Despite a widely held misconception, Boxers aren’t a particularly drooly breed.
Sure, they may flick saliva around if they’ve been exercising or playing with another dog.
And they can make a real mess at the water bowl.
But does a Boxer go through life trailing a shoestring of drool? No.
Throughout the day, around the house, you won’t ordinarily see a Boxer drool at all.
Excessive drooling — particularly if your dog isn’t a drooler — is often a sign of nausea.
Why Do Dogs Drool?
It is perfectly normal for a Boxer to drool a little (or a lot) when anticipating food or chewing on a raw meaty bone.
However, ptyalism is the medical term for an overproduction of saliva.
Breeds like Bloodhounds, Saint Bernards and Mastiffs have what’s considered a “conformational disorder” of the lips that causes drooling.
Basically the structure of the lips in these dogs allows saliva to collect in the folds and to leak from the dog’s flews (pendulous upper lips).
How To Deal With Boxer Dog Slobber
Regular Boxer dog slobber can be managed by .. well .. getting used to it.
If you don’t want your Boxer pressing his nose to the window glass, then training is your best bet.
(Remember not to clean slobber off with store-bought chemical cleaners.
These are toxic to your dog.
Opt instead for plain vinegar or a homemade citrus cleaner.)
Boxers will also wipe their faces on couches and sides of beds.
It’s a classic Boxer move to burrow the face and wipe off the remains of dinner on the nearest soft surface.
You might want to seize the moment and wipe your Boxer’s muzzle with a warm wet towel before he has the chance.
Boxers also love to rest their chins on coffee tables, couches .. anything that’s a comfortable height.
Your house and clothes won’t be pristine with a Boxer around.
Why Is My Boxer Drooling All Of A Sudden?
Hypersalivation is the clearest indication of nausea in a dog.
Nausea is a symptom of an enormous range of conditions.
Some of the most common include:
- Acid Reflux
- Esophageal blockage
- Oral disease
- Motion sickness
Acid reflux or gastroesohageal reflux (GERD) is, sadly, remarkably common in modern pet dogs, including no small number of Boxers.
The symptoms can look so strange and varied that owners often struggle to diagnose them as reflux.
As well as drooling, a dog with acid reflux will usually display quite a few other odd behaviors including:
- air licking
- jaw snapping
- licking fur or fabric
- eating specks of dust, grass, leaves (to sooth burning throat)
- throat gurgling
- neck stretching
Often all these symptoms will happen at the same time.
Attacks come on suddenly and can last for a few minutes or a few hours .. and even as long as a day or more non-stop.
The drool may be so excessive that you notice saliva dripping off the lips, soaking your dog’s fur and often his bedding.
Acid reflux is often triggered after a course of medication including steroids like prednisone.
It can be exacerbated by high-fat or large meals.
There may be long symptom-free periods of weeks or months between attacks of reflux.
Drugs may temporarily mask symptoms of reflux but rarely resolve the condition.
Drooling can be a sign a foreign body is obstructing the food pipe, or esophagus.
Foreign bodies can range from non-food items like socks and balls to inappropriate food items like cooked bones and corn cobs.
If your Boxer is drooling and hacking as though he’s got something stuck in his throat, try giving him a piece of white bread.
You wouldn’t normally want your Boxer ingesting something so processed and biologically-inappropriate for a dog.
But this simple trick can work if your dog has, say, eaten a piece of cooked chicken that may have contained a fragment of bone.
(Note that dogs should never be given cooked bones, only raw meaty ones.)
Gut blockages can end up in emergency surgery, which isn’t always successful.
Take all possible steps to avoid your dog ever swallowing something he shouldn’t.
- dog proof your house
- train your Boxer to ignore inappropriate objects
- teach a strong “leave it” command
- supervise your dog in unfamiliar surroundings including on walks
Ingesting a toxin or caustic agent will often cause nausea and drooling.
If your dog is suddenly drooling, consider whether he could have been exposed to:
- household cleaning products
- toxic plants
- venom from a spider, scorpion or other critter
- drugs (nausea is a side effect of many medications)
If your Boxer has been poisoned, he may well exhibit other symptoms such as vomiting and lethargy.
As well as stomach upset, irritation of the mucosal lining of the mouth can cause drooling.
Chewing on an electrical cord can cause burns.
Excessive drooling can be caused by a range of problems in the oral cavity including:
- foreign body stuck between teeth
- tooth abscesses
- tooth fractures
- gingivitis or stomatitis (inflammation of the lining of the mouth as a result of periodontal disease)
- effects of radiation therapy on the mouth
If your dog is pawing at his face or muzzle, give his mouth a good inspection.
If your Boxer drools in the car he is probably suffering from motion sickness.
Help your dog avoid carsickness by not feeding him before car rides.
Keep good airflow in the car — wind down a window and the smells will probably provide a good distraction for your pup.
Try different seating positions — passenger seat, backseat etc — to see if it helps.
Gradually acclimate your dog to car travel by starting with short trips before expecting him to handle long ones.
Short-nosed breeds like Boxers are more prone to overheating.
Their nasal structures are compressed into a much more compact space than long-muzzled dogs.
This brachycephalic (short-nosed) head structure can hamper their breathing and their ability to keep themselves cool when it’s hot or they’re under stress.
Always take precautions to keep your Boxer cool.
Dogs can drool when they feel nervous.
This may be during a vet visit or something else that makes them anxious or which they experience as unpleasant.
Other Conditions Involving Drooling
Nausea, and therefore drooling, is a very common symptom of a great many diseases.
In addition to those explored above, drooling can be associated with:
- salivary gland disorders including inflammation and cysts
- deadly bloat (gastric dilatation-volvulus)
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- neurological conditions affecting the ability to swallow
- congenital and/or hereditary diseases like portosystemic shunt, megaesophagus and hiatal hernia (the Boxer is not among the breeds most susceptible to these)
You can see that drooling, on its own, is not a very helpful symptom in terms of nailing down what’s ailing your dog.
So, if your Boxer is drooling excessively, take note of any other abnormalities in his condition, mood or behavior.
If something is seriously wrong, you will likely observe more than just hypersalivation.
A collection of symptoms will help you piece together what’s going on.
Despite their beautiful, rubbery lips and lolling tongues .. Boxers really don’t drool any more than the average dog.
If your Boxer has begun drooling a lot, pay attention — it could mean he is feeling nauseous.
If the hypersalivation doesn’t go away or returns frequently, you will want to work out what is causing it.
Excessive Production of Saliva in Dogs, PetMD Editorial, November 17, 2008
Why Does My Dog Drool So Much? Denise Maher, VetStreet, July 24, 2012
Is Your Dog’s Drool Cool? When It’s Natural an When It’s Cause for Concern, Stephanie Gibeault, MSc, CPDT, April 27, 2018