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Why do dogs foam at the mouth when running?

Updated on December 28, 2009

A first time dog owner will surely be concerned if the dog is seen foaming at the mouth. What would come to mind is poisoning. Dogs are curious animals. They are also known to be indiscriminate eaters. The dog may have ingested poisonous substances. However if the dog is foaming at the mouth when it is running it can be because the dog is cooling itself.

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When do dogs foam at the mouth?

Dogs are voracious eaters. At the sight and smell of food, the dog would salivate and foam at the mouth. Under stressful situations, humans sweat. Stressed dogs produce copious saliva. This usually happens when the dog is confronted with dominant dogs or when they are under frightful situations.

A dog’s cooling system

Humans have excellent cooling system. Sweat is released through the skin. Dogs release sweat only through the pads of the feet. Covered in hair, a dog that is doing a strenuous activity would overheat easily in hot weather. To cool itself, a dog would pant to draw air in. The tongue is lolled as well. The evaporation of the saliva on the dog’s tongue aids in cooling the body.


When running or doing a strenuous activity in extremely hot weather, the dog would excessively salivate and foam in the mouth. This is a dangerous situation as the over heating can develop to hyperthermia. When the heat regulating system of the body is overwhelmed the dog can no longer control body temperature by panting.

Other causes of foaming at the mouth

Foaming at the mouth can be due to a medical condition. It is possible that the dog has ingested poisonous substances. The dog may also have a lesions or ulcers in the mouth. Foaming at the mouth can be caused by rabies. The foaming in the mouth can also be due to the dog’s ingestion of poisonous substances. This calls for immediate medical attention.

Helping the pet

Make sure that the dog is always provided with clean water especially on hot days. Avoid taking the dog walking in very hot weather. Early morning and early evening would be the most suitable time to exercise the dog. A good alternative would be to walk the dog in grassy and shaded areas. Dogs are excellent jogging and hiking companion but it would be best to leave the dog in the house when the weather is very hot. 11 AM to 4PM is the hottest time of the day. It would be best to leave the dog inside the house during this time.


Snapping dog

Foaming at the mouth


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    • profile image

      Sadie Grundy 

      4 years ago

      I know you feel sorry for them. But the only thing you can do is take them to the vet.


      p.s. I am only 8!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i think your information is very good and it had helped me a lot and i have been dieing for this information

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      ok, so i take my dog out on walks early in the morning. we walk pretty fast and a long way, but it isn't hot at that time. in fact, it's pretty cool. then, in the middle of the walk, he starts foaming. then, when we come back from the walk, he stops foaming and is as happy as a clam. will he die?? will i take him to the vet? btw, when i take him out on walks in the evening, he does not foam.


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