Why Does My Dog Chatter His Teeth? Canine Teeth Chattering Explained


8 Possible Reasons

  • The Flehmen response (teeth chattering in response to a strong smell)
  • Cold
  • Excitement
  • Dental issues
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Neurological issues
  • Kidney disease

When Not to Worry About Your Dog’s Teeth Chattering

So, you’re wondering, “why does my dog chatter his teeth?”. While some of the possible reasons are nothing to worry about, others may indicate a more serious condition that warrants a trip to the vet.

It’s normal when the chattering occurs while smelling or sniffing. This is usually due to a strong scent (such as urine), and it’s called the Flehmen response. The dog will also curl their lips back after sniffing the object.

Another possibility is that your dog is cold. Dogs have smaller bodies and don’t wear clothes like humans do, so they’re more susceptible to feeling cold. If your dog is chattering his teeth and also seems chilly (e.g., is shivering or holding himself close to you), he may simply be trying to warm himself up.

Your dog may also be excited or trying to communicate something. For example, if you’ve just come home from work and your dog starts chattering his teeth, he’s likely just excited to see you.

So, there is no one correct answer to the question “why does my dog chatter his teeth?”. All of the above situations are perfectly normal. There are, however, some instances when you’d be right to worry about your dog’s chattering teeth.

Did You Know…

Most dogs rely on the bark and bite response to deter any potential threat. But for those canines who feel threatened in an unfamiliar environment or around other animals, there is another defense mechanism – teeth chattering! The sound produced startles or distracts predators, and can even buy your furry friend a few precious moments of escape time.

Why Does My Dog Chatter His Teeth? Worrying Signs

If you’re wondering “why does my dog chatter his teeth?” and the behavior is new or out of the ordinary for your pet, take note of any other changes in behavior or health, such as:

  • excessive drooling;
  • lethargy;
  • lack of appetite;
  • difficulty swallowing;
  • pain in the mouth or head.

If your dog is exhibiting any of these signs while their teeth are chattering, contact your veterinarian right away. Now, we’ll cover a few common causes of abnormal teeth chattering in dogs.

Why Does My Dog Chatter His Teeth? Worrying Signs

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a serious condition characterized by inflammation and infection of the gums. It’s caused by plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. If you’re wondering “why does my dog chatter his teeth?” and you notice that his gums are red, swollen or bleed easily, it’s a good idea to go to the vet and start treatment.

Nervousness or Anxiety

If your dog is anxious or stressed, he may start chattering his teeth. This is his way of trying to relieve the stress, and it may happen in response to loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks. It may also happen when your dog is in a new environment or around dogs that make him feel uneasy.


If your dog is experiencing pain in his mouth, he may chatter his teeth as a way to express this. If he’s also exhibiting other signs of dental problems, a trip to the vet for a dental check-up is in order.

Dental Abscess

Dental abscess is a serious condition that occurs when there is an infection in the tooth or around the root. If you’re wondering “why does my dog chatter his teeth?” and you notice other symptoms like swollen gums, difficulty eating, drooling, and bad breath, it’s a good idea to go to the vet and have him checked for a dental abscess.

Kidney Disease

Dog chattering can also be caused by kidney disease – a serious condition that requires veterinary care. If your dog suffers from it, you may notice that he’s drinking more water than usual and urinating more frequently. He may also have a decreased appetite, weight loss, and fatigue, which may cause his teeth to chatter.

Temporomandibular Joint Disease

Temporomandibular joint disease (TMD) is a condition where the joints of the jaw become inflamed. If your dog has TMJ disease, you may notice that he has difficulty chewing, and his jaw may be tender to the touch. This is more common in older dogs.


Seizures are a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. If your dog has a seizure, you may notice that he loses consciousness, collapses, and his body stiffens. He may also make paddling motions with his legs, chatter his teeth, or bite his tongue.

Neurological Issues

Neurological issues can be caused by a variety of conditions, including stroke, brain tumors, and encephalitis. If your dog has neurological issues, you may notice that he’s lethargic, has difficulty walking, or seems disoriented. Do not hesitate to take your dog to the vet if you notice any of these symptoms.

A Trip to the Vet

If your dog is exhibiting any worrisome changes in behavior, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and contact your veterinarian. They’ll be able to give you a more definitive answer as to why your dog is chattering his teeth and whether it’s cause for concern.

They will likely ask you questions about your dog’s behavior and may perform a physical examination. They may also recommend some diagnostic tests, such as x-rays or blood work, to rule out any underlying health conditions. But in most cases, teeth chattering is nothing to worry about.

FAQs About Dog Teeth Chattering

FAQs About Dog Teeth Chattering

Why Is My Dog’s Bottom Jaw Chattering?

Your pup’s chattering jaw could be a sign of excitement or stress. It might even be an indicator that something physical is impacting them, such as muscle weakness, nervous system disorders like epilepsy or neurological issues like essential tremor. Regardless of the cause – whether it’s due to emotion or physiology – if your dog shows changes in behavior alongside this symptom, then seeking advice from your vet would help you work out what’s really going on!

Why Is My Dog’s Mouth Quivering

It could be a good sign if related to excitement or the smell of something new. Alternatively, it may point towards anxiety, dental pain or muscle tremors – watch out for associated changes in appetite and behavior that could reveal the underlying cause! If you’re concerned at all, then book an appointment with your vet straight away.

Is Teeth Chattering in a Dog a Seizure?

If it’s the only symptom present and your dog is conscious, then it’s unlikely to be a seizure. If your pup exhibits other neurological symptoms such as twitching or salivation in addition to the chatter, it could signal bigger issues. Be sure to consult with your vet for further opinion.

What Is Dog Clacking?

Tooth clacking is the sound your dog’s teeth make as they snap together while opening and closing their mouth repeatedly. Usually indicative of joy or arousal, if this behavior continues without any particular cause in sight then you should probably check with the vet to rule out any underlying issues.

What Causes Facial Tremors in Dogs?

Facial tremors in dogs can be a sign of something serious, like eating poisonous food or an underlying illness. But it could also just be good old-fashioned excitement. That’s why visiting the vet is so important to rule out any potential issues. Watch for additional warning signs such as panting, drooling and breathing difficulties – these are all indicators you should seek professional medical advice right away!

Archiwum: luty 2023

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