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Why do my dog’s bones click?

Are you concerned that your dog’s bones are clicking? Numerous reasons can cause your dog’s bones to click. While some of these clicks are nothing to worry about, some can indicate joint problems like arthritis. Seek veterinarian assistance for proper diagnosis, especially where the dog shows signs of lameness and pain.

We have researched and written a detailed article to assist you in understanding some of the reasons your dog bone might be clicking and if it is something to worry about or not. Some of these reasons include air in the joints, bones rubbing each other, or ligaments moving, among others. Want to learn more of these reasons and other topics related to dog bone clicking? Continue reading to the end.

Why Do My Dog’s Bones Click?

Are you still wondering why your dog bone clicks? There are both medical and non-medical reasons. In this section we examine both reasons.

Air in the joints

If the joints are filled with air, your dog’s joint is a possible cause for clicking. This might happen because the synovial fluid contains gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen, or oxygen. Since the fluid acts like a buffer between the bones for smooth functionality, a pop sound might be heard if the gas escapes quickly.

Ligaments moving

What are ligaments? These are tissues that connect one bone to another. They are flexible and tough at the same time. They can therefore stretch or bend when the joint moves. Sometimes these tissues can rub on the bone, and if a sudden movement occurs, it can result in a clicking sound. If this issue continues, it can result from wearing. Therefore, it is essential to seek vet assistance as soon as possible.

Bone rubs bone

When two bones come into contact and rub each other as the dog moves, it can result in a clicking sound. This usually occurs when the interconnecting tissues wear out, leaving the two bones exposed to rubbing each other.

Health issues

There are some underlying illnesses associated with bones and joints that can result in bone clicking. Some of these issues are as follows.


As your dog gets old, it is likely to develop arthritis problems. When this happens, you will hear some clicking noises as your dog walks or while standing up. Some joint supplements can help slow the progression of arthritis. A veterinarian can even prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications when the doglegs are swollen and painful. 

Hip Dysplasia

Your dog’s clicking sound may be a result of hip dysplasia. What is hip dysplasia? It occurs when the femur’s head pops out and rubs on the hip socket. On a normal occasion, both the femur and the socket fit perfectly together. However, when they become disintegrated, the joint bones rub each other, resulting in a clicking sound, and it can be painful too.

Subluxation patella

This is when the dog’s joint bone moves out of the groove, resulting in a clicking noise. A veterinarian’s opinion and treatment, in this case, is necessary.


Has your dog undergone surgery recently? If so, it is common to hear some pop sounds like the joint stretches during therapy or while walking. It usually indicates the breaking of scar tissue, which can be essential if it leads to healing.

Is It Normal For Bones To Click?

It is normal for your dog’s bones to click from time to time, especially when waking up. Usually, the problem disappears on its own over time. However, if the clicking is followed by limping and inflammation, it could be a serious medical problem. In this case, visit a veterinarian and get your dog examined for proper diagnosis and treatment.

When Is It Normal For The Bone To Click?

No pain

If clicking is not associated with pain, there are slim chances that it is something to be worried about. However, close attention should be maintained as pain can develop over time, calling for vet attention.

Occasional clicking

How often does your dog experience clicking? Is it daily or once in a while? If bone clicking happens once in a while, it might be normal, and there should be nothing to worry about.

After sitting for a long time

What was your dog doing before you heard the clicking noise? Has sleeping in indoors? If that is the case, clicking noise could be a result of stretching ligament tissues. Thus, there is nothing to be concerned about as it is a common thing among humans.

What Should I Do About My Dog’s Bones Making A Clicking Sound?

Check for inflammation

If you notice your dog’s bones are making clicking noises as it walks or standing up, the first thing is to examine its legs. The leg might be swollen, and it might go unnoticed if it is not closely examined as the fir could be concealing the swollen parts. Look through the fur to see if its joints are swollen.

Observe its walking style.

Has it changed its walking style? Is it limping as it walks? If it is limping, it is possible that it has dislocated its joints or the leg is entirely broken. Have it examined by a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. Some problems can be treated with simple painkillers or surgery.

Signs of distress

While walking, does it indicate signs of pain or lack of enthusiasm? If that’s the case, have it examined. It might be a serious health problem that requires medical attention.

Visit the veterinarian

If the bone clicking is associated with the above signs or unsure of the cause, visit the veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

How Do You Stop Bone Clicking?

Even when the problem is nothing to worry about, the situation can be annoying. It is essential to determine the course of your dog’s bone clicking. Is it suffering from underlying health issues like arthritis, or is it a result of tiredness? By understanding the root cause of the problem, you will be able to deliver the right treatment.  If you want to stop the bones of your dog from clicking, the following are some of the remedies.

Visit a vet

Numerous health issues could lead to bone clicking. Some of these health problems include arthritis resulting from old age or worn-out tissues resulting from iron deficiency.  Thus, taking your dog to the vet is the best option for solving the issue. The vet will examine your pet and develop a diagnosis and recommend a proper solution. This can be simple medication, or it might require surgery. If the medical solution is taken, the problem will be solved.


How does ignoring the problem solve the issue? Most bone-clicking noises are nothing to worry about. As such, they are likely to resolve themselves with time. This can happen if they are due to tiredness or having stayed in one spot for a prolonged time.

Use of nutritional supplement

The problem may be a result of nutrient deficiency like calcium. Consider buying a dog supplement, and with time the problem will resolve without further intervention. This is because such supplements will assist in ensuring the presence of synovial fluid and maintaining strong bone ligaments.

Regular exercise

Exercising is essential in maintaining healthy and strong bones.  Your dog will appreciate it more if you spend time with it doing outdoor activities. Sometimes, lack of exercise can cause bone clicking. It is essential to take your dog for a walk regularly to facilitate the free movement of fluid. With regular exercise, your dog’s joints will remain strong and healthy.

When Should You Visit A Veterinarian?

Not all bone clicking requires medical attention. At what point should you decide to visit a veterinarian? In this section, we will examine signs to look for in determining whether you should take your dog to a vet or not.


How do you know your dog is in distress? Usually, signs of distress could involve loss of appetite and failure to play even when allowed to go out, among others. When you notice that your dog’s bones are not only clicking but also showing signs of pain and distress, it is a call to visit the vet. This is because, in this case, the problem might be complicated to resolve at home.


Does your dog cry every time a clicking sound takes place? It is uncommon for a dog to start whining for no reason. Is it possible that its bones are broken, or the joints are dislocated? If that is the case, your dog is experiencing joint pain. Visiting a veterinarian is a wise decision. The issue might be resolved by the use of simple painkillers or through surgery.


How does your dog walk? Does it limp as the bone clicks? Consulting with the veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment is necessary. Limping can be an advanced problem of the joint that requires medical attention. The vet can conduct several internal and external examinations to determine the root cause of the problem. This might include having to observe the dog walk or even conducting an x-ray.

Prolonged bone clicking

For how long have you observed this new trend? Usually, if there is nothing to worry about, the problem resolves itself after a few days. However, if bone clicking results from a serious health issue, it might go weeks after weeks without decreasing. In that case, visiting a veterinarian could be your best option to resolve the issue.

Training fails

After realizing your dog’s bone is clicking, training can be an alternative to resolving the issue. This is so if the problem is not medical-related. Allow your dog to attend training for a few weeks. If the problem is not resolved, it is beyond physical exercise, and medical attention is necessary.

Can Arthritis Cause Clicking Joints In Dogs?

Yes, arthritis is one of the causes of clicking joint bones in your dog. This usually results from wear and tear of cartilage and ligaments in the joint. The intensity of the clicking can help in determining the type of arthritis your joint could be suffering.

For instance, high-pitched clicking noise indicates inflammatory arthritis, while low-pitch is an indication of non-inflammatory arthritis. Consult with your vet to identify the type of arthritis your dog might be suffering from.

What Type Of Bone Clicking Noise Does Your Dog Have?

Understanding your dog’s bone clicking sound can be essential in determining the problem even before visiting a veterinarian. It can also save you time that you could have otherwise wasted on consultation for a problem that will resolve itself. Get to understand what each type of bone-clicking sound means to be on a safer side with your dog.


Joints are usually surrounded by synovial fluid, which acts as a natural lubricant between two bones. While moving, gas bubbles can form within the fluid, and when they pop, a sound associated with clicking is produced. Usually, this type of clicking is not dangerous, nor is it painful. It happens once and can take a long period before it happens again as gas has to build up.


Snapping is also not a serious problem. However, if not addressed, it could lead to chronic injury. It is usually not painful, but it can not be very pleasant. While it does not lead to a call for emergency, if it happens repetitively, it can lead to inflammation, irritation, and ultimately pain as connective tissues rub each other.


This sound can be produced as a result of abnormalities of the connective tissues. Usually, it is associated with pain in the long run. Also, it can result from the knee dislocating from its groove where it is supposed to be.


A clunking sound can be a little bit alarming. This is because it can indicate laxity of the joints or full dislocation of the joints. It is a common sound among dogs with loose joints; as two bones rub each other, a clinking sound is produced. In this case, it is essential to seek vet assistance on how to tighten the joints by strengthening the ligament tissues. This will eliminate the clunk sound and prevent your dog from future dislocation, leading to tissue and capsule damage.


How old is your dog? Grinding sounds are commonly associated with old age. It is released when two bones grid one another. This may occur as a result of overall degeneration of cartilage within the joint, like osteoarthritis. As your dog continues to age, the problem can escalate and hence require vet attention.