Why Do Dogs Froth at the Mouth?

by Naomi Millburn
    Frothing of the mouth may be a sign that something is amiss, health-wise.

    Frothing of the mouth may be a sign that something is amiss, health-wise.

    Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images

    Sometimes, it can be rather hard to tell if a doggie is experiencing a health problem. At the other end of the spectrum, however, it sometimes can be very easy, too. Frothing at the mouth in dogs can point to anything from rabies to medicinal side effects.


    A dog's frothing of the mouth may be a sign of rabies, a very serious viral disease. Toward the later stages of infection, you may observe a variety of symptoms other than foaming, including loss of coordination, confusion, overall bodily weakness, convulsions, appetite loss and jaw and throat paralysis. The frightening and dangerous disease usually kills animals within days.

    Medication Side Effects

    Foaming of the mouth in dogs can also sometimes be a side effect of medication use. For dogs who suffer from stress and anxiety, veterinarian-prescribed tricyclic antidepressants are sometimes associated with mouth foaming, notes the ASPCA. Veterinarians may prescribe these medications for dogs in order to manage issues such as separation anxiety and obsessive licking. Never allow your dog to use these medications -- or any medications -- without veterinary approval. Some possible effects of the antidepressant, besides foaming of the mouth, include increased thirst, dry mouth, diarrhea, constipation and rapid heart rate. Immediately notify your veterinarian if you observe any of these symptoms in your precious pet.


    Excessive salivation or frothing may point to extreme anxiety and stress in pooches. If your dog is so nervous that he's making the floors of your home damp with his drooling, then something is seriously upsetting him, whether it's being away from beloved companions for an extended period of time or being confined too long in a cramped crate.


    Frothing may also indicate a reaction to poison in doggies. For example, if your little one somehow got his mouth on a tulip's bulb segments, excessive drooling may be a possibility. Other signs of tulip toxicity in canines are seizures, appetite loss and digestive distress.

    Motion Sickness

    Excessive drooling and mouth foaming sometimes is a symptom of motion sickness in canines. If your poor cutie just doesn't mesh well with rides in your car, whether to the veterinarian's office or the groomer, then motion sickness may just be the culprit. Some key signs of the problem, apart from foaming, are vomiting and low energy levels. Consult your veterinarian for options in managing your pet's frustrating motion dilemma.

    Photo Credits

    • Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

    Trending Dog Behavior Articles

    Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!