
There is no exact amount of drool that you can measure and say definitively that your Pitbull is drooling too much.
“Oh, it’s at 112 milliliters, this Pitbull is definitely hyper-salivating Susan!”
That would be nice, but you’ll just have to use your best judgment.
Drooling is usually context-dependent for a Pitbull. They tend to drool when there’s a good reason, like when they see food they want or when they get really excited. If your Pit is drooling primarily during these times, then it’s nothing to worry about.
On the other hand, if your Pitbull is drooling all the time for no apparent reason, then they’re probably drooling too much, and you should look for the underlying cause.
Also, consider how abruptly your Pitbull’s drooling behaviors began.
Has your Pit always drooled since it was a puppy? If so, then it’s probably because of your dog’s facial structure and not a health problem.
If your dog never drooled much and suddenly started drooling a lot, then there’s more cause for concern. This could be a sign of a serious health condition and you should seek veterinary advice right away.
How to Stop a Pitbull from Drooling
What should you do if your Pitbull is drooling a ton and you just can’t take it?
First, you need to determine the reason for your Pit’s excessive drooling. With luck, it isn’t some serious underlying condition like the ones we’ve discussed. But if your dog is suffering from a major health issue, then curing it should be priority number one.
In any case, curing the underlying health problem should cure the excessive drooling as well.
Determining the underlying cause of your Pitbull’s drooling can be difficult though. It’s often best to take your dog to the vet and let them do a full checkup on your dog. They might find things that you’d miss.
Even so, there are things you can check on your own before taking your Pit to the vet.
Give your dog’s mouth a thorough examination and look for ulcers, tumors, buildup, cuts, broken teeth, or any signs of inflammation or infection.
Check your Pit’s body for possible injuries that could be causing them to pant heavily.
But also give some thought to your dog’s triggers. If your dog is only drooling while you’re cooking and eating, for example, then your Pitbull’s drooling is just triggered by the smells of your cooking. Take it as a compliment!
Pitbulls aren’t known for drooling lots, but if yours is a mix, then it’s likely to drool more. Even purebred Pitbulls will drool under certain conditions though, particularly when they see tasty food!
If your Pitbull has suddenly started drooling excessively, then it’s likely being caused by some underlying condition. We’ve discussed several of these conditions in the hopes that this post will help you to determine what’s causing your Pitbull to drool so much.
Once you cure the underlying cause of your Pitbull’s drooling, the slobbering should cease as your Pitbull returns once again to proper health.