Have you witnessed that your dog keeps making chewing motions? If you are wondering why you visited the excellent article. Keep reading to find out more.

Dogs chew on anything from time to time, as any dog owner would tell you. However, if your dog chews without anything in his mouth, you should be concerned about something else.

There might be numerous reasons why a dog makes strange lip movements as though he is chewing anything.

The first step is to remain calm. Some dogs also exhibit anxious tics that appear to be random chewing.

A dog may seem to be chewing nothing as the food is lodged between his teeth, something is caught in the roof of his mouth, something is stuck in his throat, and various potential reasons for the action.

Why does my dog make chewing noises?

Dog keeps making chewing motions

Because dogs cannot inform us if something is problematic, we must seek signals of odd behavior to alert us to the problem. For instance, there could be various reasons why a dog continually makes chewing motions.

A dog’s chewing motion is usually not the reason for alarm. They typically have food stuck between their teeth or a foreign substance in their mouth. However, it could be a symptom of cognitive failure in rare situations. It is recommended to take your dog to the veterinarian for a brief examination.

The very first thing you should do is consider your dog’s age. If your dog is younger and does this with his mouth, food and nausea are more likely, but not always, to blame.

It could be a significant indicator that anything is wrong with an older dog. When an older dog suddenly begins chewing without justification or reason, it could signify boredom or separation fear.

Chewing could be one way to articulate himself if he doesn’t have the words to express himself. The movement could also react to pain, indicating that your dog is dealing with something more significant and severe.

Why does my dog make chewing motions?

1. Ingestion of a foreign object

Your dog could be chewing motions in an attempt to release a foreign object stuck in their mouth, similar to when food becomes stuck in their teeth.

Whether your dog is a big chewer and has recently gone outside, check if he has a little stick, or something else stuck in his mouth.

The roof of the mouth, under the tongue, and among the cheek and the gums are the most common areas for foreign items to lodge.

If this is the situation, you’ll need to gently remove the object yourself or hire someone to do it for you. If the object is hard to reach, your dog has a history of biting, or removing the object causes pain or bleeding, consult a veterinarian.

2. Distemper

Distemper is a common viral infection uncommon in immunized dogs but common in unvaccinated canines. The virus interferes with the neurological, respiratory, and digestive systems’ functions.

The virus is commonly spread by wild animals and can be spread through airborne contact, bodily fluids, or sharing food and water. It takes up to four weeks for symptoms to appear.

The chewing motion is caused by a virus that attacks the neurological system, causing muscle spasms, tremors, and aberrant jaw motions known as chewing gum fits.

Physical examinations such as conjunctival smears, blood tests, cerebrospinal fluid examinations, autopsies, and dry eye tests will be used to diagnose distemper.

3. Nausea

The gag reflex, just like in humans, kicks in when a dog gets sick. The dog also will begin to salivate much more.

To retain the saliva down and get out of the sensation that he might hurl up, the dog will swallow a lot.

Throwing up is an unpleasant sensation for dogs. Therefore, they will strive to keep it down and avoid it.

As the dog works his lips and throat to keep anything within instead of throwing up, the effect could be a chewing appearance.

4. Syndrome of fly-biting

A partial seizure triggered by aberrant electrical impulses in a specific brain area is known as a fly-biting syndrome. It is frequently linked to underlying conditions, particularly gastrointestinal problems.

An irritated digestive tract, acid reflux, and slack or bloated stomach are also common symptoms of fly-biting. Head rising and neck extension are common precursors to fly-biting.

5. Seizures

Seizures can present in various ways; therefore, odd behaviour can be an indicator of a seizure.

Localized epilepsy occurs when some brain circuits are abnormally activated, causing jaw movement that mimics chewing.

A “fly biting seizure” occurs when a dog suffers a seizure and snaps at the air, giving the impression that the dog is collecting flies.

The dog may also seek his owner for assistance and comfort during the seizure, or the dog may lay extremely still until it is done.

6. Eye Problems

Humans are aware of the concept of “floaters,” which are small black specks that occasionally appear in the range of vision. But have you considered giving them to your dog?

A dog with floaters (or certain eye illnesses) will be unaware that its vision plays tricks on them. An insect is invading their area, in their perspective.

This will force them to snap at the air in an attempt to catch the errant insect.

7. Meningitis

Meningitis causes discomfort, fever, neck stiffness, and muscular spasms by inflaming the brain and spinal cord membranes.

Viruses, fungi, protozoa, and rickettsia are the most likely reasons for this illness.

The cerebrospinal fluid of a dog can be examined to identify meningitis.

Corticosteroids, antibiotics, or antifungal medicines are likely to be used in the therapy.

8. Spasms of muscles

It’s also conceivable that the dog suffers from a jaw muscular spasm. This could be due to over-exertion, such as if the dog chewed a bone or some such hard previously in the day and the muscles are just weary.

A spasm can also be caused by dehydration. Ensure your dog gets plenty of water to drink; if that’s the case, the problem will quickly disappear.

The motion will usually stop, and the muscles will be relaxed with rest and hydration.

9. Anxiety

New individuals, unusual noises, or even severe shifts or weather exposures could trigger this.

It’s possible that the chewing isn’t actually chewing but rather the dog chattering or crunching its teeth together, giving the impression that he’s chewing anything in his mouth when he isn’t.

Why do dogs snap at the air?

There might be multiple reasons why your dog is snapping at the air.

One of the most common causes is a habit. If the behaviour were not formerly corrected or encouraged by human owners, dogs would continue to chew on air.

Another likely reason is that your dog has foreign material lodged in its mouth.

Hairs, splinters, or food (such as Boswellia) lodged between teeth or trapped on the roof of the mouth can all induce this. Your dog also may rub its face to extract the trapped object.

Tooth decay and aching teeth are two more dental conditions that might cause air chewing.

Tooth infections, periodontal disease, gum soreness, oral edema, loose or broken teeth, gingivitis, oral lesions, and bug stings are just a few dental issues that might lead dogs to chew the air.

When puppies start teething, they are more likely to chew on the air. A puppy’s mouth may be opened and closed repeatedly to keep its teeth from constantly hitting the sensitive area.

Your dog could be struggling from sialocele, which is the pooling of saliva caused by an infection or trauma.

If that’s the case, inspect under your dog’s tongue, where the salivary gland is located, for any swelling. Luckily, surgical drainage can efficiently resolve sialocele.

Air chewing can be caused by obsessive behaviour, emotional anguish, GI disorders, and neurological problems, unlike oral or dental troubles.

How can chewing be treated?

The first goal is to estimate why your dog is chewing on anything. Then put procedures in place to address the issue. For example, if anything is stuck in the dog’s mouth, have it extracted. You can get it drained if it’s caused by something like a sialocele by a veterinarian.

The majority of times, odd behaviour such as chewing motions is not caused for alarm. Yet, if it occurs frequently or is associated with other signs, you should consult your veterinarian.

Giving your veterinarian as much detail as possible can enable them to treat your dog more quickly and effectively.

It might be even better if you can somehow record your dog performing the mouth movement, so by the moment you get to the clinic, he may not be doing it anymore. The vet will have to rely on your description to determine why your dog is making the mouth motion.

If it’s related to stress, figure out what’s causing it and fix it. Get your proper dog treatment if it’s due to dental issues.

If your dog is chewing without anything in his mouth due to dehydration, the priority would be to make sure he gets enough water. If it’s just a developed habit, use rewards and training to help the dog unlearn it.

What can I do if my dog keeps chewing without anything in its mouth?

Ensure your dog isn’t choking. Coughing could be an attempt to evacuate foreign material lodged in its throat. Symptoms of choking include difficulty breathing, fright, and pawing at their head or mouth.

If you suspect your dog is choking, look into their mouth to see if anything is stuck in their throat or mouth. Loosen it with your fingertips if at all feasible.

Get your dog to its veterinarian right away if it appears to be a sharp object, such as a bone splinter or a stick, as any cut can be hazardous.

If you can’t get the thing out with your finger, use the Heimlich technique right away or take your dog to the vet, who can sedate him to get the object out.

If your dog doesn’t seem to be choking, you can try to halt their habit by distracting them with toys or treats. If they do cease, it could mean that air chewing has become a habit or conditioned behaviour.

If your dog isn’t receiving sufficient nutrients, has anything caught in its mouth, is agitated or frustrated, isn’t receiving enough daily stimulation, or has dental concerns, all possible causes.

Don’t ever think twice about taking your dog to the veterinarian, who will be able to inspect him with an x-ray.

It’s ideal for videotaping your dog, chewing on almost nothing whenever you notice him doing so you can inform your vet clearly what’s happening.

If distemper is the problem, antibiotics, antiemetic medications, and multivitamins will be prescribed by your veterinarian. IV fluids will be administered through a tube or orally in extreme situations. Vaccination will be essential to avoid future distemper outbreaks and aid recovery.

Why do dogs make chewing noises while sleeping?

It’s possible that your dog’s chewing sounds while sleeping is part of a self-soothing practice. It might indicate an issue with the dog’s salivary glands (as in a sialocele). However, if the sleep-time chewing sounds are new (but have never occurred previously), it could just be a dream.

Dehydration is another possibility for the dog’s sucking noise. It will be an instance of dry dog mouth smacking in this circumstance (for example, to wet the gums).

Caused by neurological issues such as distemper, a dog may produce chewing noises while sleeping.

To figure out why the dog is making these noises, you should first determine what kind of noises you’re hearing. Is it an instance of the dog smacking his tongue on the roof of his mouth (causing a chewing sound)? Is it possible that the dog produces a crunching noise with his jaws when sleeping?

A mouth/throat examination, for example, is usually required to determine the exact cause of your dog producing clicking noises with his mouth while sleeping. You want to make sure the dog’s salivary glands, teeth, and gums are in good working order. It’s best to take the dog to the vet if you don’t know the signs to look for.

In the end, the explanation for a dog making chewing sounds while sleeping could be as simple as a self-soothing habit. However, it might signify a more serious neurological illness, such as distemper or epilepsy. If your dog makes a clicking sound with his jaws while sleeping regularly, you should see your veterinarian.

Watch 9 Weird Dog Behaviors Explained | Video

Top 5 FAQs and answers on why dogs keep making chewing motions

Below listed are five frequently asked questions (FAQs) in the context of “dog keeps making chewing motions,” followed by appropriate answers.

Why does my dog’s jaw constantly move?

When a dog is aroused, anxious, or chilly, he may chatter his jaw for a brief period. A chattering jaw can indicate something significant, such as a neurological issue, or simply because the environment is too cold, just like humans do.

What causes my dog’s munching noises?

Periodontal disease is a common cause of dog teeth chattering. Sensitive teeth caused by tooth enamel loss can also induce chattering. While dogs try to disguise their discomfort or show weakness, chattering is often an automatic response to distress.

What gives my dog the expression of chewing gum?

When dogs seem to be chewing gum, they may be trying to dislodge a foreign object caught in their mouth. In these instances, your dog’s teeth may rattle, giving the impression that it is chewing gum.

Why does my dog continue to gnaw on nothing?

Food stuck between teeth When a dog makes chewing gestures when she isn’t eating, it’s usually because she has something stuck in her teeth. This is particularly true if it occurs once in a while, typically after a meal. It’s nothing to be worried about if it resolves shortly.

Why does my dog’s mouth keep expanding wide?

An open mouth is characteristic of a relaxed, friendly dog. A cheerful dog is typically depicted as having a calm face with his tongue hanging out of his mouth and his lower jaw wide open. Dogs’ jaws convey a lot regarding their interior states when they are emotionally stimulated.


This article explains why your dog keeps making chewing motions. The article lists the possible causes of why your dog keeps making chewing noises.

Potential solutions that you could take to address your dog making chewing motions are also listed and described. Frequently asked questions regarding why dogs keep making chewing motions are also answered.

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