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Have you recently noticed your whippets teeth start to chatter? This can be quite worrying especially for any new pet owner, as you start to wonder why they’re doing this strange behaviour, your mind races with what could be the cause.
Teeth chattering is actually quite normal for a lot of dogs, it’s something that can look quite alarming at first but in reality, it’s usually quite harmless. In this post, we’re going to look at why do whippets chatter their teeth?
As well as giving you some possible reasons for your whippets teeth chattering and what you can do to prevent it if you’re concerned.
Let’s get to it…
What Is Teeth Chattering?
So, what actually is teeth chattering? Well, if you’ve ever been uncontrollably cold in the winter months and found yourself uncontrollably clattering your teeth together then you’ll already know.
Teeth chattering is when your dog’s teeth repeatedly hit each other and make a “chattering” sound. This is often not something your pet can’t control and instead is triggered by a response of some sort.
Teeth chattering in dogs is different from teeth chattering in humans, so before you assume your dog is simply cold, look a little deeper and try to identify the cause of your whippets teeth chattering because it’s more than likely something else.
Teeth chattering should not be confused for snapping, it’s certainly not a sign of aggression or something to be afraid of.
Snapping takes place when a dog feels threatened or intimidated, whilst chattering is completely different so it’s important to know the difference.
When a dog is snapping at you, it’s essentially a warning sign to let you know that he has teeth and is not afraid to use them, whilst chattering can be caused for a number of reasons but is not a sign of aggression.
What Is Teeth Chattering A Symptom Of?
Teeth chattering is almost always a symptom of something, it’s not something your whippet actively decided to do and is usually something that’s totally out of their control.
So what is the cause of teeth chattering? There could be many causes for this, but here are some of the most common:
One incredibly common reason for whippets teeth chattering is that they’re incredibly excited.
Does your pet chatter their teeth when they’re about to go for a walk?
Or maybe when you get his dog food out of the cupboard?
This is an uncontrollable response to being excited in which your pet chatters their teeth, it’s very common.
This is similar to a child who can’t sit still on their seat because they’re so excited, or a person’s leg uncontrollably shaking.
Anxiety or Stress
As a whippet owner, you’ll probably know by now that these dogs can be quite nervous at times. If so, you may find that this is resulting in them chattering their teeth when in stressful situations or new environments.
Whippets can suffer from separation anxiety as well as regular anxiety, which is why teeth chattering can be quite common in these dogs.
My best advice if you think your dog is stressed or anxious is to try to tackle this problem first, and then you should see a reduction in your whippets teeth chattering.
Unfortunately, teeth chattering isn’t always a painless experience for your dogs. Dogs do their best to hide their pain or show any sign of weakness, but teeth chattering can be an instinctual response to being in pain, making it very hard to hide from their owner.
If this is the case in your whippet, it’s best to seek the advice of your veterinarian as your pet may need a course of antibiotics or other relief medications.
Whilst most teeth chattering is relatively harmless, it can also be a sign of a medical condition which needs addressing in your dog’s gums or teeth.
The most common cause of dog teeth chattering is something called periodontal disease. This is a painful disease where the gums become inflamed and eventually deteriorate the teeth and mouth.
It’s important to seek advice from your veterinarian if your whippets teeth chattering is concerning, as medical treatment may be required.
I’ve mentioned above that it’s unlikely that your pet’s teeth chattering is unlikely caused by their body temperature.
However it is possible, whippets are very low in body fat which means they can feel the cold much more than larger, chunkier dogs.
When whippets get cold then will sometimes chatter their teeth and shake uncontrollably, if you notice your whippet doing this then it’s wise to invest in a high-quality dog coat for your whippet to keep them warm in the winter months.
Should I Be Worried About My Whippets Teeth Chattering?
It’s hard to say whether you should be worried about your whippets teeth chattering, as it largely depends on what’s causing this.
However, as a whole I would try not to be worried too much about this, it’s likely an emotional response of fear or anxiety that’s making your pet’s teeth chatter.
It’s important to identify the cause of the issue first, and if it is related to anxiety or stress, you may want to try to socialise your whippet more to get him used to being around other dogs and different environments.
If you’ve noticed teeth chattering all of a sudden and believe it’s not related to your pet’s temperature or anxiety, then it’s worth taking your dog to the veterinarian for a check-up to eliminate dental disease or any other medical conditions which could be causing this.
If you notice teeth chattering becoming a regular occurrence then it’s important you see a veterinarian, they may suggest an X-ray on your pet to explore the issue further and rule out life-threatening diseases.
Your vet will likely ask you questions relating to your whippets lifestyle, so go armed with information about your pets exercise routine as well as diet, as it could be related to the issue.
Not only that but if you notice any foul smells coming from your dog’s mouth you should also notify your vet as this is cause for concern.
Once you’ve identified the cause of your pet’s teeth chattering then you can work towards a solution.
This is best done from when your whippet is a puppy, but it’s never too late to start caring about your pets dental hygiene especially if they are having issues.
Another consideration you should bear in mind is if your whippets breath smells bad, this could be closely related to teeth chattering and pain as your pet may have an infected or inflamed gum which they are in a lot of pain with.
Often if this is the case they will have smelly breath, as unpleasant as it sounds you should definitely be aware of this as it’s an indicator of an underlying health issue.
It’s really not nice seeing our pets in pain or discomfort, in my experience I’ve found that looking after your pets dental hygiene is incredibly important, as whippets are known to have dental issues as they grow older.
Prevention is always better than cure, so taking care of this from the start will see your whippet dental hygiene being as good as it possibly can be.
Rest assured that the likely cause of your whippets teeth chattering is due to an emotional response, such as anxiety or stress, or due to being too cold.
Teeth chattering is usually temporary but if you notice it persists then this could be a sign of something more serious so you’ll want to seek advice from a vet.
As a whole, teeth chattering is not something to be worried about, it’s completely natural and something that many dogs do.
Finding the cause of the teeth chattering should be your primary concern, then you can look at ways to cure it or work with your whippet to help him overcome his anxiety or stress.
Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two about whippet teeth chattering in this post and now have some clear actions in which you can take to identify the cause and come up with a solution.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!