A situation where you notice that your dog is making weird mouth movements can be rather startling. Once you notice this phenomenon, you will want to know what may be the reason(s) behind it, whether it is serious and what can be done about it. This article has the answers.
Common reasons for dog making weird mouth movements include foreign objects stuck in the dogs’ teeth or throat, stress, nausea, dental problems or where cold temperatures make dogs’ mouths chatter. Less common reasons include neurological problems such as seizures and distemper.
Solutions to the problem of dog making weird mouth movements may range from removing whatever foreign objects are stuck to addressing any underlying dental problems or treating any underlying neurological problems.
But sometimes, the necessary solutions are as simple as getting rid of stressors. Or providing warmth where the problem is due to chattering.
In most instances where you find a dog doing weird thing with mouth, it is a manifestation of what we refer to as dog bruxism.
Then there are cases where you get the dog opening and closing mouth like talking.
At other times, you actually find that the dog started making this weird clicking/chomping sound with its mouth.
And then of course there are the cases of dog teeth chattering.
Thus the phenomenon of dog making weird mouth movements may specifically manifest through strange jaw movements, teeth chattering or dog opening and closing its mouth repeatedly.
Whatever the manifestation, the whole situation is likely to leave you with one question: why is my dog’s mouth moving in this strange manner?
Is It Normal For Dogs To Make Mouth Movements
Certain dog mouth movements are normal, whereas others aren’t normal.
Similarly, when a dog is excited, it may open and close its mouth in joy. This is normal – though overexcitement can be a problem.
And when a dog is tired, it may open and close its mouth on account of hyperventilation. Remember, it ‘sweats with its tongue’.
In the same vein, a dog chattering teeth after yawning would be reasonably normal…
But certain dog mouth movements are obviously not normal.
For instance, where a dog opens and closes mouth fast repeatedly, then obviously this is not normal.
Even where a dog keeps opening and closing mouth slowly, but in a seemingly involuntary manner, can’t be normal.
Similarly, where you find a dog smacking jaw repeatedly, that surely can’t be normal.
Therefore the only dog mouth movements we may refer to as ‘normal’ are those that are due to anticipation of food and those that are due to excitement.
The dog mouth movements after yawning, and those that are due to tiredness may also be termed as ‘normal’.
What Are The Common Reasons For Dog Making Weird Mouth Movements
One common reason for dog making weird mouth movements is if something is stuck in its teeth (or its throat).
Another common reason for dogs making weird mouth movements is nausea. Thus if a dog is about to throw up, it may start by first making weird mouth movements.
Stress and anxiety are other reasons for dogs making weird mouth movements. So are joy and excitement.
A dog with dental problems will also often make weird mouth movement, as may a dog with mouth ulcers.
Generally, when a dog is in pain (for instance arising from gastrointestinal, dental or oral problems), it may make weird mouth movements.
More worryingly, a dog with neurological problems may have seizures that manifest through mouth movements.
And a dog with a condition such as distemper may also make strange mouth movements.
Thus if you have an adult dog or puppy making weird mouth movements, these are the possible reasons.
The intriguing question is, how do you pinpoint the exact reason for dog making weird mouth movements?
Pinpointing The Exact Cause For Dog Making Weird Mouth Movements
One way is by taking a close look at the manner in which the dog is making the weird mouth movements.
For instance, the dog opening and closing mouth anxiety causes is very different from the uncontrollable mouth movements in dogs experiencing seizures.
Or take a case of a dog making weird noise with mouth due to teeth chattering. The probable reason for this would obviously be very different from another case where a dog makes noiseless but repeated mouth movements.
Whether the problem of a dog making weird mouth movements is of sudden onset or longstanding is also a relevant consideration.
A sudden onset case of dog making a weird mouth movement may be due to, say, a foreign object stuck. So a foreign object stuck in the teeth or throat makes the dog make weird mouth movements. That is, as the dog tries to dislodge the object.
But a longstanding problem of dog making mouth movements may be due to dental problems. Or it may even be due to mouth deformities, such as those we see in dogs born with Prognathism.
Why Does My Dog Look Like He’s Chewing Gum?
It may be because something is stuck in the dog’s teeth, or further down in the dog’s throat.
Stress is another common reason for a dog making weird mouth movements as if it is chewing gum. Sometimes, this may manifest even when the dog is sleeping.
Thus if my dog is opening and closing his mouth rapidly, as if chewing gum, these are the key reasons I would zero in on.
But it can also be due to other problems, like long-standing dental disease or even neurological issues.
What Does It Mean When Your Dog Keeps Opening And Closing His Mouth?
Most cases of dogs making weird mouth movements specifically entail the dogs opening and closing their mouths.
So, what does it mean when a dog keeps opening and closing his mouth?
Or to put it in a more personalized manner, why does my dog keep opening and closing his mouth?
That can make a dog open and close mouth fast, repeatedly, in a bid to gulp in more air. That would also be in a bid to dislodge whatever is stuck there.
The pain that comes from dental problems or mouth ulcers can also cause this symptom. So due to the pain, the dog keeps on opening and closing its mouth.
Sometimes though, when a dog keeps on opening and closing mouth, it may just mean that it is about to throw up.
There are also dogs that are born with deformities that make it impossible for them to close their mouths properly. These may have a lifelong problem of continually opening and closing their mouths.
So these are the common causes of dog opening and closing mouth repeatedly.
And if my dog keeps opening and closing her mouth, these are the key possibilities I would consider.
Pinpointing The Exact Reason For Dog Opening And Closing Mouth Repeatedly
The exact manner in which my dog opens and closes his mouth may be helpful in pinpointing the actual cause.
For instance, if a dog keeps opening and closing mouth all day long, it may be due to a foreign object stuck in the throat.
But if my dog is doing a weird thing with his tongue, and also opening and closing mouth, it may be due to something stuck in the teeth.
That would also be a plausible reason for dog making weird mouth movements after eating.
On the other hand if a dog has halitosis (bad breath) and is opening and closing mouth, it could be due to a dental problem.
Why Does My Dog Open And Close His Mouth When I Pet Him?
A case where a dog opens and closes mouth upon being petted is likely to be due to excitement.
Therefore in a scenario where a dog opens and closes mouth when petted, with no other issues, that would be the most probable cause.
Why Does My Dog Move His Mouth Up And Down?
In some cases a dog moving his mouth up and down can be due to dental or jaw problems.
But there are also cases where it can be due to seizures or distemper.
If, for instance, the dog moves the mouth up and down repeatedly and in a frenzied manner, it may be due to seizures or distemper.
All in all, in answering the why is my dog moving his jaw up and down question, these are also the possibilities I would consider.
Why Do Dogs Move Their Mouth As If They Are Talking?
Cases of dogs moving their mouths like they are talking are often due to neurological problems.
So what you may be seeing are localized seizures. These result in the dog making weird mouth movements, as if talking.
Distemper sometimes causes dogs to make mouth movements that are akin to talking.
More benign reasons for dogs moving their mouths as if talking may include intense stress, dental problems or the desire to remove stuck foreign items.
Thus if you were wondering, why does my dog keep making weird mouth movements as if it is talking, these are the possibilities.
To pinpoint the reason, you may need to look at the intensity and frequency of the dog mouth movements.
For instance, if my dog is making a weird movement with his mouth only once in a while, it could be due to a dental problem.
But what if it is a case of dog doing weird thing with mouth repeatedly and in a frenzied manner? Then it could be the manifestation of a local seizure or distemper.
Ultimately, if you were wondering, why do dogs move their mouth like they are talking, those are the possible reasons.
Dog Making Weird Jaw Movements – What Are The Possible Reasons?
In some cases, weird jaw movements may be due to neurological problems. Sometimes, seizures manifest through such jaw movements.
It is not uncommon for dogs with distemper to make weird jaw movements.
But there are also cases where the dog making weird jaw movements may be just chattering. And that may be due to stress, or being in cold temperature.
In the latter case (of chattering), you may actually end up with the dog making weird mouth noises. Those would be due to chattering/grinding teeth.
Ultimately, in trying to answer the why is my dog making weird mouth movements with the jaws question, these are the possibilities I would think of.
Dog Teeth Chattering – What Causes It?
If the dog is very cold, its teeth may chatter. This is akin to how our human teeth chatter when we are very cold. This can be a serious sign of hypothermia setting in. So it is not something to take lightly.
A dog’s teeth may also chatter due to stress or anxiety.
Very excited dogs have also been known to have their teeth chatter!
Therefore if you were wondering, why does my dog’s teeth chatter, it may be due to these factors.
Dog Making Weird Mouth Movements – When To Be Concerned?
All cases of dogs making weird mouth movements deserve attention.
A dog may make weird mouth movements due to foreign objects stuck in the teeth or throat. The weird mouth movements may also be due to stress, dental problems or neurological problems.
None of these are things to be taken lightly.
If the problem of the dog making the weird mouth movements persists or seems to worsen, it is best to seek veterinary advice.
Dog Making Weird Mouth Movements – What To Do?
You first need to pay close attention to the dog, to take note of how exactly it is making the weird mouth movements. Find out whether it is a case of teeth chattering, a case of dog opening and closing mouth or a case of strange jaw movements.
This may help you figure out the reason behind it.
Whatever the apparent cause, if the problem persists (or seems to worsen with time), take the dog to the vet straight away.
Where it is due to foreign objects stuck in the teeth or throat, the vet will get them out.
In cases where it is due to dental problems or jaw ulcers, the vet will initiate treatment for the same.
Where it is due to neurological problems, the vet may also initiate treatment. Or make a referral to a relevant specialist.
Just avoid taking the problem of dog making weird mouth movements lightly.
Final Verdict – Dog Making Weird Mouth Movements
Where a dog makes weird mouth movements, it may specifically be a case of it opening and closing its mouth repeatedly. It may also be a case of teeth chattering or abnormal jaw movements.
Common reasons for dogs making weird mouth movements include stuck foreign objects, stress, nausea, dental problems and neurological conditions (such as seizures) and distemper. Maybe something as simple as yawning too.
Treatment may entail removing any stuck foreign objects, addressing any underlying dental or neurological problems or eliminating any stressors.
All in all, if you have a case where a dog is making weird mouth movements persistently, it is best to consult a vet.
That is because some of the causes for dogs making weird mouth movements are rather serious and require urgent attention.