Our dogs exhibit plenty of quirky behaviors — barking at the mailman, scooting their hindquarters across the floor, or twirling in circles before going to the bathroom. But have you ever seen your dog's teeth chatter? This strange behavior is relatively common among our canine friends, and it often throws dog owners for a loop.
What is teeth chattering, exactly? It's just what it sounds like: Your dog's top and bottom rows of teeth click together rapidly, possibly making an audible sound. It's what your teeth might do if you're shivering from the cold.
The question is, why does dog teeth chattering occur in the first place? And is it a cause for concern?
Read on to find out more about what could be causing your dog's teeth to chatter and when to contact your veterinarian.
A dog's teeth can chatter for several reasons. Some of them are not very serious, and some are. If you know the common causes of teeth chattering in dogs, you can better decide if your dog's behavior, silly as it may look, is something to worry about.
Physical, behavioral, and health-related reasons cause teeth chattering in dogs:
Sometimes, teeth chattering occurs for a physical reason. Possibilities include:
Aside from physical reasons for chattering, dogs might chatter the teeth for behavioral reasons, too.
Often, the cause of your dog's chattering is behavioral. Your dog might chatter the teeth when they're experiencing:
Many cases of dog teeth chattering can be prescribed to the behavioral or physical reasons listed above. Sometimes, though, the cause is related to a health issue.
A variety of medical conditions could cause teeth chattering. If you suspect the issues listed below are causing your dog teeth to chatter, it’s time to set up a visit to the vet’s office. Medical reasons for teeth chattering include:
Another reason for dog teeth chattering is simple: old age. It's not entirely clear why, but older dogs seem to be more prone to teeth chattering than middle-aged dogs or puppies. If you have a senior dog on your hands who has started chattering their teeth, it's worth setting up a veterinary appointment for your furry friend. Many times, an older dog's teeth chattering isn't something to worry about, but talk to your vet to be safe.
You've noticed your dog's teeth chattering. What do you do? Your response should depend on the situation.
If there is an obvious reason for your dog's behavior, like extremely cold weather, social interaction with aggressive dogs, or pure excitement, you probably have your answer. It's unlikely that anything is medically wrong, although it's always worth calling the vet if you're concerned. However, if your dog is chattering because they're cold, move them indoors immediately.
If your dog chatters their teeth when it's storming outside, or when they sense you're leaving the house, it's likely related to anxiety. Talk to your vet about helping your dog feel more comfortable. You might need a combination of solutions. Some anxious dogs feel better when they're given a chew toy, while some will benefit from medication or supplements. Your vet will be able to help.
If you think a health problem is the root cause of the chattering, it's time to talk with your vet. Deal with oral health concerns right away. You don't want to leave periodontal disease, rotting teeth, tartar build-up, and other common dental problems unaddressed.
Dogs with a neurological problem like epilepsy or shaker syndrome, will likely need anti-seizure medications and lifestyle adjustments, such as monitored playtime, a consistent sleep schedule, and a stress-free home environment. Your vet can help guide you through these steps.
What causes dog teeth chattering? There are many reasons why your pooch might exhibit this behavior.
It's possible that something as simple as low body temperature caused by the cold winter weather makes your dog's teeth chatter. Or, it could be a serious neurological condition like epilepsy or a dental issue like periodontitis.
Keep in mind that some dogs chatter their teeth for no particular reason or for unknown reasons. Maybe your dog chatters when sniffing the ground as they're tracking a scent.
Here's the bottom line: If you're concerned about your dog's teeth chattering behavior, call your vet's office. He or she will help you get to the bottom of your dog's behavior and point you toward a solution.Would you like more information on your dog's health and wellness needs? Visit the Native Pet blog here.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
• Addresses irritating skin conditions
• Reduces itching and scratching
• Helps prevent scooting
All NaturalOmega Oil
• Addresses acute and chronic diarrhea
• Creates a thriving environment for healthy flora
• Super tasty and protein-packed
All NaturalProbiotic for Dogs
• Addresses acute diarrhea
• Relieves constipation
• Helps prevent scooting
Organic Air-DriedPumpkin Powder