My dog's teeth chatter when sleeping [Is this normal?] - Dogdorable (2023)

The most common reason dogs chatter their teeth while sleeping is because they are cold. Dogs naturally sleep in packs to keep warm and retain body heat. By taking away this natural instinct, they can get cold while they sleep. Other reasons for teeth chattering include toothache, anxiety and old age.

Have you ever been woken up by a strange noise coming from your dog's mouth while he is sleeping? If you look closely, can you see his teeth chattering? Why Does a Dog's Teeth Chatter and What Can You Do About It?

There's a lot we don't yet know about dogs. While we know some of the reasons dogs chatter their teeth during sleep, researchers admit there's probably more to it than we understand.

With that in mind, in today's guide, we'll dive into the reasons researchers are sure about, then discuss what you can do to stop chattering when it becomes a problem.

What you will learn

  • 1 common reasons why dogs chatter their teeth while sleeping
    • 1.1 1. Your dog is too cold
    • 1.2 2. Your dog is excited
    • 1.3 3. Dental problems
    • 1.4 4. Your dog is scared
    • 1.5 5. Your dog has a health problem
    • 1.6 6. Your dog could get hurt
    • 1.7 7. The enamel is worn away
    • 1.8 8. Your dog is getting older
  • 2 What can I do if my dog ​​chatters his teeth while sleeping?
    • 2.1 Keep your dog warm
    • 2.2 Calm down your dog
    • 2.3 Let yourself be examined by a dentist
    • 2.4 Ask your veterinarian about health risks
    • 2.5 Nothing
  • 3 teeth chattering is completely normal

Common reasons why dogs chatter their teeth while sleeping

Take a look at the list of eight reasons below and ask yourself if any of these reasons could be causing your dog's teeth to chatter.

1. Your dog is too cold

Dog teeth can chatter when they're too cold. If you notice your pup's teeth chattering while he sleeps, he may not be getting enough warmth.

Dogs usually sleep in packs, which helps them retain more heat and stay warm overnight. If you notice this, you should get a blanket or warmer bedding for your child. You can even consider a build bed if you live in a cold climate area.

There are also doggy flannel pajamas for puppies with very thin hair. Make sure the extra bedding or pajamas aren't too hot, as this can also make your dog uncomfortable.

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If your dog sleeps outside, you should avoid putting his bed directly on the ground. This makes it harder for your dog to retain body heat. If possible, place the bed on a raised surface such as a table. B. a wooden pallet.

2. Your dog is excited

Dogs also chatter their teeth when they're feeling excited about something. Perhaps your dog smells something that makes him or her very excited.

This can happen when your dog smells delicious bacon or other hearty meats for breakfast while he or she is still asleep.

This can also happen if your dog has dreams about something exciting, such as: B. from chasing a rabbit or playing with his new friend he just met at the park.

If teeth chattering during sleep is not common, then there is a good chance that teeth chattering is due to a dream.

3. Dental problems

Both minor and major dental problems can cause teeth to chatter. If your dog has a sore tooth that is causing a lot of pain, you may see them chattering.

Usually this can be fixed quite easily. However, there are also important types of dental problems, such as: B. Periodontitis, which can lead to bone loss and damage to teeth and gums.

It also causes bad breath, which is a sign your pup may need a dental exam. Periodontal disease is much more common in smaller dogs, but it can still affect large dogs.

4. Your dog is scared

When dogs are scared, they exhibit several unique behavioral indicators. One of the behaviors you may see is teeth chattering.

While it's less common for this to happen while the dog is sleeping, it can happen. Your dog may sense something in the area that frightens him. You could also be having a bad dream that causes jaw movement.

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5. Your dog has a health problem

You may not know that chattering in your dog's teeth could mean that he or she has a significant health condition.

In particular, your dog could be having a seizure or some other type of neurological condition.

Likewise, dogs can have similar problems when their blood sugar gets too low, which can occur in dogs with diabetes.

If you notice chattering teeth and have not yet ruled out a disease, you should see your veterinarian as soon as possible!

6. Your dog could get hurt

When dogs are in pain, you may notice their teeth chattering. The pain can be something as simple as a foreign object in a paw, or it could be something more serious, like an acute injury.

Some pains are long-lasting, as in the case of arthritis. In contrast, other pains can be transient, such as B. Minor injuries.

The reason dogs express their pain while they are sleeping and not while they are awake is because dogs try to hide their pain while they are awake. Showing pain is a sign of weakness and could make them easy prey in the wild.

When the dog goes to sleep, the body can express the pain by chattering its teeth.

7. The enamel is worn away

As the dog ages, the enamel on the teeth naturally wears away. As in humans, this can cause pain when air, water or food touches the tooth.

Some dogs sleep with their mouths open, which means air comes in contact with worn enamel. This can cause an involuntary reaction that looks like chattering teeth.

(Video) Adorable older dog suckling in her sleep.

If you notice a lot of drool or a bad smell, ask your vet to check if your dog's tooth enamel is fine.

8. Your dog is getting older

In many cases, your dog's teeth could be chattering just because he or she is getting older. As the dog ages, their jaw muscles become weak and can sometimes spasm.

While you may want to check with a vet just to be safe, there are many instances where there is no other reason for the chatter while your dog is sleeping aside from your dog's aging.

What should I do if my dog's teeth chatter during sleep?

In most cases, chattering teeth isn't a cause for concern, but if it bothers you, here are a few things you can do to fix the problem.

Keep your dog warm

If your dog's chatter is coming from the cold air, you can quickly fix the situation without a vet visit.

In this case, simply warm your dog. This can be accomplished by buying warmer bedding, adding some cozy blankets you already have at home, buying dog pajamas, or keeping your dog in a warm room.

calm down your dog

If the chatter is due to emotions like fear or anxiety, try to calm your dog down. An overly excited or frightened dog may or may not need to see the vet.

In some cases, dogs respond to their owners' attempts to calm them down. When trying to calm your dog down, try holding him while you talk to him quietly. If that doesn't work, a visit to the vet is required.

Have a dental check-up

Since tooth enamel and other dental problems can lead to teeth chattering, it's imperative to have your dog's dental health checked if he's constantly chattering his teeth while he sleeps.

This may include x-rays, a manual examination of the mouth, and other techniques to look for damage.

(Video) WHY DOES MY GREYHOUND CHATTER HIS TEETH? [adopted greyhounds behavior]

If you notice horrible breath, excessive drooling, or blood near the mouth, ask your vet to look at your dog's mouth.

There are several preventative measures you can take to protect your dog's dental health, such as: Examples include using powder on their food, having their teeth cleaned every year, and brushing your dog's teeth.

Ask your vet about health risks

Aside from dental problems, tooth chatter can also be caused by medical conditions such as seizures or diabetes.

If your pet hasn't been diagnosed with any diseases, you should let the vet know so the test can be done.

If your pup has a known medical condition, bring the chattering teeth up to the vet and ask if there are any steps you can take to make your pup more comfortable.


If teeth chatter is due to natural aging, there is nothing you can do. Still, for your own peace of mind, rule out any medical or dental issues that you may not be aware of without a spa visit.

After you've ruled out other causes, if you have an older dog, knowing it's more common in older dogs can be comforting.

Teeth chattering is completely normal

Just because your dog chatters his teeth in his sleep doesn't mean something is wrong. If the problem is ongoing, take your dog to the vet for a check-up to be on the safe side.

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What is teeth chattering a symptom of in dogs? ›

Dental disease is one of the most common causes of chattering teeth in dogs. It is also the most serious, although some cases of dental disease may be mild to moderate. Dental disease may include problems with your dog's teeth, gums, or bone structure of the jaw.

Is it normal for dogs teeth to chatter? ›

Often, the cause of your dog's chattering is behavioral. Your dog might chatter the teeth when they're experiencing: Fear, stress, or anxiety. Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety or situational anxiety (thunderstorms, loud noises, etc.) might chatter their teeth.

Is teeth chattering in dog a seizure? ›

Dog teeth chattering can be seen in dogs with seizures but often other signs also occur such as drooling, disorientation, foaming at the mouth, and/or vocalizing. Learn more about seizures in dogs.

Why do older dogs chatter their teeth? ›

Although not a medical reason of sorts, a senior dog will sometimes experience teeth chattering simply as a sign of aging. If your mature furry companion is chattering their teeth a lot, consult the vet to rule out a medical issue like tooth decay.

What are signs of mini seizures in dogs? ›

Dogs experiencing a simple focal seizure could display one or more of the following signs:
  • Hallucinations (Your dog may bark, growl or moan at nothing, bite at the air or behave fearfully for no apparent reason)
  • Signs of vision or hearing changes.
  • Fur standing up.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Balance problems.
  • Involuntary movements.
Oct 29, 2020

What sounds do dogs make when they have a seizure? ›

Many dogs salivate or foam at the mouth, and some urinate and/or defecate involuntarily. Dogs may vocalize as well, whining and growling during a seizure.

What are the first signs of a seizure in a dog? ›

If your pet is having a seizure they may:
  • Become unsteady and have trouble walking or balancing.
  • Chomp or make biting motions.
  • Collapse, fall to the side, or stiffen.
  • Foam at the mouth or drool.
  • Look confused or dazed and then drop to the floor.
  • Lose consciousness.
  • Lose control of body functions and urinate or defecate.
Jan 8, 2021

Can seizures cause teeth chattering? ›

During a seizure you might jerk or shake. You might repeat movements like smacking your lips or grinding your teeth.

Is my dog having a seizure or just shaking? ›

And, if your dog is shivering, you should be able to interact with him and talk with him. Generalized seizures, on the other hand, affect the whole body and dogs can become unresponsive. Seizures can last about 1 to 2 minutes; if they last longer than 5 minutes, they are considered a medical emergency.

How do dogs act before a seizure? ›

She may be restless, nervous, whining, shaking, or salivating. This may last a few seconds to a few hours. This period precedes the seizure activity as if the dog senses that something is about to occur. The ictal phase can last from a few seconds to several minutes and can vary in appearance.


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