Do Dogs Drool in Their Sleep? An Exploration of Canine Habits

Many pet owners have wondered if their furry friend drools in their sleep. It may seem like a silly question, but understanding your dog’s behavior and habits can help keep them healthy and happy. In this article, we will explore the world of canine sleep and drooling, as well as other sleep habits, to give you a better understanding of your pooch.

Understanding Canine Sleep Patterns

Dogs spend a significant portion of their lives sleeping, with an average of 12-14 hours of sleep per day. This amount of sleep can vary depending on the dog’s age, breed, and overall health. For example, puppies and older dogs generally require more rest, while working breeds or dogs that participate in active lifestyles tend to sleep less. However, it’s essential to remember that dogs should be allowed to sleep as much as they need to stay healthy and energized.

Unlike humans, dogs have a shorter sleep cycle, averaging around 16 minutes compared to our 90-minute cycle. Knowing this, it’s important to understand the stages of dog sleep to comprehend their behavior during rest.

The Stages of Dog Sleep

Dogs undergo four stages of sleep. The first stage, which lasts only a few minutes, is a light sleep where the dog can easily be startled. During this stage, dogs may twitch, move their legs, or even bark in their sleep. The second stage is intermediate sleep, where the dog is more relaxed and has a decreased heart rate. The third stage is deep sleep, where the dog is fully relaxed and difficult to wake up. Lastly, the fourth stage is REM sleep, where dogs may twitch or move their legs and often dream.

REM sleep is an essential stage of sleep for dogs, as it is believed to help with memory consolidation and learning. During this stage, dogs may also experience rapid eye movements, which is where the name REM sleep comes from.

How to Help Your Dog Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Just like humans, dogs can experience sleep disturbances that can affect their overall health and well-being. Here are some tips to help your dog get a good night’s sleep:

  • Establish a consistent bedtime routine, such as going for a walk or providing a comfortable sleeping area.
  • Avoid feeding your dog a large meal right before bedtime, as this can cause discomfort and restlessness.
  • Provide your dog with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day, as this can help them sleep better at night.
  • Avoid exposing your dog to loud noises or bright lights before bedtime, as this can disrupt their sleep.
  • Consider investing in a comfortable dog bed that provides adequate support and comfort for your furry friend.

By understanding your dog’s sleep patterns and providing them with a comfortable and safe sleeping environment, you can help ensure that they get the rest they need to stay healthy and happy.

Reasons Why Dogs Drool

Drooling is a normal process for dogs, and it helps them regulate body temperature and keep their mouth moist. However, excessive drooling can indicate health concerns or anxiety. Let’s explore some of the reasons why dogs drool.

Natural Salivation Process

Dogs drool every day as a natural part of their salivation process. Saliva helps them break down food, lubricates their throat and mouth, and keeps their teeth healthy. This process is entirely normal and nothing to be concerned about.

Dental and Oral Health Issues

Dogs who drool excessively may have dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, or an abscess. These conditions can cause discomfort and may lead to further health issues if left untreated. It’s essential to take your dog for regular dental checkups to prevent any dental problems from getting worse.

Stress and Anxiety

Dogs that experience stress and anxiety may drool as a sign of discomfort. Separation anxiety, as well as fear and nervousness, can cause excessive drooling. If your dog is drooling abnormally, it’s important to evaluate the environment and any changes that might have led to their anxiety.

Another reason why dogs may drool is due to excitement. When dogs get excited, they tend to drool more than usual. This is because their heart rate increases, causing their saliva glands to produce more saliva. So, if your dog starts drooling excessively when you are playing with them or taking them for a walk, it’s just a sign of their excitement and nothing to worry about.

Some dogs drool when they see or smell food. This is because their natural instincts kick in, and they start salivating in anticipation of the meal. If your dog drools excessively when you are preparing their food or when they see food, it’s just their way of expressing their hunger and excitement for the meal.

Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to drooling than others. For example, breeds with loose jowls, such as St. Bernards and Bloodhounds, tend to drool more than other breeds. This is because their loose jowls allow saliva to accumulate, leading to excessive drooling. If you have one of these breeds, it’s important to keep a towel handy to wipe away any excess drool.

In conclusion, drooling is a natural process for dogs, and it can indicate various things, from excitement and hunger to health concerns and anxiety. If you notice that your dog is drooling excessively, it’s essential to evaluate the situation and determine the cause. If you are concerned, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

Do Dogs Drool in Their Sleep?

Yes, dogs can indeed drool in their sleep. Similar to their wakeful state, dogs drool while sleeping to keep their mouth and throat moist. Although it’s not uncommon for dogs to drool in their sleep, excessive drooling during rest can indicate an underlying health issue or cause discomfort.

It’s interesting to note that drooling in dogs is a natural and necessary bodily function. Dogs have four salivary glands that produce saliva, which helps them digest food and keep their mouth clean. However, excessive drooling can be a sign of a problem.

Common Causes of Drooling During Sleep

Sometimes, a dog’s drooling during sleep can be related to their sleep habits or environment. Snoring can cause more drool to accumulate in their mouth, and sleeping with their head at an odd angle may cause drooling. Additionally, some dogs may drool more if they have eaten something spicy or salty before bed.

Another common cause of drooling in dogs is anxiety. If your dog is anxious or stressed, they may drool more than usual. This can be especially true if your dog suffers from separation anxiety or if they are in an unfamiliar environment.

When to Be Concerned About Excessive Drooling

If your dog drools excessively in their sleep or any time of the day, it may be a sign of a health issue. Gingivitis, oral infections, or digestive issues can cause drooling, among other health complications. It’s essential to take your dog to a veterinarian to rule out any medical issues if you are concerned about their drooling habits.

It’s also important to note that some breeds of dogs are more prone to drooling than others. Breeds like the Saint Bernard, Bloodhound, and Mastiff are known for their excessive drooling. However, if you notice a sudden increase in drooling in your dog, regardless of their breed, it’s best to get them checked out by a vet.

In conclusion, drooling in dogs is a natural and necessary bodily function. However, excessive drooling can be a sign of a problem. If you are concerned about your dog’s drooling habits, it’s best to take them to a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

How to Manage Your Dog’s Drooling

If your dog is drooling excessively, there are a few things you can do to manage their drooling habits.

Regular Dental Checkups

As mentioned earlier, dental problems can cause excessive drooling in dogs. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help prevent oral health issues and keep your dog’s mouth healthy.

Proper Hydration and Diet

Keeping your dog hydrated and feeding them a balanced diet is also essential. Make sure they always have access to clean water and avoid feeding them food that could cause stomach upset or excessive drooling.

Creating a Comfortable Sleep Environment

To reduce excessive drooling during sleep, make sure your dog has a comfortable and clean sleeping arrangement. Soft bedding and a nightlight may help create a relaxed sleeping environment for your furry friend.

Other Canine Sleep Habits

Finally, let’s explore some other sleep habits that dogs can exhibit.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea in Dogs

Just like humans, dogs can also snore or experience sleep apnea. This condition can cause difficulty breathing and disrupt a dog’s sleep cycle. If you notice your dog snoring excessively or gasping for air, take them to a veterinarian for evaluation.

Sleep Twitching and Dreaming

Lastly, dogs may twitch their legs or make noises while sleeping, indicating that they are dreaming. This behavior is entirely normal and nothing to be concerned about.


Knowing your dog’s habits and behavior can help you take better care of them. While drooling during sleep is nothing to be feared, excessive drooling can be a sign of an underlying health concern. By paying attention to your furry friend’s behavior, you can help manage any health issues and ensure they receive the care they require.