Ask a Vet: Does Dog Drool Have Corrosive Properties?


Welcome to our weekly 'Ask a Vet from the SF SPCA' feature on They've enlisted their Interim Co-President, Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, to answer your questions every Thursday. Got a question for Dr. Scarlett? Ask away in the comments!

Q: I think my dog is partially alien! Her drool seems to have corrosive properties. Being a Mastiff mix, she has a constant supply of slobber at her disposal which she wipes on all things she passes by, including my pants. On one of her slim strafes, I noticed that my jeans were starting to disintegrate in the places her saliva touched. Is there a scientific explanation or should I just buy better jeans?

A: Can I have some?  I’ve been trying to remove glue from some furniture and I think your pup’s drool may be just the thing. Mastiffs are well known for their sialorrhea, excessive drooling, but it usually isn’t corrosive.  In fact, dog saliva has been long touted for its wound healing properties.  Not that I’m advocating for dog saliva for wounds over a good cleansing--especially your canine alien.  The saliva of dogs is usually slightly alkaline and, like ours, contains lots of enzymes, antibodies and proteins to start the process of digesting but I wouldn't think enough to eat through your pants.  Any fabric chemist out there?   I think we need to discuss the state of jeans in this country!

While we can’t answer all of the questions here, please feel free to ask us during our Wednesday Twitter Ask the Vet Chat.  If your animal’s problem is of an immediate nature, please call your vet or you can reach the SF SPCA at 415-554-3030 to make an appointment.

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