Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dog Drool = Anxiety...Who Knew?

Gigi isn't a drooler. At least not while she's awake, haha.

However, a few weeks ago while at the dog park we noticed she was creating quiet a little puddle in the spot she hadn't moved from in the last 20 minutes. It was a pretty windy day, the grass had just been cut, and us being the newb dog owners that we are we thought maybe it was just "doggy allergies" or something of that sort. We cleaned her up, tried to get her to interact with the other dogs but instead she chose to just sit next to us and observe...while continuing to drool.

This happened at least 3 more times. Totally strange.

I finally Googled it (cause Google is a lot cheaper than a Vet visit) and it turns out this is actually pretty common in dogs. What had been happening is that she'd begin to drool like a fat kid in a candy shop when she was feeling stressed out or anxious - which was usually caused by being around 4 or more dogs (her size, btw).

Seems our girl is a bit bashful and doesn't care for large crowds, much like her owners.

I wish I could say it no longer happens but that's not the case. G still drools every now and then at the dog park but when it starts to get excessive we turn her attention back to us and show her there isn't anything to be anxious about, they're just friends trying to play with her. We usually end up taking her aside and playing with just her and one other dog and then slowly begin to introduce more into our playing. It's not perfect but it seems to work for us.

This pretty much sums up what G was exhibiting to show us she was "anxious/stressed out":

  • excessive drooling
  • lack of eye contact with other dogs
  • calming behavior, such as licking lips and/or blinking more than usual with slightly squinted eyes.
  • not moving in a straight line to any dog
  • not laying down, showing belly to dogs
  • sweaty paw pads
  • sometimes - excessive shedding

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