7 Ways to Keep Your Dog From Urine Marking


Urine marking is a very common dog behavior. When a dog urine marks, they urinate only a small amount onto a surface, often with their leg raised. This can happen on walks, at the park, and even in the comfort of your own home or another person’s home — eek! Before we can talk about how to stop your dog from urine marking, let’s talk about why they do it.

5 Reasons Why Dogs Mark

Urine marking is a way for a dog to assert dominance and say, “Mine!” Here are 5 circumstances that increase a dog’s desire to claim objects and territory:

1. Intact Marking

Dogs that are not spayed or neutered are much more assertive and more prone to urine marking than dogs who have been fixed. Spaying or neutering your dog can greatly reduce their desire to urine mark, but it may not completely stop it.

2. In Response to the Unfamiliar

Many dogs urine mark after smelling a new dog (or a new dog’s urine) in their environment, be that your yard, your home, or a street you walk down regularly. Additionally, if a new pet or person enters your home, your dog may feel the need to mark their belongings (a purse, another pet’s bed, etc.) as a way to say, “I’m in charge here!” This goes for new objects, too. If you get a new couch, a dog prone to marking might lift a leg upon its arrival.

3. In Response to Anxiety

The unfamiliar can cause anxiety, as can situations that are classically stressful, such as visits to the vet, a move, or thunderstorms. Dogs who are marking as a result of anxiety often leave more urine behind than dogs who are marking for other reasons.

4. Social Marking

A dog may mark as a result of social triggers, such as excitement, over-stimulation, or arousal caused by a dog of the opposite sex. A dog may also mark in response to social conflicts with other animals in your home, whether they are permanent housemates or visitors. Marking allows your dog to assert their dominance in unstable group situations.

5. Medical Issues

If you dog is marking or urinating indoors, make sure that it isn’t because of a medical issue such as a urinary tract infection or incontinence.

RELATED STORY: 12 Things You Didn’t Know About Dog Psychology

7 Ways to Stop Urine Marking

So how can you prevent or stop urine marking? First, take your dog to the veterinarian to rule out any medical issues. If your vet says that everything is okay, use the following tips.

1. Spay or Neuter Your Dog

As mentioned above, spaying or neutering your dog can greatly reduce their desire to mark. If you spay or neuter your dog before they learn the marking behavior, you may never have to worry about it. However if you spay or neuter your dog after they’ve already started marking, it may be more difficult to break the habit. Ask your veterinarian to recommend the best time to fix your dog.

RELATED STORY: 5 Ways Dog Neutering Makes Your Pet Healthier

2. Clean Soiled Areas or Make Them Undesirable For Marking

If a dog has already marked an area of your home or yard, they’ll probably do it again. Use a cleaner specifically designed to eliminate the smell of urine. If you can’t remove the smell, remove your dog’s access to the area or change your dog’s association with the area by feeding or playing with them there.

3. Keep Items Your Dog Wants to Mark Out of Reach

If you know that your dog is prone to marking your visitors’ shoes or purses, put those items out of reach in a closet or cabinet.

4. Resolve Conflicts

If your dog is urine marking, it’s because they feel like they need to claim territory and assert their dominance; the feeling of needing to assert dominance is often the result of conflict. Make sure that all animals are getting along and that your dog is getting getting along with all human housemates, too. If disputes seem impossible to solve, then contact a trainer for help.

5. Catch Your Dog in The Act

If you catch your dog urine marking inside the house, move or carry them outside. When they urinate outside instead, reward them with a treat or toy. Don’t punish your dog if you find the marking after the fact; your dog won’t understand and may become afraid.

6. Treat Your Dog’s Anxiety

If your dog’s urine marking seems to be related to stress or anxiety, solve that issue first, and the urine marking may subside. Common treatments for anxiety include behavior modification and medication. Read more about treating anxiety.

7. Contact a Trainer or Animal Behaviorist

In some cases, you may not be able to tackle your dog’s marking issue on your own. A trainer or animal behaviorist can help you find the source of the problem and come up with a plan for correcting the behavior.

Does your dog urine mark? Leave a comment and let us know about your dog’s behavior. And sign up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.


Retired Sergeant Reunited with Partner, a Bomb Sniffing Dog

bomb sniffing dog

After his return home, Army Staff Sergeant James Harrington hoped to one day reconnect with his ex-partner. Two years later, Sgt. Harrington got his wish.

Standing at the entrance to Concourse B at Armstrong Intl. Airport, in New Orleans, Harrington waited with bated breath as Ryky, the 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, trotted through the terminal. And, as if their time apart had never even occurred, Ryky leapt right into Harrington’s arms. “She remembers my voice,” he exclaimed.

RELATED STORY: Your Dog Knows Your Smell, Even From Afar

After serving together for four years in Afghanistan, it is no surprise that the old bomb sniffing dog would remember Harrington. In fact, before their deployment, Harrington and Ryky both trained together at the Lackland Air Force Base for 19 weeks, more than enough time to forge a lifelong bond.


During their time in Afghanistan, Ryky and Sgt. Harrington served as a bomb detection unit, leading the charge on missions to protect her unit against deadly roadside explosives.

In one especially harrowing encounter, Harrington’s convoy came under attack. Rather than remain in the safety of his armored vehicle, he and the bomb sniffing dog set out and cleared a path to the wounded, allowing medics to give them the first aid they so desperately needed. To commemorate their bravery in the face of danger, Ryky was awarded the K-9 Medal for Exceptional Service.

RELATED STORY: Salute to US War Dogs: An Infographic on Military Dogs


From Bomb Sniffing Dog to Civilian

Part of Harrington’s initial reservation over whether Ryky would remember him is due to the fact that the dog remained in service two years after Harrington came back to the states. In that time, Harrington took up work as National Guard Military Police. But even when they were apart, Harrington made a point to keep tabs on his favorite girl.

After her second handler was injured and opted to leave the service, it was decided that Ryky’s years of service were finally at an end. The call was put in to her previous handlers, and Harrington jumped at the opportunity to take her home. Personally dealing with PTSD and having some difficulty returning back to civilian life, Harrington hoped that Ryky’s presence would act as a therapy dog, helping him cope with life outside the service.


Now officially reunited, Harrington’s exuberance can hardly be contained. “I got my partner back. It’s too good to be true,” said Harrington as they left the airport together. “Somebody pinch me.”

The Times-Picayune – Soldier and his bomb sniffing dog reunited after years apart



How to Clean Your Dog Between Baths


Taking the dog to the groomer can be expensive and grooming your dog at home can be a time-consuming ordeal. However, your dog will be happier and healthier with regular baths and brushings, and your house will smell better, too! But life happens, and sometimes you have to put off your dog’s bath for a week or two. So how can you clean your dog and keep them smelling fresh between baths?

Brush, Even if You Can’t Bathe

Depending on what kind of dog you have, brushing is usually a lot less time-consuming than bathing, especially if you keep up with it regularly. Dogs with thick or curly hair (like Poodles) may need to be brushed more often to avoid mats and tangles, but it’s worth it. Brushing removes dirt and debris that can contribute to a foul stench.

RELATED STORY: What Are Some Low Maintenance Dogs?

Doggy Wipes

Doggy wipes work to freshen your dog up between baths. They are gentle, non-toxic, moisturizing, and usually smell lovely (just like the ones for babies!) Use doggy wipes to clean your pup’s paws and paw pads, their rear end, and even their entire body.

Dry Shampoo

If you want to clean, deodorize, and refresh your dog’s coat between baths, try a dry shampoo. Dry shampoos are very easy to use; they are powder formulas that can either be sprinkled or sprayed onto your dog, rubbed in, then brushed through. They instantly absorb excess oil and grease, break down dirt and grime, and leave your dog’s coat looking soft and shiny and smelling great.

Dog Perfume or Cologne

Dog perfumes are a popular choice for stylish pups or pups who aren’t smelling so swell between baths. They are designed to be light, aromatic, long-lasting, and safe. Some companies even make perfumes that mimic popular men’s and women’s designer scents. If your dog seems even the slightest bit irritated by the perfume’s smell, discontinue use, and never use human perfumes or colognes on a dog.

RELATED STORY: My Dog’s Breath Smells! What Should I Do?

Clean Your Dog’s Bed!

If you do everything you can to keep your dog clean between baths, it will all go out the window if their bed is still dirty and smelly. Wash your dog’s bed and blankets regularly to remove dirt and body oils. If you have the option, choose a bed that allows you to wash both the cover and the cushioning. Your dog will thank you by curling up for a sweet-smelling slumber.

How do you keep your dog clean between baths? Leave a comment and let us know, and sign up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.


4 Natural Ways to Keep Ants out of Your Pet’s Food

ant pet foodIt’s the scourge of many a pet parent: the ants come marching each springtime and don’t let up until the weather turns cold again. The ants’ target? Your pet’s food bowl!

Worry no more. You don’t have to just put up with these pesky invaders trying to snack on your beloved’s goodies. You can fight back, and without poisons. Here are five non-toxic ways to keep ants out of your pet’s food.

1. How to Remove an Ant Infestation From Pet Food Without Throwing it Away

If there are already ants in the food, then place the food in the freezer. Wait until the food is frozen and the ants are dead. Then, working in batches if necessary, use a strainer over the sink or a trash can to sift the dead ants out of the food.

2. How to Use Peppermint Oil to Repel Ants and Other Pests

I discovered the wonders of peppermint oil when crews broke ground near my apartment to construct a new line of the Washington, DC metro. Almost immediately, our home was infested by mice that presumably came inside to escape all the excavation and major construction that disrupted the environment.

We’d always entertained ants, which wasn’t ideal, but mice? Aw, heck no. I was not having it! After lots of research to find a non-toxic way to repel mice, I discovered that 100% peppermint oil (that’s 100% peppermint oil, not extract) works wonders. In a spray bottle, I mix a tablespoon of oil for every 1 cup of water, which is a potent potion.

Both mice and ants are guided keenly by their sense of smell, and 100% peppermint oil seems to completely bungle their olfactory operations. Since occasionally spritzing peppermint oil near my HVAC vent and having the smell delivered all throughout my apartment, I have seen nary a pest, and certainly no mice and no ants. Refresh with more spritzes anywhere you think pests might enter your home, and you should largely be pest-free in no time.

3. How to Disrupt the Ant Trail

If you don’t want to try peppermint oil, then do your best to disrupt the ant trail to throw them off your pet’s food’s scent. You can keep a placemat under your dog’s food bowl, and after each meal, wash the food bowl and wash off all the crumbs from the place mat with soap and water. You can also wipe down the floor with a gentle cleanser along the trail where you’ve seen ants marching, leading up to the space where you feed your pet.

Another option is to sprinkle baby powder where you’ve seen ants enter your home. Sprinkle talc lightly in a circle around your pet’s food dish. (Make sure your pet isn’t around to inhale the talc.) Ants can’t seem to stand being around baby powder and will beat a hasty retreat in its presence.

4. How to Create a Moat Around Your Pet’s Food Bowl.

Ants will drown in water and won’t be able to cross water to get to your pet’s food. You can use an aluminum baking dish that you would buy in the grocery store. Place your pet’s food bowl in the baking dish, and then fill the dish with just enough water to create a moat around the food bowl so that ants can’t access the food.

Of course the moat won’t prevent ants from entering your home in the first place. My favorite method has been peppermint oil. After the initial inconvenience of purchasing the oil and mixing up a bottle of 1 tablespoon of oil to one cup of water, it’s been so simple to just spray it around any time I notice an ant scouting out our kitchen. He runs for the hills, and I never have to host him or his friends again.


Dog Life Jackets and Boat Safety Tips

Dog Life Jackets

Summer is the perfect time to get your dog involved in some outdoor activities. There’s hiking, swimming, trips to the dog beach, and even boat rides. If you plan to take your dog on board, be prepared for the voyage with these safety tips.

1. Check Laws and Regulations Before You Go

Before heading out on the open water, check your state’s laws and regulations to ensure that your dog is allowed on the boat and that you’re following all the rules. In addition, if your boat is in a marina, call the marina ahead of time to ensure that dogs are allowed on the property.

2. Acclimate Your Dog to the Boat

Being on a moving boat for the first time can be scary for a dog. It’s fast, it’s loud, and there’s lots of strange movement. Before taking the boat out to sea, acclimate your dog by visiting the boat when it’s on dry land or parked at the dock. Let your dog explore and sniff, and offer treats and praise. The goal is to help your dog form a positive association with the vessel.

3. Bring Safety Supplies

A first-aid kit, pee pads, a life jacket, sunscreen, and fresh water are all important things to bring along for the ride. Even if your dog is an excellent swimmer, they should still wear a life jacket (or have one nearby) in case conditions change and the water gets choppy, which could affect their ability to swim. Fresh water is important because sea water can be dangerous for dogs to drink, and dog-friendly sunscreen will keep your pal from getting burnt when the sun’s beating down. Also be sure to set up a cool and shady area for your dog to rest; perhaps in the cabin or under a large umbrella.

RELATED STORY: Be Prepared for Emergency Pet Care: Steps to Take Now

4. Develop a Safety Plan

What will you do if your dog goes overboard? Have a plan before you go so that everyone is on the same page. Maybe you’ll plan to turn off the engine, and one person will be assigned to jump into the water after the dog.

5. Build Up to Longer Outings

Even if you acclimate your dog to the boat, chances are they’ll still be a little freaked out the first time on board. Keep their first trip short and positive with plenty of treats and praise, and look out for signs of seasickness. If your dog suffers from seasickness, try these steps for dealing with car sickness. If the seasickness persists, ask your veterinarian if anti-nausea medication would be appropriate for future outings.

RELATED STORY: The Most Active Dog Breeds for Your Lifestyle

6. Keep Your Eyes on Your Dog

Just like you would with a small child, it’s important to keep your eyes on your dog when they’re on a boat. A wave or wake could cause your dog to lose their footing and fall off, and too much time in the sun could cause your dog to become dehydrated (and even develop heatstroke). Know where your dog is at all times and make sure they are secure and taking breaks in the shade.

Do you take your dog out on a boat? How do they like it? Leave a comment and let us know, and sign up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.


How to Exercise Your Dog When You’re Sick


Waking up with a headache, sore throat, and stuffy nose is no fun, and the last thing most people want to do when they’re feeling under the weather is take their dog out for some exercise. But your dog depends on you to provide them with mental and physical stimulation as well as bathroom breaks (unless you have a doggie door), and it’s up to you to find a way to give your dog those things even when you’re unwell. Here we’ll present some alternative ways to exercise your dog when you’re sick.

Note: Remember that forcing yourself to take your dog out for their regular exercise could make your illness worse. Consult your doctor if you are feeling out of sorts and you’re not sure how much activity is appropriate.

Indoor Games

Indoor games are a great way to get your dog active when you’re feeling sick. Many games can even be played right from the comfort of your own bed. Here are some examples:

Laser Pointer Chase: Buy an inexpensive laser pointer and shine it back and forth across the floor. Your dog will delight in chasing the moving light, and will wear themselves out in the process. Remember not to shine the laser pointer into your dogs eyes as it could damage their retinas. Read these other tips for playing laser pointer chase for your dog without driving them crazy.

Indoor Fetch: If you have a long hallway or other large indoor space, you can play fetch indoors. You may even be able to play it from the sofa or your bed.

Tug-of-War: Another stimulating game that you can play while laid up is tug-of-war. Many dogs love to play this game with a rope toy, but remember that it can bring out your dog’s competitive side, and you should make sure that you have a solid relationship in which you are the pack leader before engaging in this type of game. Many trainers also recommend ending games of tug-of-war with you successfully winning the toy.

Puzzle Toys: Puzzle toys require your dog to problem solve in order to release food or treats that you stuff inside. There are many different types of puzzle and food-dispensing toys, and a variety could occupy your dog for hours while you get some rest.

RELATED STORY: The Benefits of an Active Dog

Low-Impact Outdoor Exercises

If you’re feeling well enough to go outside but still not 100%, you can engage in some outdoor activities while still taking it easy.

Cut Your Walk in Half: If you usually take your dog for a half-hour walk, take them for a 15 minute walk instead. Choose an area with easy terrain (no hiking!) and a time of day when the weather won’t be unpleasant (e.g., in the summer, walk in the early morning or late evening to avoid high heat). Then, give your dog the rest of their exercise by playing some indoor games or offering them a puzzle toy.

Yard Fetch: Take your dog out to the yard and throw a ball or frisbee. If you’re tired, you could even play fetch while sitting in a lawn chair or reclining in a hammock. Ensure that your yard is secure and all gates are closed and locked so that you won’t have to worry about chasing after your dog when you’re feeling low.

RELATED STORY: 3 Ways to Be Safer Walking a Dog at Night

Ask For Help

If you’re really ill, you may not be able to exercise your dog at all. If this is the case, consider taking your dog to dog day care or a boarding facility while you recover. Alternatively, you could hire a dog walker to stop by once or twice a day to relieve you from your duties.

How do you exercise your dog when you’re sick? Leave a comment and let us know. And to keep your dog healthy, consider signing up for PetPlus. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at PetPlus.com.


6 Dog Safety Tips for the Fourth of July

Dog with American Flag

While we just talked about this topic with Sam’s post on Tuesday, the topic of dogs and the 4th of July is a hot one, so we’re revisiting some points and introducing a couple new ones.

Loud noises. Big crowds. Flashing lights in the sky. Leftovers from barbeques. The Fourth of July is a great day for families and friends all across America, but can be challenging for your dog. Find out six simple ways you can ensure a healthy, happy, anxiety-free day for your pup.


1. Food Safety During Barbeques

Whether or not you allow your dog to eat human food is likely a decision you’ve made a long time ago. But food at a barbeque can be particularly dangerous for dogs: alcohol is always a no-no, but so are the onions you’re having on your burger, the avocado in your guacamole, and the bones that might be in grilled chicken. Be sure to let your friends know not to share food with your pet.

RELATED STORY: The Most Poisonous Foods for Dogs


2. Prepare for Loud Noises

If you know — or suspect — that your dog doesn’t like loud noises, plan ahead. Make sure your pet has a safe spot in the house to hang out, cover up the noises if possible, and provide your pet with a Thundershirt or other swaddle-like outfit.

RELATED STORY: 5 Tips for Dealing with Dogs Scared of Loud Noises


3. Don’t Bring Your Dog to the Fireworks

The crowds of people, loud crash of the fireworks exploding, and unexpected flashes of light are hard on your dog. We recommend that you leave dogs safely at home. It’s easy for a dog to panic, run away, get lost, or generally freak out during fireworks. Since it’s not a pleasant activity for pets, leaving them at home is both the kindest and the safest option.


4. Definitely Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car

If for some reason, leaving your dog at home is not an option, it would be preferable to bring your dog with you rather than leaving your dog alone in the car. During the heat of the summertime, leaving your dog in the car — even with the windows cracked open — is unsafe.

RELATED STORY: 5 Must-Read Safety Tips for Pets in Hot Weather


5. Make Home Cozy for Your Pet

If your dog will be home alone while you’re out celebrating Independence Day, or even if you’ll be around, make your house into a comfortable environment for your pet. For crate-trained dogs, the crate can be the most comforting place to ride out the wild night. Close the curtains to help block out the lights from the fireworks, and think about leaving the television on, or playing music for an audio distraction. Make sure that all doors and windows are closed — even a normally placid pup can have an urge to escape when confronted a the fear-inducing situation.


6. Be Careful With Sunscreen and Bug Spray

What’s good for you isn’t necessarily OK for your pet. Don’t give your pet a spritz of bug spray, and avoid using sunscreen for people on their fur. As well, citronella and lighter fluid can also be dangers for dogs, so make sure to keep those items far away from your pup.

RELATED STORY: Top Mosquito-Borne Illnesses


PetPlus isa new benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and more. Is it right for you and your dog?


Are Laser Toys Bad for Your Dog?

Laser toys

Few things are as entertaining as watching dogs frantically chase after a laser toys. If you need proof, just watch this video.

However, as fun as it is for us to see them go nuts for that elusive red dot, it could be messing with their head.


Animal Behaviorist and Tufts Professor Dr. Nicholas Dodman believes that laser toys play on our dogs’ natural instinct to chase, without giving them the reward of catching it. “They can’t help themselves. They are obliged to chase it,” said Dodman to the Huffington Post.

Anything that darts around (such as a laser light) triggers our dogs’ inherent need to chase prey — which, as it happens, is why so many prey animals stop dead in their tracks when they suspect they have been spotted. Dogs are, by nature, highly tuned motion sensors. And when something triggers that impulse, they respond the only way they know how — by chasing.

But unlike a rabbit or a tennis ball, a beam of light is not something that can be caught, making a game of “chase-the-laser” one devoid of any possibility for winning. This inability to actually catch the laser can end up wearing on a dog’s psyche. If a dog is constantly chasing after something they can’t catch, it is bound to stress them out. In fact, it may even drive them a little bit crazy.

“I’ve seen light chasing as a pathology where they will just constantly chase around a light or shadow and pounce upon it. They spend their whole lives wishing and waiting,” says Dodman.


Instead of teasing your dog with a laser toy, if you want to work out your dog’s prey instinct, why not simply play a game of fetch? Rolling a ball across the floor gives them everything they need out of a game — the anticipation, the chase, and the reward.

However, if you simply cannot give up the laser, at least find a way to incorporate treats into the laser experience. Perhaps you leave a treat on the floor and lure them over to it with the dot. Get creative with it. Just don’t let your dog go unrewarded, or they may develop a complex.


Laser it up!

Cat’s, Dr. Dodman observed, are less likely to become obsessive and develop behavioral conditions as a consequence of not being rewarded. This is because they generally have a much shorter attention span than their canine counterparts, meaning that they are likely to lose interest in the beam rather than get all worked up over not being able to catch it.

RELATED STORY: Is My Cat Weird? 5 Freaky Feline Behaviors

However, there are exceptions to the rule, and if you notice your cat starting to show signs of obsession, stop playing with the laser. But until then, feel free to shine on, you crazy diamond.

Will you stop using the laser with your dog? Leave a comment and let us know, and sign up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.

Huffington Post – Why Laser Toys Can Be Bad News for Your Pet



4 Tips to Keep Your Dog Happy on the Fourth of July

The Fourth is right around the corner, and with it all the good times we have come to expect. Fireworks, barbecues, hanging out with friends and family — Independence Day is certainly a celebration of what it means to be free.

To most people, everything about the holiday seems like a great time, but to our furry friends, the Fourth can be a stress-filled occasion.

Here are a few tips to keep your dog happy this Independence Day.

1. Food and Alcohol


Odds are, your celebration is going to have some tasty treats and icy beverages. Food and drink are all well and good, but in terms of our pets, human foods are best  avoided. While a nibble off a hot dog or a burger probably won’t hurt them, anything with onions, garlic, chocolate, or alcohol should be kept well out of their reach.

RELATED ARTICLE: Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

2. Crowds


The Fourth is a big outdoor party day, and if your dog is in attendance, the stress of being around so many people could start to wear on them. If your dog doesn’t do well in crowds and you can’t leave them at home, first make sure everyone at the party knows to give your dog a break. Second, you should plan to stay by their side the entire time, so if things do get out of hand, you are there to offer cuddles and a calming treat (or two).

3. Heat


Staying outside all day in the sun is a perfect way to spend a holiday, but it is also a surefire way to dehydrate your dog. Imagine if you had to run around in a fur coat all day! To help your dog beat the heat, keep a steady supply of water on hand. And, if you can, try to find a shady spot for them to recharge their battery.

RELATED STORY: 7 Unsuspected Pet Dangers of Summer

4. Fireworks


FIREWORKS! Everyone’s favorite part of the holiday — except for our pooches. The loud noises and dense crowds are essentially a perfect storm for an anxiety attack. The best way to avoid this is simple: leave your dog at home!

But if that is not possible, try to stay on the outskirts of the viewing area, making it possible to beat a quick retreat if it seems like Fido can’t take all the excitement. Stay by their side, pet them for reassurance, bring a toy to distract them — anything you can do to take their mind off the explosions. And, again, calming treats could be a life saver.

RELATED STORY: 4th of July Safety Kit for Pets

To keep your pet safe and healthy, sign up for PetPlus. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at PetPlus.com.


Why Do Cats Drool?


When most people think of drool, they think of dogs with jowls, like Saint Bernards and Mastiffs. But dogs aren’t the only ones who can produce excess saliva; cats sometimes drool too, and you shouldn’t ignore it when it happens.

So why do cats drool, and when is it time to see the vet? Let’s take a look.

Happy Drooling

Some cats drool when they are happy, excited, or extremely relaxed. A cat who is getting a serious rubdown from a loving owner, for example, may feel so soothed and serene that they forget to swallow! For many cats, purring and drooling go hand in hand, but you should still mention it to your veterinarian at your cat’s annual check-up. They may want to check your cat out to ensure that the drooling is not related to a larger health issue.

RELATED STORY: Is My Cat Weird? 5 Freaky Feline Behaviors

Stress-Induced Drooling

Some cats produce excess saliva in response to stress or fear. For example, many cats drool in the car, at the vet’s office, before or after receiving an injection, or in response to a bad-tasting or toxic food or medication (or in anticipation of it, if they’ve had it before). Oftentimes, stress-induced drooling will be accompanied by stress-related purring; that’s right, purring isn’t always positive. Sometimes it signals fear or discomfort.

If your cat’s drooling is related to stress or fear, it should stop when the cat’s circumstances or environment changes. However, if the drooling continues or if you notice any other symptoms, contact your veterinarian; something more serious may be going on.

RELATED STORY: Diets to Treat Cat and Dog Stress

Medical Issue-Related Drooling

A cat may also produce excess saliva and drool as a result of certain medical issues, including:

If your cat’s drooling is continuous or accompanied by any other symptoms, contact your veterinarian.

Does your cat drool? Leave us a comment and let us know, and sign up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.