A few weeks ago I was having a “discussion” on TikTok about dog drool.
It was in regards to dog breeders focusing on breeding healthier dogs that drool less.
I know. I know.
I did my best to debate the topic but had to move because it was like talking to a brick wall.
The point that I was trying to get across was that drooling isn’t a health problem in Newfoundlands, it’s a people problem.
People like the breed but they don’t like the drool.
I get it. I really do.
My husband used to gag at the sight of drool.
He’s gotten much better with it but he’ll still call me over to wipe a goober off of Odin’s mouth if he feels threatened.
Dog drool isn’t for anyone which is why many people that like certain dog breeds that drool but not the actual slobber, admire them from afar.
Anyways, this discussion led to another topic in regard to drooling causing health problems like skin infections.
I can see the reason behind this but in my opinion, that is more of a hygiene problem and not a health problem.
And I don’t mean this in an offensive way to anyone because we’ve all been there, at least I have.
Dog drool can lead to matting which could lead to hot spots, foul smells, and several other skin problems.
Sherman was a very heavy drooler and I had a hell of a time keeping up with it especially as he got older.
I remember that he sometimes had a musty/stale smell to him which was caused by dog slobber.
What’s That Musty Smell Coming From My Dog?
Musty, stale, and sour are all words that I’ve heard people describe the way their Newfie smells sometimes.
Usually, our first instinct is to check our dog’s mouth or ears when we smell this type of odor and we’re all pretty happy when our search results come up with nothing.
Nothing is good but where is that musty smell coming from?
A lot of times it’s coming from a Newf’s chin, neck, front legs or right under their lower lip.
To me, it smells like wet towels that haven’t been tried in a week or kind of like my SUV smelled after I took the dogs to the beach and didn’t clean the car.
It’s not a pleasant smell and I always try my best to prevent it from happening.
Ways To Prevent The Stale Stink
Here are a handful of ways that I try to practice good hygiene and prevent my dogs from getting skin issues or bad odors from drooling.
- Keep the coat and skin dry
- Comb regularly
- Water + vinegar
- Drool bibs/towels
- Duoxo pads
- Clip the area
Dry Coat + Skin
When I had my first Newfie, I never understood the importance of drying the coat with a high-velocity dog dryer.
20+ years later and many mistakes, I get it.
Keeping a Newfie’s coat dry is an important step to good skin and coat health.
It can be a challenge with Newfies especially if they love water, but it can be the key to keeping skin infections at bay.
I always dry my Newfs completely after a bath or if they’ve been swimming, out in the rain or snow, or playing in their water bowls.
If you’re Newfie is getting wet from drooling and the drool just sits on their hair, eventually, it’s going to sink to the skin or dry on the coat and start to smell musty or stale.
Try and make sure that the chest, chin and legs are nice and dry as much as possible.
I comb the chest, neck and legs almost daily.
Using a dog comb is important because a pin brush will only get the topcoat but a comb will get through the double coat and to the skin.
Using a comb helps keep those little drool mats that form away.
Lou had crusty front legs the other day because he was foaming at the mouth while he chewed on a stick and Sherman was notorious for having drool mats on his neck and legs.
Water + Vinegar
After every bath, I always spray the coat with 50/50 white vinegar and water mist.
Not only does this make the coat soft but it also helps to combat any stinky odors.
When the dog is completely dry, don’t worry, they won’t smell like a salad.
Some people use apple cider vinegar, I use white vinegar.
I think they’re both fine and will do the same thing.
Drool Bibs or Towels
You can never have too many designated drool towels in your house, car and pocket.
Microfiber towels are great for soaking up drool.
Drool bibs are great and we have a ton of them.
I mostly use our towels for when we are out and about or when we have guests over.
I don’t keep them on 24/7 because Lou will take a drink of water and submerge the entire bib in his bowl.
Bibs also have a tendency to start to smell stale if they aren’t washed often.
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I started using Duoxo Pads last year when the vet prescribed them for an abscess Lou had on one of his back paws.
I’ve been using them weekly ever since for not only wiping his paws but also his chin, the folds on his neck, his legs and the outside of his mouth.
These pads are antiseptic and antifungal for the topical treatment of skin infections and also help to support the microbial flora for healthy skin.
This product also comes in a mousse and shampoo but I haven’t tried them yet.
Clip the Area
I used to clip Sherman’s neck short especially when he was older because it was easier to maintain.
Clipping or trimming the area will help the skin breathe better and you’ll be able to see what’s going on easier.
The Stink Likes To Hide
Keep in mind that a lot of time you won’t be able to the source unless you really go looking for it.
If you’re smelling mildew, check under your dog’s chin, the two folds on the neck (under the hair) and the skin under the lips.
You would be surprised at how much a small blueberry-sized spot under your dog’s lip can smell!
As always, if you find something that you’re concerned about like a hot spot or other skin issues, it’s best to reach out to your veterinarian.
If you’re smelling something fishy, check your dog’s rear, that could indicate an anal gland leak or issue.
This is what I do in regard to dog drool hygiene, if you have other tips drop them in the comment section below!