Dog Jowls? What Are they And What Should You Know About Them?

Dog Jowls

So what are dog jowls?  If you have a dog or have been around dogs, I’m sure you’ve heard this term used at least once.  What does someone mean when they are referring to this.

Hi my name is Mike and I like to work with Dog’s.  This website came about so that I can share some of the knowledge I’ve learned along the way.  Today we will be looking at some nicknames for dog body parts.  The first one we are going to focus on is dog jowls.

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Dog Jowls Explained

The definition of a dog’s jowls or just jowls for short is the area of extra skin around the cheek and neck area.  Some dogs have this in abundance while other breeds don’t have any extra skin at all.

Some dogs are actually bred to have a specific look that involves a built up jowl region.  A few examples would be Bloodhounds or St. Bernards.  This was done intentionally to afford them a little extra protection in the face area.  There are downsides to this as well.

The pros of Excessive Dog Jowls

One of the most obvious pros about having the extra jowl area on a dog is that it affords them more protection around their faces.  You see this a lot on outdoor breeds like bloodhounds because they are much more active in nature and may get involved in a scrape or 2 while hunting.  That extra skin could be the difference between a small cut or a completely destroyed mouth.

Another benefit of dog jowls is that this extra skin can help agitate and pull up different scents from the ground.  This is tremendously valuable to hunting breeds and is one of the many reasons that bloodhounds are so successful at it.

Dog jowls can also be used as a kind of flotation device.  Essentially, when your dog is deep in the water, the extra skin on their faces can make their heads more buoyant and much easier to keep afloat.

The Cons Of Excessive Dog Jowls

So one of the things vets complain about the most with dog jowls is that they are very hard to keep really clean.  All types of things can get trapped in them leading to bad smells and worse.  If you have a dog with extra jowls, cleaning them regularly with wipes and or soap and water is paramount.

Another thing that stems from this is an increased risk of infection.  A dog’s jowls can easily get infected if not cleaned properly.  This can cause a cascade of of other issues usually ending with a visit to your local vet or animal hospital.  Cleanliness here is paramount!

Uncontrollable Drooling is another very common issue with excess jowls.  This will tend to happen more around feeding time and is a natural response for dogs to food.  The excess skin makes it difficult for some breeds to keep from making a puddle of drool on the floor in those circumstances though.

how to clean a dogs jowls

How To Clean A Dog’s Jowls

so one of the most common questions I get here is about cleaning.  Specifically, how and when a dog should be cleaned up and the interval between cleanings.  This is going to highly vary between dog breeds and individual dogs themselves.  I’ve worked with some bloodhounds that barely drooled at all.  Others had a much bigger issue here.

The rule of thumb would be to give your dog a quick wipe of the mouth after every meal.  They have specifically formed wipes for this if you’re so inclined.  I find that a warm cloth with soap and water works fine as well.  If your dog is more active outdoors, you should also check them when they come in from that activity.  Getting any dirt or grime out of their jowls early and often will be the best defense from any swelling or infection.

Most vets would usually advise a deeper clean at least once a week.  Once again, this will depend on your dog and their breed.  Some could probably get away with this on a monthly basis while others may need more attention.

oral hygiene and dog jowls

Oral Hygiene And Dog Jowls

These two areas go hand in hand.  One of the best ways to keep your dog’s jowls infection free is by making sure their teeth are in good shape as well.  Teeth cleaning can be a major hassle and most dogs will be resistant to it but a clean mouth is ideal to help keep those infection levels down.

Ideally, brushing your dog’s teeth once or twice a day would be optimal.  There are also water additives and chew aids that can help with dental heath as well.  These little proactive cleaning steps could keep you from avoiding some heavy medical bills in the future which is always a plus!

Dog Jowls Concluded

As we have discussed, dog jowls have their advantages and disadvantages.  Some breeds have a lot of extra skin here while others have none at all.  Keeping these areas clean and infection free is possible but takes diligence on your part.

Oral health and jowl health go hand in hand.  Keeping one clean will do wonders for the other as well.  If you still have questions or are unsure how to do this with your particular breed, seek out the advice of a local vet.  These people are great resources and can help put you on the right path.  They also may have some specific tips and tricks based on your dog’s personality and breed.

Just remember, dog jowls are the extra skin around a dogs jaw, neck and cheek area.  This skin can be invaluable to some breeds but also needs special attention as well.  On some dogs it can be cute to look at those wrinkly faces too!

 

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog#Health 

https://www.petmd.com/dog/centers/nutrition/evr_dg_common-dog-skin-problems

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