See those loose folds of fleshy skin along your dog’s jaw? Those flappers that your friend is flashing are called jowls, and depending on the breed, every dog’s jowls are unique and have unique features.
Dogs that have particularly droopy jowls include:
- Saint Bernards
- Pit bulls
Quite apart from giving your dog that lazy, pathetically sweet, droopy, and scrunchy face, dog jowls have many uses and purposes. Let’s take a look at a few.
Purpose of Dog Jowls
It helps your dog to pick up scents. Some dogs that are specifically bred for hunting have particularly long and floppy jowls. So, when they are trying to pick up a distinct smell, their jowls will droop down and brush the ground, helping them track scents.
If your dog were to ever get in a fight, his jowls will prevent other animals from sinking their teeth into sensitive parts of the face and jaw. The loose skin of his jowls is not as sensitive as other parts of your dog’s face and is also not as painful.
Help when swimming
Jowls will create an air pocket between his mouth and the water, allowing your dog to breathe efficiently while swimming.
Drooling and jowls
It is quite natural for dogs with jowls to drool a lot, depending on just how big their jowls are. Your dog’s jowls fold into pouches or bags around the mouth and collect saliva until it overflows.
Why do they drool?
Your dog will drool more during the summer. Excessive drooling is an indication that your dog might be over-heated. Keeping him in the shade, keeping him dehydrated, and making sure he gets proper ventilation will go a long way. Take him out for a swim and let him cool off.
Excessive drooling can also be a sign that they’ve eaten something bad and are feeling nauseous or are having digestive challenges.
Your dog might also be nervous, afraid, sick, or anxious if he’s drooling excessively.
The most probable reason? He’s probably got a whiff of something tasty and wants a nice big snack.
Pay attention to these dog jowl issues!
- If your dog’s jowls and drool smell really bad, there is a possibility of a bacterial infection called Lip Fold Dermatitis that will cause his jowls to become red and inflamed and emit a foul odor.
- If you notice redness and swelling around his jowls, this might be caused by dental problems, allergies, or even abscesses. Take him to the vet to treat him.
- If you notice pink clusters on your dog’s jowls, this can be a sign of Oral Papillomavirus, often transmitted by other dogs carrying this virus. If you see any bumps along the jowls, again, take him to the vet to get checked.
How to care for and clean your dog’s jowls
You need to regularly check your dog’s jowls for signs of infection or bruising. Thoroughly and effectively cleaning his jowls can go a long way in eliminating many avoidably bacterial infections and dental issues.
- Remember to be gentle and patient. If your dog has sores, or his jowls are inflamed, cleaning it vigorously will hurt him. He will also need to get used to having his jowls handled, so be patient.
- Soak a clean, soft cloth in warm water, and, wrapping it around your finger, gently wipe between the folds, removing moisture and drool. Then repeat this process with a dry towel.
- Talk to your vet for a prescription and apply a dental spray as advised.
- Cleaning your dog’s jowls at least once a week will prevent odor, accumulation of food particles, and also prevent any infection or disease.