In all of my years with a dog, I've experienced some pretty strange behaviors, but one of the strangest things was seeing my dog's teeth chatter.
All of this confused me because I couldn't find out if it was some other strange behavior or if something was wrong with my dog. If you've ever seen this phenomenon you are probably wondering why dogs chatter their teeth.
While some dogs chatter their teeth in the cold, I knew my dog didn't. As you can see, it was the middle of summer and we were more likely to have sunburn than frost at the dog park, but low body temperature is just one of several reasons your dog's teeth can chatter. And while this behavior can be interesting and entertaining, it can also be a sign of illness.
So the next time you hear the sound of your dog's teeth making noise, don't just attribute it to some random episode of strange behavior.
In this article, I'm going to tell you everything you need to know about chattering teeth in dogs and how to tell if it's completely harmless or what to worry about. Read on to find out more!
What Does It Mean When A Dog Chatters Their Teeth?
There are many reasons why dogs chatter their teeth! Luckily, most of them are harmless and won’t warrant a trip to your veterinarian. However, in some cases, dog teeth chattering can be a sign of a serious medical condition for which your dog will need treatment.
Like people, dogs sometimes start rattling their teeth as a means to express their feelings or as a natural impulse. But, at other times teeth chattering is a coping mechanism that helps your dog stay in control in a particularly stressful situation.
As mentioned earlier, dog teeth chattering can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying health problem. If you suspect this is the case with your pooch, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.
Some of these conditions can be treated or managed with proper treatment, so take your dog to the vet as soon as you can!
Top 10 the most common reasons why dogs chatter their teeth include:
1. Low Body Temperature
Like humans, dogs start shaking and shaking when they feel cold. When the temperature starts to drop, the muscles in your dog's body contract. The contractions create heat that increases your dog's body temperature and helps him warm up.
When your dog starts shaking, he is making use of every muscle in his body, including his neck and jaw muscles. When these muscles move, your dog's teeth can chatter and make a clattering sound.
Teeth are more likely to rattle in colder climates than in hilly areas that live in tropical climates. If you live in a colder area, only keep your dog indoors and invest in a dog jacket and boots to keep him warm.
Certain small breeds, like Chihuahuas, have high metabolisms, which can affect their ability to regulate body temperature. This means your little dog may feel cold and start shaking and rattling, even if he is feeling perfectly fine. It appears that your pup's chills and chattering teeth are caused by the low temperature. Cover him with a blanket or dress him in a dog sweater. Once your dog warms up, their teeth will stop chattering and you won't have to worry anymore.
2. Excitement And Joy
Chattering teeth is a surprisingly common behavior in excited dogs. If your dog starts chattering his teeth as soon as you take out his favorite toy, he is likely chattering with excitement.
If your dog starts chattering his teeth as soon as you take out your favorite toy. Coming home from work is probably their way of showing how happy they are to see you.
If your dog only snaps his teeth when he's very excited or happy, you shouldn't worry about that. This is another strange behavior on your dog that goes with the flow.
3. Smelling New Scents
Unlike us humans, our dogs rely heavily on smell to navigate the world. Odor detection and interpretation are so important to dogs that they even have a secondary odor detection system in addition to the nose.
The vomeronasal system, also called the vomeronasal organ, is localized. near your dog's nose bones and has a passageway in the roof of the mouth. Basically, the vomeronasal system gives dogs the ability to literally enjoy smells.
To bring all of the new and exciting scents into contact with this system, dogs move their mouths and jaws in various strange ways. It is common for dogs to chatter their teeth when sniffing a piece of grass or concrete that has been frequented by other dogs.
In general, this type of chatter is more common in male than female dogs. You will find that your dog clicks his teeth slowly and purposefully than when he is chatting from the cold or excitement.
This type of chattering of teeth is perfectly normal and you shouldn't be alarmed if your dog makes noises with his teeth after sniffing or licking noises.
However, you should watch out for the things your dog licks, especially if they are not fully vaccinated. If you come in contact with the urine and feces of other dogs, your puppy is exposed to all types of infectious diseases, including parvopathy.
4. Stress, Fear, Or Anxiety
Anxiety, fear, and stress can also cause a dog to grind their teeth. Dogs who feel anxious can grind their teeth at any time, but the grind is most pronounced just before, during, and after a stressful event.
Due to separation anxiety, they usually start chatting as their owners prepare to leave the house, or if your dog is afraid of fireworks, you may find that they grind their teeth during the fireworks vacation. Mechanism that helps them cope with their fears and fears.
While the chatter can be alarming, all you can do is help your dog find and eliminate the stressor. Exercise and natural tranquilizers, and work to desensitize your dog. A certified behavioral specialist can also work with your dog and help him overcome his or her fears and anxieties.
Some dogs can rattle and chatter their teeth while interacting with other dogs. In this case, the dogs use the chatter as a subtle form of shift that usually occurs when they feel scared or threatened by the other dog.
The dog will begin to chatter its teeth to keep its calm and distract the other dog's attention. In these cases, the other dog will stop paying attention to your dog and try to figure out where this strange noise is coming from. Behavior is usually not a problem.
You should keep an eye on your dog while you interact with other dogs. Even if your puppy doesn't seem overly stressed from the encounter, it's best to stop the interaction while everyone is still friendly.
6. Dental Problems
Just like humans, dogs can develop painful dental problems that can lead to teeth chattering. Gum disease, broken teeth, and cavities can be extremely painful and cause your dog's teeth to clink.
It's common for dogs with periodontal disease to have trouble chewing. Eat less, chew in weird ways, or take more time to eat all of the food. If your dog is suffering from a toothache, you may not want to let him touch his face and mouth.
If your dog has any of these symptoms, or you suspect dental problems, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Dental problems can be extremely painful, and no dog deserves a toothache.
While most dog dental problems can be treated, it is best if you treat them as soon as possible. Oral care for a dog doesn't come cheap, and you might be wasting a bucket of money if your dog needs oral surgery.
The best thing you can do to avoid chattering teeth from professional toothache is to check your dog's teeth regularly. You should also brush your puppy's teeth, ideally every day or at least three times a week, to keep their oral health in top condition.
7. White Dog Shaker Syndrome
White dog shaker syndrome, also known as steroid-responsive idiopathic shaker syndrome, causes tremors throughout the body in small breed dogs. Since this condition causes dogs to shake, it can also lead to chattering teeth.
The exact cause of this condition is still unknown, but it is more common in West Highland white terriers, poodles, Maltese and bichons. If your dog not only has chattering teeth, but also has difficulty walking, involuntary eyes moving, or having seizures, take him to the vet right away.
Epilepsy is the most common cause of seizures in dogs and can lead to chattering teeth and clenching of the jaw. In addition, teeth caused by seizures that chatter dogs with epilepsy can also drool and foam on the mouth during a seizure.
Kind of seizures, you should take them to your vet right away! Epilepsy is a serious condition and your dog will need lifelong treatment to live a happy and normal life.
9. Old Age
It's not entirely clear why older dogs chatter their teeth, but this type of behavior is more common in older people than it does in puppies and adult dogs. Once you've ruled out all of the other likely causes of your dog's teeth chattering, it may simply be because of advanced age.
Chattering teeth in older dogs can affect dogs of all sizes and breeds. So it's safe to say that all geriatric dogs are at the same risk for this behavior. If you notice your older dog chattering their teeth, this is the best place to watch them.
Try to find out if there is an underlying health problem or other reason that is causing your older dog to grind their teeth. The more you know why your dog's teeth are chattering, the more you can help them.
The chattering of teeth can be the way your dog is showing that he is in pain, but most dogs will try to hide the fact that they are in pain so as not to appear weak. So, if you discover something is wrong, chances are your dog is in excruciating pain.
If your dog suddenly appears agitated or stressed in addition to suddenly rattling, it may be that he is experiencing pain in part of his body. When this happens, a dog is clicking its teeth to convey its discomfort or feelings with a way to deal with it.
If you suspect your dog is in pain, take him to your veterinarian or emergency clinic right away. Pain can be a symptom of many different conditions, so your veterinarian will likely need to run multiple tests to diagnose the problem.
What Causes A Dog’s Teeth To Chatter?
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of chattering teeth in dogs. This extremely painful condition is the result of the buildup of bacteria that cause inflammation of the gums and lead to deterioration of the teeth, bones and surrounding tissues.
They become more sensitive to enamel, which can also lead to chattering and grinding.