7 Reasons Why Do Dogs Chatter Their Teeth?

Several factors might bring on your dog’s teeth chattering. It is endearing and funny to see their chatter. Most of the time, it is not harmful. However, why do dogs chatter their teeth? Dog owners are frequently confused by the reasons behind this peculiar habit, which is relatively prevalent among canine pals.

Your dog may make an audible sound as the upper and lower rows of teeth rapidly click together. A dog’s teeth chattering might be completely innocuous when the animal is enthusiastic and playing, trying a new, unexpected flavor, or smelling something new.

Why Do Dogs Chatter Their Teeth?

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However, this kind of conduct on certain occasions could point to a more severe issue. It can be an indication of certain underlying medical conditions.

In this article, we will help you understand the reasons for dogs chattering their teeth.

Why Do Dogs Chatter Their Teeth?

In rare cases, your dog’s teeth chattering can indicate it is in agony. Due to this, it’s critical to understand the causes of canine tooth chatter and what might harm your dog’s teeth. If you find that your dog is chattering its teeth due to a harmful reason or underlying health issue, begin to remedy it instantly.

Below are some of the reasons for dogs chattering their teeth.

1. Cold Temperatures

When it’s chilly, your dog can shiver. The teeth may begin to chatter as a result. Small dogs with thin coats, such as Chihuahuas and Dachshunds, are particularly susceptible to it. Your dog’s muscles will twitch as soon as the temperature drops. The twitching generates warmth, which boosts your dog’s body temperature and aids in its ability to stay warm.

Your dog will activate all of its body muscles, including its jaw and neck muscles, as they start to shudder. Therefore, as these muscles contract, your dog’s teeth may rattle and make a chattering sound. Avoid leaving your dog outside in the bitter cold for extended periods. If you wait more than five minutes, your pet’s health is at risk.

If you are scratching your head thinking, why does my female dog chatter her teeth or notice any trembling of their body, you should move your dog inside. Cover your dog with a blanket or make it wear a dog sweater if it appears that the shivering and chattering of its teeth result from the cold. When your dog warms up, its teeth will stop rattling, and you won’t need to worry.

2. Excitement

Are you wondering why does my dog chatter his teeth when excited? Many dogs chatter because they are happy or looking forward to something enjoyable. For excited dogs, teeth chattering is a surprisingly frequent activity.

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Additionally, it is typical behavior before feeding time. If your dog is chattering its teeth as soon as you put out its favorite toy, it is likely out of excitement.

Some dogs will chatter with their teeth when they anticipate something good. They may start chattering, waiting for a reward or a ball to be thrown. Some dogs make clicking noises when they see their masters return home. If your dog begins chattering with its teeth as soon as you arrive home from work, it is a sign that it is delighted to see you. Thus, it will answer your question that why do dogs chatter their teeth after licking.

Why Do Dogs Chatter Their Teeth?

3. Fear or Anxiety

Your dog may chatter with its teeth more often if it has an anxious temperament. You can hear its teeth chatter in unfamiliar settings or around strangers. In such a case, your dog tries to keep calm by utilizing its chattering teeth as a coping strategy.

If a dog barks at nothing, it could be separation anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder like fear of thunderstorms, loud noises, or similar sounds. These conditions may also make it chatter with its teeth. If your dog’s teeth start to chatter under stressful situations and you know it is prone to worry or tension, try to calm it down.

Excitement and anxiety produce bodily reactions that are remarkably similar. Due to this, dogs often exhibit comparable excitement and anxiety-related body language. In this situation, your dog’s chattering teeth indicate trepidation or fear.

Some puppies can shiver and clatter their teeth to seem chilly when stressed or agitated. You can calm an anxious dog at night by caressing it gently and doing things that make it happy.

4. Pain

Your dog may chatter as a means to communicate distress. If chattering suddenly occurs and your dog exhibits signs of tension, it is likely in pain somewhere in the body. It can be a means to express annoyance or sorrow. Your dog can let out some of its negative feelings in this way.

Although dogs frequently chatter with their teeth when they have a sore mouth, they occasionally do so as an indication of overall suffering. Call your veterinarian for guidance if your dog grinds their teeth and displays other signs of discomfort, such as mumbling and whimpering.

Although dogs try to conceal their discomfort or any evidence of weakness, they frequently chatter as an instinctive reaction to pain. It may be the only indication your dog shows of being in any pain at all. So, if your dog’s chattering teeth are chronic and seemingly out of the blue, get guidance from a veterinary practitioner.

5. Periodontal Disease

Do you wonder why does my dog click his teeth? It could be periodontitis, often known as gum disease, or periodontal disease in medicine, a dangerous condition. If your dog’s teeth are chattering and other signs of gum disease, your dog may be suffering from this condition.

Periodontal disease is the most frequent cause of canine teeth chattering. Nearly 90% of dogs have periodontitis, which is an advanced form of gum disease. Its other signs are excessive foul breath, trouble chewing, and red, inflamed gums. Dogs with gum or periodontal disease may chatter their teeth from the pain.

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In this painful condition, the gums swell up, and germs eventually destroy the teeth, bones, and soft tissues. Due to the pain, your dog may be unable to sleep, and you may notice your dog panting at night. Additionally, sensitive teeth that are causing chattering are those that have lost their enamel.

6. White Dog Shaker Syndrome

Idiopathic steroid-responsive shaker syndrome is commonly known as white dog shaker syndrome. It is a neurological disorder that can cause teeth chattering. It results from multisystem neuronal degeneration and affects small-breed dogs, resulting in full-body tremors. Dogs with this syndrome often tremble, which can result in chattering teeth.

The precise source of this ailment is yet unclear. It is most prevalent in little, white canines like Maltese, Bichon Frise, and West Highland White Terriers. To calm down a puppy, take your dog to the doctor immediately if they experience seizures, trouble walking, or chattering teeth in addition to these symptoms.

7. Epilepsy or Seizure Disorders

Teeth chattering is a symptom of several neurological disorders. A dog may clench its jaw and rattle its teeth due to seizure diseases like epilepsy. However, it often occurs at random and unrelated to routine behaviors like greeting or eating. An indication of epilepsy may occasionally be teeth gnashing.

Focal seizures, which start in a single region of the brain and only affect one side of a dog’s body or one particular section of the body, such as the face, are rare but potentially fatal conditions in dogs. An epileptic dog will have sporadic motor seizures that might end in collapse, as well as muscular twitching, jerking motions, and chewing and chattering in the mouth.

Dog seizures, most frequently brought on by epilepsy, can induce jaw clenching and teeth chattering. Additionally, dogs with epilepsy that experience seizures may drool and foam at the mouth while having a seizure.

You must visit your veterinarian if your dog has a seizure. Your dog will require ongoing treatment for the rest of its life if it has epilepsy.

Dogs Chatter Teeth

Why Do Dogs Chatter Their Teeth after Smelling Something?

Due to their keen senses, dogs may pick up odors that humans miss. In addition to their strong sense of smell, dogs also have a vomeronasal organ that enables them to taste the aroma they are smelling. They may also chatter when they smell and lick because of this. It also answers the question, why do dogs chatter their teeth after licking.

Some dogs, particularly males that are not neutered, may chatter their teeth or jaws after sniffing a female dog. Female dogs can do this as well. The idea is that by moving the smells up into the roof of the mouth sense organ, they attempt to smell the aroma better.

Occasionally, your dog may also drool when it chatters its teeth. Dogs’ vomeronasal systems allow them to produce peculiar facial expressions and lip motions while detecting new odors. It is one of the reasons why dogs chatter their teeth after smelling something.

Why Do Dogs Grind Their Teeth?

The sound makes it simple to distinguish between grinding and chattering teeth. These are two quite distinct conditions. While the jaw is moving up and down swiftly, chattering teeth “click” together quickly. In the meantime, teeth grinding move backward and forward against each other.

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So, why do dogs grind their teeth? Dog bruxism, commonly referred to as tooth grinding, has three fundamental causes. Your dog may be experiencing some form of oral pain. Grinding could be a tactic to ease the discomfort, similar to chattering.

Dogs, like humans, may clench their jaws and grind their teeth when agitated. Dogs can also clench their teeth when they are scared or apprehensive. Another possibility is that your dog’s teeth grinding is a symptom of a jaw problem that is causing your dog’s jaw to move abnormally. It could answer your query, why does my dog grind his teeth after yawning. Consult your vet if you see your dog grinding its teeth.


Most often, chattering doesn’t have any significant implications. It is usually because your dog feels chilly, anxious, or excited. However, some underlying conditions may cause it. Clicking and chattering are symptoms of epilepsy and seizure disorders, and a focused seizure may cause facial twitching and chattering of the teeth in certain canines.

Chattering and other irritating actions like growling may be signs of something more severe in older dogs that may be in various forms of physical discomfort. So, contact your vet immediately if you notice your dog being in pain or having seizures.

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FAQs – Dog Teeth Chattering

1. How do you react when a dog snaps?

A: Remove your dog from the scene while remaining calm without scolding or punishing them. Dogs behave differently from children. In stressful scenarios, they might take your scolding as a threat they need to defend against. You should instead be patient with them. Take the collar gently, and guide the dog to a peaceful area away from the commotion. Watch how your dog acts with visitors and other people at all times to understand the snapping behavior.

2. Is it normal for dogs to snap at you?

A: A dog will always have a rationale behind an aggressive action. If your dog attacks someone, it might have a disastrous effect. However, it is good that your dog warns you with a growl or snap instead of biting you. Trust your dog’s instincts, and understand that it is an animal that snaps when it is feeling threatened. Give your dog some space and keep it away from others when it exhibits this behavior.

3. What does it mean when an older dog’s teeth chatter?

A: Teeth chattering can signify various medical disorders, such as epilepsy, periodontal disease, and neurological degeneration. The reason for older dogs’ chattering is not entirely understood. However, if you have checked out all other plausible explanations for chattering teeth, it might just be old age.

4. Why does my dog’s bottom jaw keep chattering?

A: A chattering jaw may indicate a significant issue, such as a neurological disorder, or it may be a symptom of an uncomfortably chilly environment. Your dog might not want to chew food or bite down on teeth if it may have dental problems. The discomfort from a dental abscess or gum infection may also cause it to rattle its jaw. You must visit your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s health.

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