Here we have two types of dog owners. Some already know something about the jowls of dogs while others don’t even know what this is. A dog jowl is present on all dogs. Just because it is a less-visible one some dog breeds, it doesn’t mean they don’t have it. But, let’s explain the matter completely and reveal all the facts about jowls.
Jowls: What Are They?
A dog jowl is a loose part of the skin from the upper part of the jaw or snout. All dogs have it. But, in most dog breeds these are very small and you can’t see them easily. In some dog breeds such as a bulldog, the jowls are massive. They can even cover the entire lower lip sides. This skin has connective tissue and fats inside it.
Here’s Why Dogs Have Jowls
Yes, dogs have jowls for a reason, or better said a couple of reasons. We will cover those reasons here and hopefully, you will be impressed. The reasons are almost countless. We will cover the most common and the most important ones.
1. Keeps the moisture
Jowls are there to keep the excess saliva and moisture in general. This is beneficial due to the fact a dog can have his mouth moist for a longer time and when there is no water to drink.
2. Easier eating
Jowls are loose skin creations that help your pet eat easier. They can stretch meaning a dog can open his mouth wider. They can have a bigger bite. In today’s era, this is not the primary reason. Dogs eat small pieces of food. But, in the wild, they need this advantage when hunting or just feeding.
3. They keep the air out
Some dog breeds like to swim. They will swim a lot and here we can see another purpose of jowls. They will keep the water out. Jowls will trap the air and keep the water out.
Believe it or not, jowls are there to protect your dog. This is present in a case of a fight with another dog. Jowls move in all ways and there is no way to predict that. You can see this when your dog is running. Jowls are just flapping around. In a fight, another dog can grab the jowls before the face which is a better option. Jowls don’t have delicate nerves and sensitive organs on them. Face does.
5. Help with the tracking
Jowls have another purpose. They can direct the scents towards the nose making your dog better at tracking and sensing the smell. You can even see that some hunt dogs have massive jowls. Now you know why.
6. People love these
Modern dogs have massive jowls (some of them) because some people love this physical feature. Breeders have been trying to produce dogs that have massive jowls for a long time. They are successful in that hence we have many breeds that have massive jowls. Simply said, owners like this, and they want to have a dog with large jowls.
Common health issues with jowls
Sadly, dogs who have jowls that are massive can be at a higher risk of certain health issues. The first one is the presence of bacteria and fungi. These live and grow in moist and dark places. Jowls are precisely that, hence these dogs are at a higher risk of developing a yeast infection. Treatment will help your dog if that happens. You can see the jowls of a dog that are red, swollen, or painful to touch. This is simply called lip fold dermatitis. All dogs can have it at some point. Keep in mind that some dogs will scratch their jowls so much that they will start to bleed!
Drooling is not a disease but we still have to explain it here. Due to the fact that jowls are not able to seal the mouth properly, saliva can escape. As you can understand, this means that a dog with bigger jowls will drool more. They also leave a mess when drinking water. This is something you need to know before you adopt a dog with massive jowls.
Oral papillomavirus is a common issue in dogs. This virus will create bumps on the lips and jowls that are red and painful. In some cases, these can even bleed which looks gross and a huge problem. All dogs can end up with the virus. However, dogs under 2 years of age are at a higher risk. Keep in mind that dogs who have large jowls are not at a higher risk of catching the virus. But, due to the owls that are bigger, you can easily see the bumps and you can notice the infection sooner.
You May Want To Clean The Jowls Of Your Dog
Because jowls can collect moisture, saliva, bacteria, and even debris, cleaning them is recommended. Your vet will tell you the same thing. Using alcohol is not an option. It is too harsh for this purpose. Using plain water is too weak to do anything.
The solution is to use medicated washes. These work well and they are safe for a dog. You can use special wipes as well. These work very well and dogs can enjoy the process. Spread the skin and clean it. It is that simple. If your pet doesn’t have any health issues with the jowls, you may want to do something extremely rare. If he has jowl issues, then you will need to do it more frequently.
The Final Word
A dog jowl is there for a reason. Jowls help dogs and improve a lot of things your pet can do. For hunting dogs and dogs who live in the wild jowls are a massive advantage.
For modern dogs who live in the house, they are something we like. Honestly, many people will choose a dog with massive jowls just because they like this feature. This explains why dog breeders have been working around the clock to produce dogs with this facial feature.