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How Many Teeth Do Australian Shepherds Have?

Australian Shepherds, like most dogs, have two sets of teeth throughout their lives: puppy teeth (deciduous or milk teeth) and adult teeth (permanent teeth). Let’s explore the dental formula and break down the specific teeth in each dental arch of Australian Shepherds:

  • Puppy Teeth: 28 deciduous teeth
  • Adult Teeth: 42 permanent teeth

Deciduous Teeth:

  • Incisors: 12 in total (6 upper and 6 lower)
  • Canines: 4 in total (2 upper and 2 lower)
  • Premolars: 12 in total (6 upper and 6 lower)

Permanent Teeth:

  • Incisors: 12 in total (6 upper and 6 lower)
  • Canines: 4 in total (2 upper and 2 lower)
  • Premolars: 16 in total (8 upper and 8 lower)
  • Molars: 10 in total (4 upper and 6 lower)

Types of Teeth

Australian Shepherds possess various types of teeth, each serving a specific function:

  • Incisors: These eight small, flat teeth at the front of the mouth are primarily used for grasping and nibbling.
  • Canines: The four pointed and sharp canines, also known as fangs, are designed for gripping, tearing and holding objects.
  • Premolars: These 16 teeth, located behind the canines, aid in shearing and grinding food.
  • Molars: The molars, found further back in the mouth, play a crucial role in crushing and grinding food particles.

Teething Stages

Australian Shepherds experience several teething stages as they grow:

  • Incipient Teething: Begins at around 2-3 weeks old when the puppy’s teeth start to break through the gums.
  • Temporary Dentition: Occurs between 4-6 weeks of age when deciduous teeth begin to emerge, allowing the puppies to chew and explore.
  • Mixed Dentition: Around 3-6 months old, the puppy’s deciduous teeth start to fall out, making room for permanent teeth.
  • Permanent Dentition: By 6-8 months old, Australian Shepherds have their full set of adult teeth.

Common Dental Issues in Australian Shepherds

Maintaining proper dental care is essential for Australian Shepherds to prevent common dental issues, such as:

  • Plaque and Tartar Build-up: Accumulation of bacteria and food debris leading to tartar formation and potential gum disease.
  • Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease): Inflammation and infection of the gums due to poor oral hygiene, leading to pain, tooth loss and potential systemic health problems.
  • Dental Malocclusions: Misalignment of teeth, which may cause difficulty in biting, chewing, or potential injury to the oral tissues.
  • Tooth Fractures: Dental injuries that may occur from trauma, chewing on hard objects, or weakened teeth due to dental diseases.

What Should You Do When Your Australian Shepherd is Teething?

Teething can be a challenging and uncomfortable phase for Australian Shepherds. As a responsible dog owner, there are several steps you can take to help alleviate your Australian Shepherd’s teething discomfort and ensure their dental health. Here are some valuable tips and strategies to implement during this stage:

  • Provide appropriate teething toys: Offering suitable chew toys specifically designed for teething puppies can help soothe their sore gums and satisfy their natural urge to chew. Look for toys made of durable materials, such as rubber or nylon, that are safe for your Australian Shepherd to chew on.
  • Frozen treats or toys: Provide relief to your teething Australian Shepherd by freezing chew toys or wet washcloths. The cold temperature helps numb the gums and reduces inflammation. However, always supervise your puppy while they are chewing on frozen items to prevent any potential hazards.
  • Gentle massage: Gently massaging your Australian Shepherd’s gums with clean fingers can provide temporary relief. Make sure your hands are clean to avoid introducing bacteria into their mouth.
  • Avoid hard or inappropriate objects: Discourage your Australian Shepherd from chewing on hard objects, such as rocks, furniture, or shoes. These items can damage their teeth or pose a choking hazard. Redirect their attention to appropriate chew toys instead.
  • Regular dental care: Start establishing good dental hygiene habits early on. Introduce tooth brushing using a canine toothbrush and toothpaste approved by your veterinarian. Brushing their teeth regularly helps remove plaque and prevent dental issues.
  • Schedule veterinary check-ups: Regular visits to the veterinarian are crucial for monitoring your Australian Shepherd’s dental health. The vet can provide professional dental cleanings, identify any underlying dental problems and offer guidance on oral care specific to your dog’s needs.
  • Be patient and understanding: Teething can be a challenging time for your Australian Shepherd, leading to behavioral changes and increased sensitivity. Practice patience, provide extra love and attention and avoid disciplining them for chewing behaviors during this stage.

Tips for Preventing Dental Issues in Australian Shepherds

Maintaining good dental hygiene is crucial for the long-term oral health of your Australian Shepherd:

  • Regularly brush your dog’s teeth with canine toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Introduce dental hygiene routines early in your puppy’s life to acclimate them to the process.
  • Provide dental-friendly treats or toys that help reduce plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups with a veterinarian to identify and address potential issues.

By understanding the unique aspects of Australian Shepherd teeth, teething stages and common dental issues, you can ensure the dental health of your beloved companion. Regular dental care and preventive measures are key to maintaining a happy, healthy smile for your Australian Shepherd.

Australian Shepherd Teeth – How Many, Teething Stages, Types & Size