Why Do Dogs Chatter Their Teeth?

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There are many possible reasons that your dog is chattering its teeth.

This is not necessarily a cause for concern, but it could be. The more you learn about this behavior, the easier it will be to properly care for your dog.

Common Reasons for Teeth Chattering

There are a number of possible explanations for your dog’s teeth chattering that you’ll want to explore. Some of these reasons are more serious than others, so you’ll want to explore the possibilities.

1. They are Stressed

It is possible that your dog is chattering its teeth because it is stressed or anxious. This is just one of the many ways that these animals express this type of negative emotion. There are lots of possible causes of stress among canines, including being taken to a new home. If you have just moved, your dog may still be adjusting to its new environment.

Some dogs have a general problem with anxiety and require medication. There are some breeds that tend to be more anxious than others. This is definitely not the kind of thing that you will simply want to ignore. Stress is unhealthy for dogs, just as it is for humans. You will need to consider whether or not there is anything your dog has to be stressed about.

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2. They Smell Something Interesting

A dog might also chatter its teeth because it smells something interesting. It is basically their way of trying to get a better sense of what the odor is. This is actually a behavior that animal researchers have observed in numerous breeds. While it might not make much sense to humans, it is something that quite a few dogs are known to do.

3. They are experiencing Oral Pain

If your dog is chattering its teeth, it is possible that they are experiencing mouth pain. This could be due to an infected or broken tooth, or some other reason. You should do a cursory examination of their mouth just to check for broken teeth.

Since your dog could have problems with your teeth that you might not be able to observe, you should take them to the vet just to be safe. Your veterinarian will be able to run an X-RAY to see if there your dog has any problem teeth. This is often the source of teeth chattering among dogs, so you’ll want to keep that in mind.

4. There is a problem with their Brain

There are a number of neurological disorders that can result in chattering teeth among dogs as well as cats. This could be a sign that your dog is having mini-seizures. While most people image a seizure as violent shaking throughout the body, sometimes it is just one specific area.

You can determine whether or not your dog is having a seizure by touching it while its teeth are chattering. If they seem normal and responsive, it is probably not a seizure. If they seem unresponsive and “zoned out”, they could be having a seizure. If you notice the latter, it is important that you get your dog to the vet right away.

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5. They are just cold

It’s always a possibility that your dog is chattering its teeth simply because it is cold. You should consider the temperature of the environment when trying to determine the case of this behavior. If they do it outside when it is quite chilly, there is a good chance that the teeth chattering is due to being cold.

There are all sorts of different physical reactions a dog can have to the cold, including quivering or shaking. This is perfectly normal and not a cause for concern whatsoever. Specific dogs breeds like Greyhounds and Chihuahuas tend to get cold easier than others.

If you have a dog that gets cold easily, you should consider buying them a little doggy sweater. Putting one or two layers of clothing on your dog before going outside with them should eliminate this issue. There are all sorts of places on the internet where you can buy these clothes.

6. Excitement

Some dogs get so excited that their teeth actually begin chattering. They could be excited to see you or another animal. This too is fairly common behavior and nothing to worry about. It is important that you allow your dog to express its emotions in its own ways. If anything, you should take it as a compliment. It means that they really love you!

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When to visit the Vet

If you notice any signs of illness accompanying your dog’s teeth chattering, it is important that you get them to the vet right away. This includes vomiting, diarrhea, lethargic behavior, lack of appetite, or excessive drooling. All of these things can be signs that something is very wrong and needs to be addressed.

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The sooner you get your dog looked at, the sooner they can begin receiving any necessary treatment. There are a number of different tests that your vet can run, depending on what the suspected issue is. There is a good chance that they can recommend a treatment that will be helpful to your pet.


  • Your dog’s teeth chattering could be perfectly normal or a sign that something is seriously wrong with them.
  • Some dogs chatter their teeth when they are stressed. There are many things that can cause a dog to be stressed or anxious.
  •  Moving to a new home or introducing a new pet to the house are both common stressers for dogs, especially small ones.
  • There is also a chance that your dog is chattering its teeth because it is experiencing oral pain of some kind.
  • Your dog might be chattering its teeth because it is just happy to see you.
  • Certain neurological disorders can cause teeth chattering in dogs as a symptom.
  • One of the most common reasons for dogs to chatter their teeth is because they are just cold.
  • If you notice any obvious signs of illness, it is important that you get your dog to the vet immediately.