Why Does My Dog Chatter His Teeth After Licking?

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Dogs, Health & Wellness

As a dog owner, you may have noticed your dog occasionally chattering his teeth after licking something. This behavior can be quite perplexing, leaving you wondering why your dog engages in such an unusual activity. To gain a better understanding of this behavior, it is important to delve into the reasons behind dog teeth chattering.

Dog teeth chattering, also known as “jaw chattering” or “teeth grinding,” is a common behavior observed in dogs. It is characterized by rapid and repetitive movements of the jaws, often accompanied by a distinct clicking sound. While it may initially appear concerning, dog teeth chattering is usually harmless and does not typically indicate a serious underlying condition.

Potential reasons for dog teeth chattering after licking

There are several potential reasons why dogs may chatter their teeth after licking something. One possibility is that your dog is experiencing a sensation or taste that they find pleasurable. This could be due to the taste of a delicious treat or the texture of something he is licking. In these cases, teeth chattering is often a sign of enjoyment and should not be a cause for concern.

Another reason for dog teeth chattering after licking is the stimulation of the salivary glands. When dogs lick something, it activates their salivary glands, causing an increase in saliva production. This excess saliva can sometimes lead to teeth chattering as the dog attempts to manage the surplus fluid in his mouth. While this behavior may seem odd, it is a natural response for some dogs and is not a cause for alarm.

The connection between dog teeth chattering and excitement

Teeth chattering with wagging tail, barking, or jumping, it is likely a sign of happiness.

In addition to licking, some dogs may also chatter their teeth when they are excited or anticipating something. This could be during playtime, when waiting for a meal, or when they are about to go for a walk and teeth chattering is a way for dogs to release their energy and express their enthusiasm.

Not all dogs exhibit teeth chattering when excited, and the intensity of the behavior can vary from dog to dog. Some dogs may engage in mild chattering, while others may exhibit more pronounced movements. If your dog’s teeth chattering is accompanied by other signs of excitement, such as wagging tail, barking, or jumping, it is likely a normal expression of their happiness.

Other situations where dogs may chatter their teeth

While teeth chattering after licking and during excitement are common scenarios, there are a few other situations where dogs may exhibit this behavior. For some dogs, teeth chattering can occur when they are feeling anxious or stressed. This could be due to loud noises, unfamiliar environments, or separation anxiety. If you notice your dog chattering his teeth in these situations, it is important to address the underlying cause of their anxiety and provide them with comfort and reassurance.

Additionally, some dogs may chatter their teeth in response to pain or discomfort. Dental issues, such as tooth decay or gum disease, can cause discomfort in dogs, leading to teeth grinding or chattering. If you suspect that your dog’s teeth chattering is due to pain or discomfort, it is recommended that you consult with your veterinarian for a thorough examination and appropriate treatment.

Is dog teeth chattering a cause for concern?

In most cases, dog teeth chattering is not a cause for concern and is considered a normal behavior. However, there are certain instances where teeth chattering may indicate an underlying health issue. If your dog’s teeth chattering is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, such as drooling, loss of appetite, lethargy, or difficulty eating, it is important to seek veterinary attention.

Furthermore, if your dog’s teeth chattering is persistent, intense, or interferes with his daily activities, it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian. They can assess your dog’s overall health and determine if there is an underlying medical condition contributing to the behavior.

How to address dog teeth chattering after licking

If your dog’s teeth chattering is primarily associated with licking, there are a few steps you can take to address the behavior. Firstly, ensure that your dog’s dental health is in good condition by regularly brushing his teeth and providing appropriate chew toys. This can help prevent any discomfort or dental issues that may contribute to teeth chattering.

Additionally, if you notice that certain foods or treats trigger your dog’s teeth to chatter, consider modifying their diet to eliminate those items. Some dogs may be sensitive to certain ingredients or textures, which can lead to teeth chattering. By identifying and avoiding these triggers, you can help alleviate the behavior.

Preventive measures to avoid dog teeth chattering

While dog teeth chattering is often benign, there are some preventive measures you can take to minimize the occurrence of this behavior. Regular dental care, such as brushing your dog’s teeth and providing dental treats, can help maintain good oral hygiene and reduce the chances of dental discomfort.

Furthermore, providing appropriate outlets for your dog’s energy and excitement can help prevent teeth chattering associated with excitement. Engage in regular exercise and play sessions to ensure your dog is adequately stimulated and mentally engaged.

When to seek veterinary help for dog teeth chattering

While most cases of dog teeth chattering are harmless, there are instances where veterinary intervention may be necessary. If your dog’s teeth chattering is persistent, accompanied by other concerning symptoms, or interferes with his daily activities, it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian. They can conduct a thorough examination, assess your dog’s overall health, and provide appropriate treatment if needed.

Common misconceptions about dog teeth chattering

There are a few common misconceptions surrounding dog teeth chattering that are worth addressing. One misconception is that teeth chattering is always a sign of pain or distress. While this can be the case in some instances, teeth chattering can also be a normal behavior associated with pleasure, excitement, or anticipation.

Another misconception is that teeth chattering is solely related to dental issues. While dental problems can contribute to teeth chattering, it is not the only cause. It is important to consider various factors, such as enjoyment, stimulation of salivary glands, anxiety, or excitement, when assessing the cause of your dog’s teeth chattering.

How can pet insurance help you in this situation?

Pet insurance can provide peace of mind and financial support in situations where your dog’s teeth chattering requires veterinary attention. By having pet insurance, you can ensure that your furry companion receives the necessary medical care without incurring exorbitant expenses. It is always beneficial to explore different pet insurance options and choose a plan that suits your dog’s specific needs.


This method is the most common for pet insurance companies. You pay out of pocket for the veterinarian bill, and then the insurance company reimburses you for what’s covered under the insurance plan. The steps look like this.

  • You pay the vet bill after your dog’s visit.
  • You fill out the pet insurance claim form.
  • Submit the claim form and other required documentation to the insurer. 
  • After the claim is approved, you will be reimbursed for eligible expenses. 

Odie’s Illness and Injury pet health insurance plan offers comprehensive coverage for your dog. 

Odie’s Pet Insurance Plans

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Illness & Injury Plan

This insurance plan is Odie’s most comprehensive plan covering illness and injuries your dog may incur. This plan covers 

    • Emergency vet visits
    • Surgeries
    • Overnight hospital stays
    • X-rays
    • Prescription meds
    • Lab tests
    • And much more!

Accident-Only Plan

Odie’s Accident-Only Plan covers wounds, injuries, and vet treatments, including X-rays, Ultrasounds, tests, and emergency care your sweet pet might need if they accidentally get injured. 

Wellness Plan

This add-on plan guarantees you can keep your dog up to date on their vaccinations, heartworm checks, and other routine checks. 

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