Why Your Dog Keeps Opening and Closing his Mouth Rapidly

Does your dog have a strange tendency to repeatedly open and close his mouth in certain circumstances? There could be a number of reasons for this, some of which are more serious than others and will require immediate attention.

Your Dog is Choking

Dogs may open and close their mouth repeatedly if they are choking. The dog is having difficulty getting enough air so the repeated open and closing of the mouth may indicate a dog’s attempt at trying to dislodge whatever foreign object is stuck in the dog’s throat. This is more likely to happen after a dog’s meal or after a dog’s play session where small toys are involved. Get advice from the vet and follow through with the recommended next steps (e.g. Heimlich Maneuver).

Your Dog Has Food Stuck in his Mouth

In other cases, dogs may keep opening and closing their mouth if there are pieces of food stuck in their mouth. The size of the food is not big enough to cause choking but it may be notable enough to irritate and annoy the dog. You may need to provide assistance (with caution) if your dog is unable to take out the food piece on his own.

Your Dog Has Dental Problems

If there’s no clear sign of food stuck in his mouth or throat then the behavior of opening and closing the mouth may indicate something more serious. Your dog, for example, might have a dental condition like periodontal disease or gingivitis. The discomfort felt from this condition is causing your dog to continuously adjust his mouth.

If the opening and closing behavior isn’t a one off then we strongly suggest getting a proper diagnosis from the veterinarian. Dental problems can cause a lot of pain for dogs if they aren’t treated quickly.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


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