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Boxer Dog Drooling

Why Do Boxer Dogs Drool and Slobber?

Some dog breeds drool and slobber more than others, and while each Boxer is different, in general it is not uncommon for a Boxer to drool. The shape of the jowl, mouth and lips come into play on this one.

The full shape of the head is not set until maturity; and therefore lip curl and set will change while a Boxer puppy grows and you'll see the true adult form once the dog hits the 2 years mark (a little later for late bloomers).

When the lips curl inward, this can catch quite a bit of the drool, which is then swallowed. If they curl outward, this allows the saliva to drool outward.

Many Boxers will not drool all of the time, but will have excess drool after exercising (running, playing with another dog, etc.) and it is also common for a Boxer puppy or dog to drool after drinking his water; however this is a mix of both saliva and water.  

Due to the loose lips, this breed can be a bit messy when eating, so it's a good habit to get into to keep a box of wipes handy in the kitchen; a quick wipe after dinner can clean the mouth to keep both dog and you (and your floors and your furniture) from drops of slobber.
Speaking of food, it is not uncommon for a puppy or dog to drool in anticipation of food. 

The eyes see the food, it sends a signal to the brain and the salivary glands kick into action before the food passes by the lips; therefore just the sight and thought of food triggers the glands to work. 

To be technical, over production of saliva begins in the salivary nuclei which is located in the brain stem. The most common reason for Boxer puppies to drool is linked to the teething process. 

As new adult teeth are erupting, it is common for there to be excess saliva. 

Anxiety Induced Drooling

With this all said, if a Boxer suddenly becomes an excessive drooler, this can point to behavioral or medical problem. What can make a Boxer puppy or dog suddenly or excessively drool? With some this can be attributed to anxiety, stress and/or fear.

With very young puppies that are new to a home, be sure to have a plan of socialization… this will be a gradual and pleasant introduction to the world. New pups need introduction to everything in the household. 

Older puppies (once they have had their shots) need a gradual introduction to other people, outside environments and various situations. If you are not sure how to train for this, we would recommend a top rated book, The Well Socialized Dog: Step-by-Step Socialization Training for Puppies and Dogs (found in both hard copy and Kindle).

Fear and or anxiety can hit a Boxer of any age, if the dog has not been properly introduced to an element, whether this is other dogs or certain situations or environments… and it is never too late to instill proper training.

Older, senior dogs can become very stressed out - and consequently begin drooling - if there are any changes in the household. 

This can include a change in the household dynamics (a new dog, a human family member moving out of the house, etc.) Some senior dogs, particularly those with vision problems, can become agitated if furniture is rearranged. 

Older, senior Boxer dogs do well if they are given a peaceful corner to retreat to - not so far away that they feel as if they might miss the 'action', but in a quiet corner that allows them to withdraw and take a break from noise or commotion should they need to.

Health Issues

In regard to health issues, there are a large number of conditions and diseases in which excessive drooling will be a symptom, this ranges from kidney disease to tumors. However the top 3 are:

1) Any problem with the teeth or gums. This includes an abscessed tooth and gum disease. Hopefully owners are routinely brushing their Boxer's teeth at home and having full dentals at the vets for scrapings. 

If not, start now and do make an appointment if you suspect a problem with the teeth. Infection of a tooth or gums or a loose or cracked tooth can not only cause a Boxer to drool, but also can cause great discomfort that affects eating and infection can travel into the bloodstream.
2) Drooling in the car can point to motion sickness. With puppies, it can help to have a raised car seat so that they are able to access fresh air from an open window while securely fastened. 

If your Boxer drools and appears to be uncomfortable in the car, it can also greatly help to stop every 15 to 20 minutes if you're on a long drive and let your Boxer out (on leash of course) to stretch his legs and allow his stomach to calm down.

Offer a small treat, some fresh water and the opportunity to go to the bathroom. If you know that a long road trip is coming up, you can plan ahead of time to offer Dramamine, which is safe for canines; however do discuss with your vet the correct dose for your puppy or dogs age and weight.

3) Drooling after a hard run or exercise hot weather can be one of the first signs of heat exhaustion. Here are some quick tips that will allow you to spend time with your Boxer outside while avoiding heat exhaustion:

• Any time you're out with your Boxer on a warm day, plan for breaks. Look for a shaded spot and be sure to have fresh water with you and a travel bowl (these fold open and closed for easy transport). Both a good sized container of water with a few ice cubes in it to keep it cool and a travel bowl can easily be put into a backpack for any outdoor adventures in which the Boxer will need to take a break to avoid overheating. Take breaks BEFORE your dog begins drooling and shows signs of stress.

• If the temperature is above 85 degrees (29.4 C) limit long walks to early morning or late evening when the air is cooling off.

To Summarize

If your Boxer slobbers and drools a modest to moderate amount on a fairly regular basis, this is most likely do to the structure of the face, lips and mouth and reactions to food or other stimuli. This type of salvation is normal for the breed. 

Do be sure to keep up with dental cleanings and routinely check for any other signs that there may be a medical issue. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and bring your Boxer to the veterinarian.

If your Boxer puppy or dog suddenly and without explanation beings to excessively drool, do not ignore this. Sudden drooling can point to a serious issue… ingestion of poison, heat exhaustion, etc. Seek professional veterinary help ASAP.
See Also:
Boxer head bobs - Reasons why Boxers may bob their heads; both common reasons and more serious issues. 
Boxer dog smells bad - Why Boxers can have an odd odor even soon after a bath and ways to keep your puppy or dog smelling fresh. 
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