Why American Foxhounds Drool So Much



If there is one extreme behavior that Foxhounds are known for, it is their athleticism, a behavior owing to their breeding. The American Foxhounds are also known for their easygoing nature, loyalty, kindness, and an overall sweetness, which are all qualities that make them a good companion for any dog owner, be it in the city or in the countryside. But one thing that Foxhounds hardly ever do is drool large amounts of slobber. Granted, there are times they drool, but it is not an upsetting amount that leaves pools or trails all over you, your house or your furniture. Yet there are also times when you may notice your Foxhound drooling more than usual, and this could be indicative of hidden dangers. Below are some possible explanations for why your American Foxhound is drooling so much. 

The Root of the Behavior

All dogs drool at one point or another but excessive drooling is not in a Foxhound’s breeding. Excessive drooling is more common in dogs that have slack mandibles such as Mastiffs, Bloodhounds, and Newfoundlands among others. So, if your Foxhound is not naturally a big drooler, then why is he drooling so much? Drooling in your Foxhound can be ruled as normal or abnormal depending on when it happens and how much drool is expelled. When drooling happens during mealtimes, be it is at the sight or smell of a meal or in anticipation of feeding time, this should not worry you. Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov studied how dogs react to food and determined that dogs will react to the sight of food or to other stimuli that signify food. To establish a link between stimulus and meals, Pavlov would ring a bell and then give food to the dogs in his experiment. After a few tests, the dogs came to associate the sound of a bell with food and would begin to drool even when they hadn’t seen or smelled food. If you have an established feeding routine for your dog, you may have noticed this behavior. He may begin drooling when you pick up his feeding bowl or when you walk into the pantry at his appointed feeding time. Pavlov called this form of drooling ‘psychic secretion.'

But when drooling, especially excessive drooling happens outside of mealtimes, then you should be concerned. Amy Flowers, a veterinarian in Dacula, Georgia, advances several theories that could cause excessive drooling in a dog that doesn’t naturally drool so much. One, your dog could be suffering from a mouth disease or a dental problem which could cause swelling, ulcerations, bleeding and sensitivity, all symptoms that trigger drooling. Two, your Foxhound could be thirsty or suffering from heatstroke. Foxhounds can run for hours and when this happens in extreme heat it could cause heat stroke. Three, your dog could be nauseated because of stomach discomfort which may happen if he eats poisonous food or swallows a non-food item such as a toy. Lastly, diseases such as respiratory infections, kidney, and liver disease might cause your dog to drool a lot. Respiratory infections can be transmitted or triggered by exposure to allergens while kidney and liver disease are common in older dogs.

Encouraging the Behavior

Drooling during mealtimes is not something you can encourage or discourage. It is your dog’s natural response to food and it happens on cue. You can, however, control drooling outside of mealtimes with the following solutions. One, tooth decay and mouth problems happen when you don’t clean your dog’s teeth regularly or if your dog has cut his soft palate or tongue. If the problem is dental, take him for a professional cleaning to remove plaque buildup and then brush his teeth daily after that. If it is not dental, his vet will diagnose other causes such as lacerations or tumors and will then prescribe appropriate treatment. Two, protect your dog against heatstroke by avoiding taking him out to exercise or leaving him outside when it is too hot. 

If your Foxhound lives in a kennel, ensure it provides sufficient shade and a constant supply of water. Should you suspect that your dog is suffering from heat stroke, take him to a vet for treatment. Three, while you cannot avoid all diseases, you can try to minimize the dangers that could result in stomachaches by keeping items he likes to chew away from him. As well, when out jogging with your Foxhound, keep a close eye on him to ensure he doesn’t swallow foreign items. Four, take your dog for regular checkups so that diseases like liver or kidney disease are caught in their early stages. To ward off respiratory diseases, wash your hands often, especially after you handle other animals.

Other Solutions and Considerations

Drool is saliva and besides signifying anticipation of food, it also helps your dog to swallow and digest better. If you feed your Foxhound on dry foods, he will produce excessive saliva when chewing as this will help to moisten his food and to swallow it. Even after you visit the vet, drooling might continue for a while as your dog continues to heal. To minimize the amount of cleanup, train him to lie on a mat and keep him off your couches. You might also want to contain him in one area of your house. Additionally, if your dog suffers from persistent motion sickness, he can be treated with medication after which you should see improvements. Lastly, age-related drooling might persist and be stubborn to control in which case you should discuss your options with your dog’s vet. 


Hopefully, this post sheds some light on why your American Foxhound has been drooling so much. If it is about the munchies, be glad that he is a healthy dog who is looking forward to his food. Otherwise, take him to a veterinary professional when you suspect disease even if he does not seem visibly ill.