When you think ‘dog’, you think ‘drool’, though if you try to pin a mental image for this, invariably you’ll think of breeds like Pugs, Bulldogs, or giant-jowled Saint Bernards in children’s cartoons. So, do Greyhounds drool?
Greyhound owners may rest a little easier when it comes to drip and dribble behaviors seen in other dog breeds. Greyhounds do not drool – unless they are very excited, nervous, or sick. So, if your see your Grey drooling excessively, it’s a good idea to get them to the vet to rule out any health issues.
Today we’ll explore Greyhounds and their salivation (or lack thereof) in a little more detail. We’ll cover hot topics such as car sickness and what you can do, odd jaw behaviors, what ‘nitting’ means, and more. Let’s talk about what it means when a Greyhound is drooling!
Do Greyhounds Drool?
While Greyhounds don’t really drool very much, there are always exceptions, and the first few (or even all, depending on the dog) car rides can be a bit on the ‘drooly’ side. As fast as they are, Greyhounds aren’t any more or less prepared for a ride in a car than other dogs.
In fact, being a bit on the timid side, it can be a little harder for them. This goes doubly so for puppies and it’s not uncommon to arrive at your destination with a wet pool where your Greyhound put was sitting on the seat or in their transportation crate. This is a completely normal response, however.
Riding in the car builds up excitement or simply anxiety in your dog, and this stimulation causes dogs to salivate more, making your normally drool-free Greyhound start ‘leaking like a tap’. In time, with more rides and a few distractions so that they aren’t worried, your dog might well get used to and even like car rides.
There is also a chance, however, that the car will always be a touchy subject for your dog and require a lot of preparation in advance to reduce the stress of it as much as possible. Ultimately, that depends on your dog, but excess drooling need not be a cause of worry unless it continues after the travelling has stopped.
Why does my Greyhound drool and vomit in the car?
Some Greyhounds don’t just drool when you put them in the car, but they might also vomit or potty in the back – even before you’ve started driving. In the case of the latter, this is severe anxiety that your dog has developed from previous rides, though if it only occurs when driving then it is likely motion sickness.
Also referred to as ‘car sickness’, this affects puppies more than adults, but any age may be susceptible to this condition. Symptoms can vary, but sometimes include things such as whining, becoming very lethargic, moving around constantly in the crate, and gagging or vomiting.
The good news is that if you are unable to properly distract your dog, despite various attempts and techniques, they might simply grow out of car sickness susceptibility. Repetition breeds familiarity, after all, and some dogs start to get a handle on the anxiety all on their own.
With some Greys, unfortunately, any trip in the car is going to be a chore. Remember, these dogs have weak stomachs, so it’s like that one friend who always gets seasick whenever they go on a boat. Your dog can’t help it, so you’ll just have to find what helps the most to make them as comfortable as possible.
Helping your Greyhound with car-sickness drooling
If your Grey starts drooling on short trips and worse on longer ones, there are a few techniques which are recommended by vets and other dog owners which you can put into play to help comfort your frightened, furry friend. Here are some things that you can try:
- Prepare a calming atmosphere. Classical or other light music can help to soothe your dog, and turning the AC on a little higher can also help. You can use also use scents such as lavender or calming pheromones, which groomers use all of the time to calm doggies down. These are inexpensive and easy to obtain locally or online.
- New toys or old favorites, or the simple addition of a highly desirable chew toy, can help to keep your dog distracted while you quickly transport them to the vet, park, or other desired location.
- If you aren’t using a carrier, then you might want to consider it, or a dog safety harness at the very least. ‘Buckling up’ or ‘boxing up’ your dog can help them to feel more secure, especially in the case of the latter – as crates tend to obfuscate their view a little and this helps to calm your dog down.
- Cozy bedding, especially a super-soft kind that is not normally available in the house, can distract your dog with soft-comfort. You can also add a little reassurance by including a t-shit with your scent on it as well. Dogs feel more reassured when your scent is closer, even when you are right in front of them and driving the car.
- Consider not feeding your dog for 8 to 12 hours before the trip. An empty stomach will be less prone to nausea and as long as you’ve taken your dog out for a walk to urinate before you leave, the likelihood of any ‘potty accidents’ in the car will be greatly reduced.
- If you are going on a long trip, take your dog out on lots of little ones to prepare them mentally beforehand. Quick trips around the block, after giving our dog some toys to play with, can help to put your dog in the mindset that ‘the trip won’t be long’ and they’ll be better prepared for it.
- Obstruct their view as much as possible – while they’ll still notice the motion, it’s a little less terrifying that seeing the landscape flying by when you’re in a sitting position. It’s no big deal for us, but pretty surreal for dogs.
Why is my Greyhound doing weird things with his jaw?
Dogs chatter their teeth when they are excited and this can cause a bit of dribble and drooling, though with Greyhounds it is still very minimized. Greys definitely chatter their teeth more than other breeds, however, so don’t let it alarm you. It just means that your dog is excited, rather than nervous, so it’s a good thing!
Do Greyhounds drool when nitting?
If you aren’t familiar with the term, ‘nitting’ is a little thing that Greyhounds do that you will quickly learn about if you haven’t already. Nitting is an affectionate gesture that your Grey will sometimes give you which consists of nibbling you gently with the front of their teeth.
It tickles a bit for some owners and can take a little getting used to, but it comes from a place of love – even if that place is a little wet from dog drool. You can certainly try to dodge when your Grey tries to nit you, but many owners find it endearing and let their little one’s ‘nit away’ if they like.
As little as Greys drool to begin with, it’s only minimally wet, and usually lasts for just a few seconds.
Does drooling mean my Greyhound is sick?
We’ve stated that Greyhounds aren’t really big droolers while this can be quite nice, it also means that you need to take careful notice if your Grey starts drooling. Excess drooling can be an indication of a lot of different health issues and an immediate vet visit is a good way to rule this out and sleep a little easier.
Conditions that have excessive drooling as a symptom may include an infection or a blockage of your dog’s salivary glands, problems with the esophagus, or even a potential failure of the liver or kidneys.
With older dogs, it can also be a warning sign of cancer, so it’s best to get your vet involved right away if your dog starts drooling excessively. While drooling is an everyday thing with most dogs, Greys don’t do it nearly as often, so you need to take notice when they do to make sure that your dog is okay.
Some final words
Greyhounds don’t drool very often, but when they DO then it’s good to take notice. These little guys and gals have sensitive tummies, so car-drooling often leads to car vomiting and potty surprises that you’ll definitely want to avoid if possible.
Thankfully, most Greys will grow out of car sickness, and you can also help by obstructing their view and creating a nicer atmosphere for trips that absolutely must be made.
If your dog DOES start drooling outside of the car, it may also be a warning sign of potentially serious health conditions, so get your dog to the vet for their expert opinion. It’s a nice perk, having a lightning-fast dog that never drools, but that comes with a responsibility, too.
If you see excessive drooling, then it’s best to get it checked out right away!