Strange noise coming from your puppy? Maybe you have a puppy who grinds their teeth? It’s not an uncommon thing to hear, especially from a sleeping puppy, perhaps they do that running in their sleep thing too, maybe even a bark or three. 

If you’ve ever wondered why your puppy grinds their teeth then we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll help you understand:

  • Why does my puppy grind their teeth?
  • How can I stop my puppy from grinding their teeth?
  • Things to watch out for if your puppy grinds their teeth a lot. 

I’m sure you don’t need us to tell you that puppies do all kinds of crazy things, often puppy ownership and pet parenthood doesn’t quite go by the book. So, we’ve created the Zigzag puppy training app, to help you with every stage of your pup’s development; from the highs of smelling that sweet puppy breath, to yes they did just poop in the middle of the kitchen floor – oops! You can always reach out to our expert puppy coach team too. They’re qualified dog trainers and behaviourists and will get you on the right track when you’ve exhausted yourself by listening to every ‘expert’ you’ve found online. 

Dog teeth
Photo by Ramiro Pianarosa on Unsplash

Why does my puppy grind their teeth?

So, back to that impression of a dremmel your pup keeps doing. The official name for teeth grinding is bruxism, and your puppy might be doing it for a few different reasons. Here’s a few:

Puppies grind their teeth in their sleep

A puppy who grinds teeth in their sleep is a common sight or sound, often accompanied by some low wuffing, or twitching or chasing after something, it’s the same thing that happens in humans. Often people say ‘oh look my puppy’s dreaming’ but this kind of twitching is probably related to REM sleep instead. 

Puppy teeth grinding might be due to dental pain 

Your puppy has a lot going on in their mouth as they go through teething, and begin to lose their teeth. It might be a normal sign but it’s worth checking to see if they have bleeding gums, or something stuck in their mouth to be sure.

Tummy troubles can cause a puppy to grind their teeth

We know it sounds strange right, but if your puppy has gastrointestinal problems, it can cause them to grind their teeth. Check they’re getting the right amount of food for their age and weight, and that they’re eating a complete diet for their age. 

Teeth grinding happens when puppies are stressed

For some dogs, teeth grinding or teeth chattering can be a displacement behaviour brought on by stress. The stress could be moving to a new home, a new family member, or simply another change in their environment. 

Overbites or underbites and a puppy who grinds teeth

If you have a breed of dog who has an overbite or an underbite, then this malocclusion can cause your puppy to grind their teeth.

Puppy teeth grinding when your puppy is teething

If your puppy is teething they may be grinding their teeth because the first set is having problems coming out. Some dogs will retain their puppy teeth as the adult set is coming in behind or in front of the first set.

Focal seizures and puppy teeth grinding

It’s rare, but some dogs who grind their teeth may be having a focal seizure. Focal seizures are also known as partial seizures as they only affect one side of the brain. 

White fluffy dog face
Photo by Cristina Anne Costello on Unsplash

How can I stop my puppy grinding their teeth?

To stop your puppy grinding their teeth, it’s important to find out why the behaviour is happening and address the cause of it.

Give your puppy a dental check over

Check your puppy’s teeth and ensure their teeth are clean, if your pup is around 5 months of age they probably have their adult teeth through, so make sure that the first set has been pushed out. What can happen sometimes is the first set of teeth are retained, which can trap debris and be painful for your puppy. 

An easy way to prevent teeth problems is to make dental checks or teeth brushing a regular part of your grooming routine. 

Make sure your puppy does not have tummy pain

If your puppy has runny poo, is grinding their teeth or licking their paws this can be a sign that they’re having tummy troubles. There can be many reasons for this, from the wrong diet and inadequate nutrition, allergies or maybe you just have a puppy who eats everything, and they’ve eaten the wrong thing. 

Keep things low stress for your puppy

Too many changes, especially in puppy fear periods can cause a huge amount of stress in your puppy. Don’t overwhelm your puppy with too many new people, sights and experiences. Socialisation should be about positive experiences and encounters rather than flooding, and too much too soon will show up in your puppy’s body language. 

brown dog showing teeth
Photo by Alison Pang on Unsplash

Things to look out for with puppy grinding teeth

If you have a puppy who grinds their teeth a lot then this can eventually wear down the enamel and cause dental problems, which can cause a lot of pain for your dog. 

Give your puppy plenty of chews, in case they’re exercising their jaw by grinding their teeth. Puppies need to chew a lot so give them appropriate chews to take it out on and don’t let them go to town, grinding their own teeth!

Don’t be worried to ask your vet if you notice your puppy grinding their teeth a lot and you’re worried, often a video will help as your puppy is unlikely to grind their teeth at the vets. 

We hope you’ve found some useful information in our article on puppy teeth grinding. A bit of teeth grinding now and again isn’t usually such a huge problem, but do check with your vet if you notice it becoming more of a thing. You might also want to check out our article on top puppy toothbrushes and toothpaste to make sure your dog’s dental hygiene is top of the class.

If you’re looking for help with all things puppy development, puppy training and puppy care, download the Zigzag puppy training app and start on your puppy’s training journey. We have a team of puppy coaches ready to help you with any concerns you have about your puppy’s behaviour, 7 days a week on Whatsapp, email, or you can even just give them a call.