Why My Dog Opening and Closing Its Mouth? [Guide]

If you’ve seen your canine companion continuously opening and closing his mouth, You may have wondered why this happens. This kind of behavior is frequently referred to as “gaping,” In most cases, it is quite natural. But let us discuss the actual cause of this weird behavior, which led your pup to open and close his mouth frequently.

There are numerous explanations for why your dog is acting this way, including sickness, foreign material, mouth injury/issues, dental issues, underlying any generalized disease, or bad behavior. You must take your puppy to the veterinarian for an examination and a consultation as soon as you notice that he or she is opening and closing his/her mouth more often than usual.

vet with some animals

Just like humans, dogs frequently yawn when they are sleepy or bored. It’s also possible that they do it when they feel stressed or nervous. Therefore, if you notice that your pup is gaping more often or if this behavior appears to be associated with other anxiety indicators, it may indicate something is wrong.

It is highly recommended that you seek the advice of your veterinarian if you have concerns regarding your dog’s behavior. They may assist you in ruling out any potential health issues and provide you with peace of mind.

Reasons for Dog Mouth Opening and Closing

There is an endless list of explanations for why your pup continuously opens and closes his mouth. You might wonder what’s going on and if you should worry about it. Since dogs cannot communicate verbally at this time, it is hard to speculate about the reasons for their behavior. Various factors might lead to a dog constantly opening and closing its mouth. 

Foreign Items in Their Mouth

Your pup’s nose and mouth are the fastest way they engage with their world, like our hands and eyes. Our dogs are intrigued by numerous things based on scent or touch, and they test various objects in their inquisitive ability.

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These foreign bodies, which can take the form of wood, plastics, metals, or even grass, find their way into certain areas of their mouth or the inner portions of their teeth and end up giving them a great deal of pain and distress. Unlike humans, who may tolerate gaps in their teeth for a long time without suffering, dogs rapidly realize when anything is amiss.

dog opening mouth

In their attempt to expel these strange items, some of them may even begin to panic, which is in addition to the strange mouth motions they may make. They may let you inspect and open their jaws to you. Depending on the conditions, you might be able to remove this foreign item by using a stick or a piece of plastic. If you can’t inspect your dog, take a video and bring it to your vet.

Dental Problems

Your dog’s oral issue may be causing it to keep opening and closing its mouth. If one of your dog’s teeth is damaged or has become loose, you may notice that it frequently opens and closes its mouth.

Additionally, a mouth ulcer or an insect bite may cause a canine companion to exhibit this behavior. This habit might be triggered by anything the dog eats or drinks with a different taste or texture. When your dog is experiencing dental problems, it may also produce crunching noises from time to time.

Additional dental issues that your pup may be experiencing include the following:

  • Gingivitis
  •  Salivary cysts
  • Abscesses
  • Other dental diseases

If you suspect your pup has a mouth issue, have a vet examine him.

Dog Choking

Sometimes rapidly opening and closing mouth behavior indicates choking. If your dog does this, check its mouth for anything stuck.

If you don’t see anything, they may be merely excessively breathing because of the heat or the exertion. If, on the other hand, you observe something that appears to be stuck in their throat, you must respond without delay.

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You can attempt to extract the object with your fingers, or if it’s something like a bone, you can use a set of pliers instead. If your dog still has trouble breathing, you should contact your veterinarian.  

Teeth Chattering

The teeth chattering is one of the strangest mouth motions that dog owners frequently notice in their canine companions.

Dog owners sometimes wonder, “Why is my dog making funny mouth movements?” when they hear their canine companions chattering their teeth. Chattering teeth is a symptom that several different problems in canines can cause. If your dog’s teeth chatter for more than two days, see a doctor to rule out severe symptoms.


If your dog opens and closes his jaws and smacks his lips, he may feel nauseated. Like us, dogs’ saliva production increases when they get an unpleasant feeling in their stomach. The creation of saliva by the dog is not a random occurrence.

As a result of nausea, your pup should avoid licking his lips and opening and closing his mouth. The incident should close when the dog throws up or appears to be feeling better.

Neurological issues 

If your pup suddenly starts opening and closing its jaws, this might indicate that they are experiencing some neurological issue. This recurrent behavior is common in dogs undergoing seizures and can be stressful for both the dog and the owner. 

If your dog is losing consciousness or trembling, get medical help immediately. A specialist should look for underlying health conditions if they just have repetitive mouth movements.

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Abscesses and Cysts

Abscesses have the potential to produce strange mouth motions in our canines. Abscesses can be thought about in the same way as tumors for the purpose of simplicity. This tumor has grown large enough to harm the salivary glands, causing excess saliva in that location, generally the neck or mouth, as the thick saliva cannot be absorbed back into the body.

dog mouth open

Damaged salivary ducts can drain saliva into surrounding tissues, growth infectious around the neck or under the jaw. Pups subjected to choke collars regularly increase the risk of developing salivary cysts.

As the dog cannot eat or drink normally, these pockets of saliva create unnecessary suffering. Surgery is typically the method of choice when looking for a long-term solution to this issue. 

Bad Behavior

Sometimes bad behavior of puppies persists when they mature. It mainly happens when owners do not care for their pups anymore or practice negative reinforcement methods in training. In that case, sometimes dogs adopt a bad habit of opening and closing their mouths more often than usual.

When to Consult a Vet

Your dog may not need to see a vet if he smacks his lips or chews after eating once or twice. In the same vein, even if he squeezes his teeth in response to a stressful situation, there is most likely no need for concern.

However, see a vet if your pup smacks his lips after eating. When you examine your dog’s lips, if you see anything out of the ordinary, you should take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet can examine your dog, diagnose the condition, and provide a treatment plan.