Why are My Dog’s Teeth Chattering in Chicago, IL

Have you ever seen your dog’s teeth chattering in Chicago? If so, have you wondered what this means? It’s common to worry about odd behaviors in your dog, and since teeth chattering doesn’t occur in every dog, it can be off-putting to some dog owners as well.

In the article below, you’ll find some information about the most common causes of teeth chattering in dogs. Some of these causes are very simple and are nothing to worry about, while others may be more serious. Read through the list below to find out more about what might be going on with your dog.


1. Excitement

Some dogs may chatter when they feel excited about something. If your dog’s teeth chattering happens most commonly when she’s waiting for food or when her human family members have just come back home, this probably means she’s just very excited and can’t control herself!

Excitement is nothing to worry about. If your dog’s excitement calms down shortly and she goes back to normal, then everything is fine, even if her teeth have been chattering as a result of the excitement. There’s no need to go to the vet for this cause of teeth chattering.

Dog Excited in Wrigleyville


2. Temperature

Sometimes, your dog might simply be cold. Just like humans, dogs may chatter their teeth when they become very cold, almost as an involuntary reaction to the temperature drop. This problem may occur more often if your dog is left outside in cold temperatures for a long time.

Although chattering of the teeth from a low temperature is nothing to be worried about on its own, the cause of the chattering might be. If your dog’s temperature is too low, this can be very dangerous; if she stays cold for too long, this can cause frostbite and other serious problems. As winter is nearing in Chicago, please be cautious of how long your dog has been outside and if you suspect frostbite or any other issues please call our vet at (773) 698-7525 asap.


3. Flehmen Response

The Flehmen response is a behavior that is seen in a variety of animals, not just dogs. You might also notice cats, horses, and even wild animals like tigers doing the same thing. When your dog does this behavior, she pulls back her upper lip, closes her nostrils, and breathes through her mouth with her teeth showing.

This somewhat odd behavior makes it easier for dogs to use a secondary scent organ they have behind their teeth. Like excitement, this cause of chattering of the teeth is nothing to worry about if you see it in your dog.


4. Dental Disease

Dental disease can sometimes lead to teeth chattering. It’s common for dogs to suffer from dental disease, especially as they get older. If your dog is dealing with a lot of tooth or jaw pain, chattering her teeth might help relieve that pain in some way.

Gum disease is also extremely common in dogs and may lead to teeth chattering. If your dog’s teeth chattering is accompanied with bleeding gums or excessive drooling (more than normal for her), then she might be dealing with pain and inflammation associated with gum disease. If your dog hasn’t had a dental checkup in awhile it might be time to schedule an appointment


5. Neurological Problems

Several neurological problems can contribute to the chattering of teeth in dogs, although these causes are much less likely than the others on the list. If your dog’s teeth are chattering and she seems to be staring off into the distance without being very alert, she may be suffering from a mild seizure related to epilepsy or another neurological problem.

If you think there’s any chance your dog is suffering from a neurological problem or if you see her have a full seizure, contact our vet right away. Many dogs can live long, full lives with epilepsy by managing their symptoms through the help of a vet.

Dog seizure Wrigleyville


6. Anxiety

Finally, dogs may have a teeth chattering response when they are anxious, just like humans can. In this situation, a dog’s anxiety can cause her body to react in a variety of ways, including chattering her teeth. This problem itself is nothing to worry about and doesn’t require a vet visit, but the underlying cause might.

If your dog’s anxiety is very frequent or is difficult to get under control through normal means, she may need veterinary assistance. Our vet can sometimes prescribe anxiety medication for dogs who are severely anxious and in need of additional help to calm down. 


Contacting Wrigleyville Veterinary Center 

If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from one of the more serious problems on this list, or if your dog’s teeth chattering behavior does not have a simple answer, then it might be time to give our vet a call in Wrigleyville. 

Our vet can work with you to rule out any potentially serious problems and help get to the bottom of the teeth chattering behavior in your pet. We can also help you find the right treatment or management if your dog is dealing with a more serious health problem, too. So, please if you are worried about your dog’s teeth chattering please give our vet a call at (773) 698-7525 or Request and Appointment today!




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At Wrigleyville Veterinary Center, it’s plain to see that our veterinarians chose their profession out of a genuine care for animals and a dedication to nurturing human-animal bonds.