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Dog Teeth Chattering: Everything You Need to Know

8 min read

Ever wondered why your dog’s teeth are chattering? it’s kind of a strange behavior dogs sometimes exhibit, Right?

For you who don’t know what I’m talking about,

Teeth chattering is
The noise that dogs make when they open and close their mouths quickly in sequence with the teeth rapidly clicking against each other repeatedly for a few seconds

Kinda similar to the noise you make when you feel cold

It’s a short-lived noise that often stops as soon as you notice it and look at your dog.

Is that it !!??
Just a noise that my dog makes or
Is it a sign of something… more??

When our teeth chatter, it is usually a tell-tale sign that we need to get a blanket or bundle up the thermostat.

But for our furry pal, it can be the result of several reasons that cause these rapid weird movements.

As a responsible dog parent, you should be aware of the reasons behind these teeth clicking episodes as Some causes can be innocent and don’t need any medical attention but Others may be caused by an underlying health problem.

In this article, we gonna talk about the reasons behind Dog teeth chattering and How to react to it properly

So let’s start, Shall we?

Why do Dogs Chatter Their teeth?

There are several reasons behind dog teeth chattering.

Some of them are Harmless and others are Problematic and they indicate a variety of medical problems, for which your dog will need treatment.

dog teeth chattering

First, Harmless Reasons for Dog Teeth Chattering

For a better understanding, I’m gonna split these into two categories; Behavioral Reactions and Biological Reactions.

Behavioral reactions

The following is simply can be described as behavioral reactions. Just like with humans, dogs can start moving their chompers as a reaction to something they’re feeling.

Sometimes, the teeth chattering is just an impulse that they do.

Other times, it’s an adapting mechanism to adjust whatever they are facing.

Excitement and Joy

Dogs are known to start chattering their teeth when they get excited.

You know,
Like when your dog starts doing this the second you get home from work,
He is simply excited to see you.

dog teeth chattering
Look how happy he is

It is just a behavioral quirk that is more common in some dogs than others.

If your dog normally chatters when anticipating a trip to the park or when you tease him with a new toy, he is probably chattering because of the excitement.

You can also notice your Furry pal starting the teeth chattering in the middle of a play session, he is overjoyed and must express it somehow.

In this case,
There’s nothing to worry about.
This impulsive behavior is coming from somewhere positive.

Anxiety, Stress or Acute Fear

Unlike the previous reason, Teeth chattering can also arise from something negative. It can be in response to fear or anxiety.

Dog teeth chattering
credit: Dogster
Look how scared he is!!

Dogs are likely to knock their teeth together immediately before, during or after stressful events.

For Example,
when your puppy chatters his teeth before you leave for work.
He is likely doing so because he is suffering from
separation anxiety

So whenever you notice your dog chattering his teeth, It might be an indication of emotional distress, a way for him to get rid of bad energy and frustrations,

In this case,
Don’t be alarmed
Let him be,
your pup is doing this to vent

Biological Reactions

Our second set of harmless reasons behind Dog teeth chattering

Distress

Sometimes when Dogs feel pain, they chatter their teeth as a way to express their feelings.

Dog in pain. Dog teeth Chattering

It’s a sort of behavior that you have to look out for.

In this case,
Dogs exhibit Teeth chattering out of nowhere to indicate that they are feeling pain somewhere you can’t see.
For instance,
your pup may be experiencing stomach pains.
Get him checked by the vet

Feeling Cold

Just like us, dogs shiver when they are cold.

It’s common among most mammals to shiver involuntarily as a reaction to low body temperature.

The friction resulted from the twitching muscle fibers will generate heat that helps to raise their body temperature

Dog teeth chattering
i’m cold, Hooman

Your pup is more likely to experience this after a recent grooming session in a cold night or if you already got a short-haired dog while living in a cold climate area

If this was the case was your dog,
The best thing to do is to bring him inside to get warm,
Get him to put on a sweater,
or do the same as the picture above and wrap him up with a blanket

Tasting Smell

Dogs are weird!!

Please, Don’t mind me saying that!!

Unlike most mammals, Dogs have a different approach to smelling, they can actually taste smell

Yeah, I know !! I was surprised too !!

Dog teeth chattering
credit: NOM
yeeeeeeaaaah, That’s the stuff!!!!

They have a special organ called “vomeronasal organ” that allows them to taste smell

It is a pouch-like structure located between the dog’s vomer and nasal bones with a special duct located at the top of the dog’s roof of the mouth.

Long story short, The dog will move his mouth in a wide variety of strange ways to help bring scent molecules into contact with that organ.

One of these strange moving ways is teeth chattering.

Unlike the previous instances, This type of chattering is slower and more deliberate.

I have to mention that when a dog licks something gross, he will chatter his the teeth impulsively. Just the same as humans shuddering if they taste something displeasing.

On the contrary, Your dog may chatter his teeth if he likes the taste or smell of something. Male dogs may do it when they smell a female in heat

In these cases,
Teeth chattering is impulsive,
There is nothing to worry about

Second, Problematic Reasons for Dog Teeth Chattering

These are the causes that you have to be alert when noticing as they require medical attention.

Advanced Periodontal Disease

Broken teeth, Cavities, and Gum disease, among other dental problems, can all cause your dog’s teeth to chatter.

Signs of dental problems include your dog eating less food than normal, chewing in odd ways or taking longer to eat than he normally would, so keep an eye out for these symptoms.

The problem here is that your pup may try to mask the pain to avoid showing signs of weakness. However, he may instinctively chatter his teeth at the pain.

Once you suspect and notice any of these symptoms,
Visit your vet at once.
Dental problems can be excruciatingly painful.

While most such problems can be treated, it is always best for your pup’s health and quality of life (as well as your bank account) to treat them at the earliest possible opportunity.

Dental work on dogs isn’t cheap, but heading to the doggie dentist sooner rather than later may save you from more expensive and intensive surgeries.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy and related seizure disorders are relatively common in dogs, more than it is in humans.

This can be caused by a number of things, including tumors or allergies. This disorder can cause jaw clenching and teeth chattering.

credit: dogsaholic

This is also accompanied by intense Drooling and Foaming from the mouth. It’s an alarming condition that should be taken seriously.

However, unlike many of the other causes of chattering, which seem to occur in a predictable fashion, epileptic or seizure-induced chattering is usually somewhat random and occurs out of the blue.

Once you detect it,
Take your pup immediately to the vet

Shaker Syndrome

Also called multi-system neuronal degeneration or white dog shaker syndrome. This malady causes damage to a dog’s neurons. This damage leads to full-body tremors, which can cause their teeth to chatter.

credit: Wag walking

This condition can occur in dogs of any color, but small white dogs (Particularly West Highland white terriers, Maltese, and similar breeds) are the most frequently afflicted.

There’s no cure for this disorder, but veterinarians can treat it.

They’ll use a variety of methods that help manage convulsions and teeth chattering. In some cases, symptoms can be eliminated altogether.

For your pup’s sake, Pay Close Attention!!!

As a final note, Let me say that Dog teeth chattering is a behavior that may be a bit more subtle compared to other things your dog may do.

It is somewhat of a layered behavior that could hide several different implications behind it. That’s why it’s important that you keep a watchful eye on your pooch when his teeth start quickly rattling, particularly if it starts occurring in usual situations.

Doing so may help your dog, in the long run, more than you may realize.

That’s it…

That was our guide on Dog Teeth Chattering for you, Ma’am

If you enjoyed this article share it with a friend, she may have the same questions in mind.

What did you think about this guide, whatever you think, comment below and let me know!

And as always if you liked what you read here and you wanna read more, feel free to check my other articles on Top 5 Easy-to-Train Dogs or How to Train a Dog to Attack

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, I will respond ASAP

Have a nice day and Read you next time

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