When you are looking for a new collie companion from your local dog shelter, one question that often arises is ‘do Border Collies drool a lot?’ … and ‘will they slobber all over me’? In this article we explore all things drool and slobber related – Including when to see a veterinarian!
Do Border Collies drool a lot? Border collies don’t drool as much as many other dogs, and on the whole they would be considered to be a relatively dry breed. However, like all dogs collies do drool and this serves an important function in healthy dogs for heat regulation but primarily digestion. Excessive drooling can be a result of physiological or psychological factors, and in some instances could be a sign of ill health. A sudden increase in drool should therefore be shared with your veterinarian who can advise.
When you meet your Border Collie for the first time and they give you ‘that look’…the one where their tongue is lolling out and hanging low…you might be worried about how much drool and slobber your new best friend will leave at your feet – or worse – on your sofa cushions and other prized possessions! But should we worry about levels of Collie drool? Here we will dive deep into collie drool and slobber… what a delightful prospect!
Why Do Border Collies Drool?
Before we cover in more detail whether or not Border Collies drool a lot let us briefly explore why dogs drool and slobber. Drooling is natural behavior and physiology for animals that all dog breeds do to some extent, although some more than others.
Why do Border Collies drool? A dog’s saliva glands produce drool so that this excessive saliva can help eat and digest their food. As such, drool is completely natural and normal – essential in fact for dogs to digest food. Saliva can be triggered by excitement, changes in blood pressure or stress/disease. The normal healthy saliva reflex is in anticipation of food. We’ve all heard of the Pavlovian response – when a dog hears the dinner bell and associates this with food and starts to drool!
This conditioning for a salivation response can include a set routine where your companion is triggered into expecting food by certain cues such as going into the dog food cupboard or cleaning his or her bowl. Excitement leads to elevated heart rates which can also let the drool flow freely. There are both physical and psychological health conditions that can result in unhealthy levels of drool, including blockages in their mouth, poor dental hygiene, overheating, anxiety and car sickness. Keep reading for more on these.
Do Border Collies Drool A Lot?
Remember the huge drooling dog from the movie “Turner and Hooch”? This was a Dogue De Bordeaux breed but other more common breeds well known for drooling are Mastiff, Bloodhound and Saint Bernard. These have lip formations that accumulate drool. But how do Border Collies compare?
Thankfully (for your new rug!), Border Collies do not drool anything near as much as the breeds mentioned above. While border collies do drool, you can expect a lot less saliva than these breeds with flat heads and lip conformations. However, this does depend on the individual and their genetics and personality, and some Border Collies have certainly been known to drool more than others. Any anxiety or stress factors as explored below could make this more likely.
Generally, though Border Collies could be said to be average or just below average in terms of drooling breeds. Part of this could be perception, however, because they are so incredibly active. If you’ve ever seen a Border Collie at the dog park, they may have seemed less drooly than other breeds partly because their mouths are usually too busy eating a stick or trying to herd everyone in sight. But once at home, they can turn into more of a slobber monster. But who can blame them after working up an appetite and then having that anticipation of waiting for food to be served!
How Do I Reduce Drooling In My Border Collie? (10 Causes of Excessive Drooling)
If you have noticed that your Border Collie is drooling, salivating or slobbering more than normal then there may be something amiss. If in doubt, always contact your veterinarian. This could be something completely normal or something more serious. See also issues with panting and bad breath.
If your dog is drooling more than normal – then here are 10 causes of excessive drooling in Border Collies and ways to help reduce this:
- Food and Hunger: If your collie is particularly hungry or missed breakfast and has just had a lot of physical exercise then this could trigger excessive saliva. Monitor whether this is a one-off or continues above and beyond what is normal. Make sure your dog is hydrated and fed sufficient nutritious food.
- Motion Sickness: Car sickness is very common in Border Collies, and this often triggers an excess of drool. Drive slow and steady and avoid food beforehand. (See below for tips on how to avoid/reduce travel sickness).
- Anxiety and Depression: Like humans, Border Collies can suffer from anxiety and depression, especially those who have suffered trauma involving physical or mental harm. Increased drooling and OCD behavior such as licking floors and chewing furniture can be linked to this. Love, patience and if needed specialist training can help with this as well as avoiding stressful environments and activities. Socialization as well as physical and mental stimulation are especially important for collie’s mental health and to reduce anxiety.
- Sea Water: Has your companion been drinking saltwater? Or have they accidentally consumed sea water whilst swimming? If so then this could be the reason they are drooling more than normal, keep an eye on them and make sure they have plenty of freshwater available.
- Excess Heat: Drooling more can be a protective adaptation against dehydration caused by heatstroke, excessive exercise and resulting increased body temperature. Dogs use their paws to wipe away saliva from their mouths to keep cool by evaporative cooling via the wet surface area on their fur. Avoid strenuous exercise during hot weather and keep your pup hydrated!
- Excess Cold: During colder months you may notice more drooling from your border collie because of the cold frosty air that is coming in through their mouth and nose. Keep them warm but remember collies are relatively hardy so can normally brave a walk in fairly cold temperatures.
- Dental Disease: Like us, dogs can suffer from a buildup of tartar and gum or periodontal disease. Any infection in their mouth will likely cause excessive drool to build up. Also, a bad tooth, loose puppy tooth or other oral discomfort could be behind the pool of drool! A daily dental practice including brushing is important and watch out for plaque or tartar deposits or bleeding or red gums.
- Diabetes Mellitus and Other Diseases: In rare cases excessively drooling may be an indication of a more serious illness such as diabetes mellitus with low blood sugar levels or kidney disease and liver disease. If other causes cannot be confirmed it is best to see a qualified veterinarian as soon as possibleto investigate.
- Foreign Body (Mechanical Obstruction): If your dog has anything in their mouth that makes swallowing difficult then this can lead to a build-up of saliva. This is normally accompanied by coughing. There can be various reasons for this such as a foreign body, swelling or tumors; check for stick objects immediately and schedule a trip to the veterinarian for these kind of emergencies.
- Poisoning: Collies love to eat and lick random things when out and about, and a sudden increase of saliva could be down to ingestion of some nasty substances. It could be something natural such as poisonous plants or toad, or a noxious chemical such as insecticide poisoning. This triggers a cholinergic reaction which includes salivation and other releases of bodily fluids. Thankfully, most dogs recover quickly within a day or so, but certainly not worth taking chances and a veterinarian should be phoned immediately.
How Do I Manage My Border Collie’s Drool?
Once you have considered the above reasons for excessive drool, if you have decided that they have normal healthy levels of saliva related to food, you can manage their natural drool and slobber using simple common sense tactics. Here are six ways to manage you Border Collie’s drool:
- Place your dog’s food bowl well away from rugs or carpets so that drool can easily be wiped away.
- When eating or drinking anything, always allow them access to water. Water bowls will help reduce the amount of drool they produce from drinking and keep their mouths clean.
- If possible try and avoid feeding them immediately before or after they exercise as this will reduce the amount of saliva produced.
- Use mats under their food bowls to capture excessive slobber.
- You can use towels and even a bib put loosely around their neck if drooling on furniture becomes a problem.
- Reduce stress levels for your dog as far as possible and provide them with a happy healthy lifestyle including good nutrition and physical and mental exercise. Check the exercise requirements are age-appropriate. This will maintain normal healthy levels of saliva production.
Do Border Collies Get Car Sick? (Drooling In The Car)
Border Collies are great family dogs that require lots of exercise and mental stimulation. This may mean driving to a park or reserve to access nature and walks. Or you may take them on vacation! However, anyone who has had a Border Collie from a young age will probably remember the first time their dog got car sick. That familiar and slightly embarrassing experience when you have to stop, open all the windows and let them out to ‘do their business’ or mop up the mess! This is another reason for excess drool and slobber.
Do Border Callies get car sick? Border Collies can get travel sickness just like humans, and similarly, it is usually the young collies who are affected worse by this. This is because the structures in their ears involved in balance are not yet as well developed in puppies. The good news, therefore, is that most collies grow out of being car sick within the first year or two. Driving steadily and opting for short distances initially can help manage car sickness.
Avoid sudden turns and movements and build up slowly to longer car journeys and avoid the most twisting and turning small roads. Also, avoid any big meals an hour or two before traveling. Putting waterproof mats down on the back seat is essential. As stated, puppies tend to suffer most from this, and they often grow out of car sickness once they become adults.