Can you see a strange swelling under your dog’s lower jaw? Are you wondering why it has developed a jowl? Are you confused about its cleaning procedure?
A dog with a jowl is commonly a fighter or a hunter dog.
You can say that a jowl is a saggy skin or swelled-up skiing under the lower jaw of your pet dog which helps in fighting, hunting, preventing drool from spreading, etc. It is prone to a lot of infections if not cleaned properly.
Read the article below if you want to know more about the reasons for these jowls, how to clean them, and prevent infections in them.
Why Do Dogs Get Jowls?
Having jowls for your pet dog is a common thing. Jowls are saggy slings that you see hanging under your dog’s lower jaw. You can see it on either side of your pet’s lower jaw.
Now you might be wondering what purpose these hawks serve in a dog’s body.
Here is a list of a few of the purposes:
1. For Protection
If your dog belongs to an aggressive breed then these pets may develop jowls under their lower jaw as a protective gear for them while they are in a fight. In some breeds, these jowls also act like a cushion.
2. Drinking Water
Your dog may develop jowls because if they have jowls they get help in drinking water. These jowls may help your dog to scoop up water from the container and store it properly.
Jowls also prevent your dog from spilling or wasting any water while drinking it.
Did you know that when you do any physical activity your body’s temperature is regulated by the sweat that you release? But dogs don’t sweat, they rather show panting behavior when they have done any rigorous physical activity.
So when your dog is panting it takes in cool air and exhales the warm air from the nose. So, these jowls may help a dog in trapping the cool air for a longer time and may help your dog to cool down and calm down easily.
If your dog is taking in more cool air then the heat inside a dog’s mouth will also go away very quickly as the saliva dries out quickly.
4. Special Breeding
Some breeds of dogs may develop jowls if they are a byproduct of some interbreeding or selective breeding.
So, if you see jowls on a dog then it might be a result of a breeder who has put all the special physical traits that he wants in his dog to be put together in one.
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What Breed Of Dogs Have Jowls?
Below are some of the common dog breeds that have jowls:
If you own a dog that belongs to a bloodhound breed then you definitely should know that it is known to be a dog with big jowls.
Bloodhound breed dogs are mainly used for hunting. These jowls developed by your pet protect it and provide it cushion-like support from all the thorns and bushes while it is hunting.
2. Basset Hound
If you own a dog that belongs to the basset hound breed then you should know that they are known as dogs with droopy mouths.
These dogs with droopy faces have jowls to help them to stop the drool from spreading all over their fur and body and help it to stay clean and hygienic.
3. Saint Bernard
If you own a dog that belongs to the saint bernard breed then you definitely have a friendly calm pet. Then you must be thinking why does your dog have big jowls?
As you know, these breeds are most suitable for hilly areas and mountains. So these big jowls in these dogs protect them against the cold weather in the hilly area. They have very long jowls which may sometimes cover their chin too.
If you own a mastiff then you should know that they have a reputation for being one of the largest in size among all dogs.
Also, since this type of breed is most suitable for protecting or guarding you, they might develop large jowls so that they look intimidating or scary.
These jowls also act as a shield for them while they are in a fight with other animals.
Bulldogs are not big in size and have wrinkled skin. They have a crusty look and are mainly used in bull-baiting, etc. So, these dogs may have developed jowls to look scarier and more imposing.
If you own a dog that belongs to this breed then you might have noticed that it is a medium-sized dog, with a square face.
They have jowls as it may protect them in fights with other dogs and also keep their body clean by stopping the drool coming out of the mouth from spreading.
There are many other breeds like the Neapolitan mastiff, shar pei, english bulldog, and dogue de bordeaux which may have developed long saggy jowls just to look intimidating and imposing and have a protective layer while they are hunting or fighting.
What Causes Dog Jowl Infections?
Cellulitis, which is commonly known as dog jowl infection may be caused to dogs with jowls due to a variety of reasons. Some of them are:
Bacterial infection is one of the major causes of infections in your dog’s jowls.
If you have not treated any of your dog’s wounds properly or you have not cleaned any cut that your dog might have gotten which has caused bleeding, then many bacterias may enter from these openings.
Once these bacteria have entered your dog’s body it may reach a dog’s jowls to cause an infection there. Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes are two of the main bacteria that cause jowl infections in dogs.
When your dog has allergies, it keeps scratching it as it feels itchy. This may give your dog small cuts or openings for bacteria and infections to enter their body and cause various infections.
This in turn can lead to various jowl infections.
3. Poor Hygiene
If your dog has been living in an environment with poor hygiene then they are always more prone to getting an infection.
If your dog’s grooming is not done regularly your dog might accumulate dirt near its mouth and face which can also lead to jowl infection.
If you are not cleaning your dog’s drool regularly and it becomes dry and sticks to your dog’s face, then this can also be another cause for your dog to have a jowl infection.
There are many other reasons why your dog can develop a jowl infection like parasites, poor health conditions, etc.
How Do You Treat A Jowl Infection In A Dog?
Before talking about the treatment, it’s important to understand the symptoms that indicate that your dog has a jowl infection. Below are the symptoms shown by your dog when it has a jowl infection:
- Your dog’s face or your dog may have swollen red dog jowls
- It may have red bumps around its jowls
- The area around the jowl may have turned hot or your dog’s jowls are drooping
If you notice that your dog is showing any of the above-mentioned symptoms then you should definitely seek the advice of a vet to treat the infection.
You should give your dog all the antibiotics prescribed by your dog’s vet without fail to save your dog a lot of discomfort and pain caused by jowl infection.
If your dog’s pain is not releasing or if your dog is not feeling at ease even after taking antibiotics and still showing signs of pain then you should also ask the vet to suggest some painkillers for your dog.
Once you have visited the vet, he or she may give you some cream to put around the infected area to prevent any further spreading of infection and make the treatment an accurate one.
You may also have to take a follow-up appointment before stopping with the medicines and all the care as you have to make sure that the infection is removed completely to prevent it from relapsing or reoccurring in the body.
Should You Clean Your Dog’s Jowls?
Cleaning your dog’s jowls is very important to prevent them from getting any infections in their jowls.
There might be food, dirt, etc. which has been collected in these jowls of dogs which can give birth to a lot of microorganisms causing infections.
While cleaning your dog’s jowls you should always make sure that you don’t apply highly reactive cleansers as the skin around the jowls is very sensitive.
In addition, the cloth or cotton which you are using to clean the area of the dog’s jowls should be very soft so that it does not cause any rash on a dog’s face. You should always use warm water for cleaning.
Once you have cleaned your dog’s jowls you should always wait till the time it dries properly and completely. It prevents the irritating moisture around the area of jowls.
You should always double-check, whether dog jowls are dropping on one side of the mouth and have not been cleaned properly. Cleaning and maintaining hygiene are very important to take care of the dog’s jowls properly.
In conclusion, if you know that your dog falls into the above-mentioned breed then you know why these dogs have jowls.
You can follow the steps that we have mentioned to determine if your dog’s jowls have an infection and the course of action that you should take.
It is very easy to maintain these jowls but you need to be very regular with their cleaning.
1. Can You Put Vaseline On Dogs Jowls?
Vaseline can be used to safely moisturize and calm the skin around your dog’s jowls.
Applying excessive amounts of Vaseline can make the region around your dog’s jowls overly greasy, which can lead to clogged pores and other skin issues, so it’s crucial to exercise caution.
Before putting anything on your dog’s skin, you should get the vet’s opinion.
2. Why Do Dogs Lick Their Jowls?
There are a few reasons why your dog is licking its jowls.
Cleaning is a major factor. Creases in the skin below a dog’s mouth, or jowls, are a perfect place for trash, dirt, and food scraps to become stuck. Dogs will naturally use their tongue to clean the area around their mouths.
Self-soothing is another factor. When dogs experience anxiety or stress, they may lick themselves to feel better. Jowl licking can be used as a form of communication between dogs and people.
To express submission or that it poses no threat, a dog could, for instance, lick its lips.
It is crucial to keep an eye on your dog and speak with your vet if you have any concerns about his or her behavior, as excessive licking of the jowls or other regions of the skin can be an indication of an underlying medical condition like allergies or an infection.