Dog Has Excessive Drooling and Keeps Licking Paws–Emergency or Not?

explanation for dogs’ frequent paw licking and drooling

  • Dogs with excessive salivation, commonly referred to as hypersalivation, drool more frequently than usual. Drooling from the mouth and moisture on the face and front legs are two signs of this. Numerous diseases, behavioural problems, and drugs all have the potential to result in excessive drooling.
  • Acral lick dermatitis, often known as paw licking, is a condition when a dog licks one or more of its paws excessively. This could result in infection, redness, and irritation. Additional causes of paw licking include medical ailments, behavioural problems, and allergies.
  • It’s crucial to get your dog medical attention if it exhibits indicators of underlying health issues such as excessive drooling or paw licking.

Reasons for Too Much Drooling and Paw Licking

Both excessive drooling and paw licking in dogs have a variety of causes.

Among the medical causes of excessive salivation are:

Increased salivation can occur as a digestive reaction to digestive problems including nausea or indigestion.
Dental issues including tooth decay, gum disease, or oral tumours can hurt and make you feel uncomfortable, which might make you drool.
diseases of the nervous system such seizures, head injuries, or encephalitis, which might increase salivation as a neurological reaction.

The following behaviours can lead to excessive drooling:

Anxiety, which can cause a dog to sneeze more as an anxious reaction.
Dogs who experience separation anxiety may slobber excessively when left alone.
Dogs may drool out of boredom or as a means of self-medication.

Among the medical reasons for paw licking are:

Skin allergies can itch and hurt, which can lead to frequent licking.
Infections caused by bacteria or fungi, which may itch or hurt and make you lick it.
Diabetes and hypothyroidism are endocrine conditions that can damage the skin and cause excessive licking.

Paw licking has behavioural causes such as:

Stress or anxiety can cause a dog to lick its paws excessively as a type of self-soothing habit.
A dog may lick its paws as a sort of displacement behaviour out of boredom or a lack of cerebral stimulation.
A dog with obsessive-compulsive disorder may excessively lick its paws as a kind of repeated activity.
It’s crucial to remember that behavioural problems can be caused by underlying medical illnesses, and vice versa. In order to find the underlying reason and provide the appropriate care, a proper diagnosis by a veterinarian is therefore crucial.

When to seek immediate veterinarian attention:

You should take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice excessive drooling or paw licking in order to identify the root of the problem and administer the necessary care. But occasionally, the symptoms could point to a more serious ailment that needs urgent care. The following circumstances necessitate getting your dog immediate veterinarian care

Breathing problems: If your dog is having trouble breathing or is having trouble catching its breath, this could indicate a dangerous issue, like a foreign body obstruction or a respiratory infection, and it has to be treated right once.

Loss of consciousness: If your dog becomes unconscious or unresponsive, this could indicate a serious medical problem, like a head injury or a stroke, and it has to be treated right once.

Seizures: If your dog is having seizures, this could indicate a neurological condition and needs emergency care. Seizures can be dangerous and a sign of many different underlying disorders.

Additionally, it’s critical to seek emergency care right away if your dog exhibits additional symptoms including excessive paw licking, excessive drooling, diarrhoea, lethargy, or lack of appetite. These signs and symptoms can point to a more serious underlying disease that needs immediate medical attention.

In general, it is always preferable to err on the side of caution and seek veterinarian attention as soon as you can if you are unsure whether your dog’s symptoms are an emergency or not.

Treatment and Prevention

It is possible to lessen symptoms and enhance your dog’s general health and wellbeing by preventing excessive paw licking and drooling in dogs, as well as treating the underlying cause. Here are some possibilities for prevention and therapy to think about:


Finding and treating underlying causes: You can aid in preventing excessive paw licking and drooling by finding and treating underlying medical or behavioural problems. For instance, addressing separation anxiety or dental issues will lessen excessive paw licking and drooling.
Providing both mental and physical stimulation: Making sure your dog has lots of opportunity for both mental and physical exercise can help prevent excessive paw licking and drooling that are brought on by boredom or anxiety.


Medication: Depending on what is causing your pet’s excessive paw licking and drooling, your veterinarian may recommend medication to treat both the symptoms and the underlying problem. As an illustration, antihistamines can be administered to treat itching and inflammation brought on by allergies, whereas anti-anxiety drugs can treat symptoms brought on by separation anxiety or other types of worry.
Behavioral therapy: In cases where excessive paw licking and drooling are caused by behavioural factors, your veterinarian or a qualified animal behaviourist may advise behavioural therapy to address the underlying problem.
Dietary changes: In some circumstances, a change in food or the addition of supplements may help relieve the signs of excessive paw licking and drooling. For instance, include omega-3 fatty acids in your dog’s diet may help reduce allergy symptoms.
It’s crucial to remember that the available treatments rely on the underlying reason and the severity of the symptoms. To determine the underlying reason and choose the most effective course of action, a veterinarian must provide a correct diagnosis.


In conclusion, a number of ailments, behavioural problems, and drugs can all contribute to excessive paw licking and drooling in dogs. These signs should be regarded seriously as they may point to a more serious condition. You should take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice excessive drooling or paw licking in order to identify the root of the problem and administer the necessary care.

Some symptoms, such breathing problems, unconsciousness, or seizures, may point to a more serious condition that needs emergency care. It’s critical to seek emergency veterinarian care in these situations as soon as you can.

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