Chow Chow Teeth – How Many, Teething Stages, Types & Size
How Many Teeth Do Chow Chows Have?
Chow chows, like other dog breeds, have two sets of teeth throughout their lives: deciduous (baby) teeth and permanent teeth. As puppies, they develop a total of 28 baby teeth. These deciduous teeth consist of 6 incisors, 2 canines and 6 premolars in each jaw. However, as chow chows grow, they undergo a process known as teething, during which their deciduous teeth are gradually replaced by a set of 42 permanent teeth. The permanent teeth include 6 incisors, 2 canines, 8 premolars and 4 molars in both the upper and lower jaws.
Teething in chow chows occurs in several stages, starting around 3 to 4 months of age and lasting until approximately 7 months. The teething process can cause discomfort and irritability in puppies, leading to chewing behaviors as a means of relieving their sore gums. The stages of teething in chow chows are as follows:
- Initial discomfort (3-4 months): During this stage, the puppy’s baby teeth start to loosen as the permanent teeth push through the gums. This can cause mild discomfort and a desire to chew on objects.
- Baby teeth shedding (4-6 months): The baby teeth gradually fall out as the permanent teeth emerge. It is common to find these small teeth around the house or in the dog’s toys during this stage.
- Gum sensitivity (6-7 months): The gums may become more sensitive and swollen as the remaining permanent teeth emerge. Chewing on appropriate toys can help alleviate the discomfort.
Types of Teeth
Chow chow teeth consist of different types, each serving a specific function. Understanding the different types of teeth can provide insights into the overall oral health and dietary needs of your chow chow. The types of teeth found in chow chows include:
- Incisors: These are the small, sharp teeth located at the front of the mouth. Chow chows have 12 incisors in total, 6 in the upper jaw and 6 in the lower jaw. Incisors are primarily used for grasping and grooming.
- Canines: Canines, also known as fangs, are the long, pointed teeth positioned on each side of the incisors. Chow chows have 4 canines, 2 in the upper jaw and 2 in the lower jaw. Canines aid in gripping and tearing food.
- Premolars: Premolars are situated behind the canines and are used for cutting and shearing food. Chow chows possess 16 premolars in total, 8 in each jaw.
- Molars: Molars are the flat, broad teeth found at the back of the mouth. They are responsible for grinding and crushing food. Chow chows have 10 molars, 4 in the upper jaw and 6 in the lower jaw.
Size of Chow Chow Teeth
Chow chow teeth vary in size depending on their location in the mouth. The incisors are the smallest teeth, designed for gripping and grooming. Canines are longer and more pointed, facilitating the tearing of food. Premolars and molars are larger and have broader surfaces to aid in the cutting, shearing, grinding and crushing of food.
Common Dental Issues in Chow Chows
While chow chows are generally healthy dogs, they can be prone to certain dental issues. Some common dental problems that chow chows may experience include:
- Dental decay: Improper dental hygiene can lead to the formation of plaque and tartar, which can cause tooth decay and cavities if left untreated.
- Gum disease: Accumulation of plaque and tartar can also lead to gum inflammation (gingivitis) and periodontal disease, which may result in tooth loss if not addressed promptly.
- Misalignment: Chow chows may be susceptible to dental misalignment, such as overcrowding or malocclusion (improper bite). These conditions can lead to difficulties in chewing, pain and increased risk of dental problems.
- Oral infections: Infections, such as oral abscesses or fungal infections, can occur in chow chow mouths if proper oral hygiene is neglected.
Signs That Your Chow Chow May Be Teething
During the teething process, chow chows may exhibit certain signs and behaviors. These signs can vary from mild to more pronounced discomfort. Some common indications that your chow chow is teething include:
- Chewing: Increased chewing on toys, objects, or even hands is a common way for chow chows to alleviate teething discomfort.
- Drooling: Excessive drooling may occur as the puppy’s mouth produces more saliva during the teething process.
- Swollen gums: You may notice redness and swelling of the gums in areas where new teeth are emerging.
- Loss of appetite: Teething can sometimes cause a temporary decrease in appetite or reluctance to eat due to gum soreness.
- Irritability: Your chow chow may appear more irritable or restless than usual during teething.
When Do Chow Chows Lose Their Baby Milk Teeth?
Chow chows typically start shedding their baby teeth around 4 to 6 months of age. The process continues gradually as the permanent teeth push through the gums, replacing the baby teeth. By the time chow chows reach 7 months old, they should have their full set of permanent teeth.
When Do Chow Chows Stop Teething?
Chow chows generally stop teething around 7 months of age when all their permanent teeth have fully erupted. However, the teething process may vary from dog to dog and some individuals may complete teething slightly earlier or later. It is crucial to monitor your chow chow’s teething progress and seek veterinary advice if you have concerns about the timing or any associated complications.
What Should You Do When Your Chow Chow is Teething?
When your chow chow is going through the teething process, it’s important to provide them with appropriate care and support to ease their discomfort and promote healthy oral development. Here are some key steps you can take to help your teething chow chow:
- Provide appropriate chew toys: Offer sturdy and safe chew toys specifically designed for teething puppies. Chew toys made of rubber or other durable materials can help soothe their gums and redirect chewing behavior from inappropriate items.
- Keep toys cool: Placing chew toys in the refrigerator can provide additional relief by numbing the gums slightly.
- Avoid hard or abrasive objects: Refrain from giving your chow chow hard bones, antlers, or abrasive chew toys that can damage their teeth or cause injury.
- Regularly inspect the mouth: Check your chow chow’s mouth regularly for signs of inflammation, sores, or retained baby teeth. If you notice any concerning issues, consult your veterinarian.
- Consult your veterinarian: If your chow chow seems to be experiencing severe discomfort, excessive bleeding, or if you have any concerns about their teething process, consult with your veterinarian for guidance and appropriate interventions.
Tips for Preventing Dental Issues in Chow Chows
Prevention is key when it comes to maintaining good dental health in your chow chow. Here are some tips to help prevent dental issues:
- Establish a dental hygiene routine: Start a regular dental hygiene routine early in your chow chow’s life. Brush their teeth using a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste recommended by your veterinarian.
- Provide a dental-friendly diet: Offer a balanced diet that promotes dental health. Dry kibble or dental-specific diets can help reduce plaque buildup.
- Monitor chew toy safety: Ensure the chew toys you provide are safe, durable and appropriate for your chow chow’s size and chewing habits. Avoid toys that are too hard or small, as they may pose a choking hazard or damage the teeth.
- Regular veterinary check-ups: Schedule regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your chow chow’s oral health, identify potential issues early on and receive professional dental cleanings if necessary.
- Promote chewing habits: Encourage appropriate chewing habits by providing chew toys and engaging in interactive play sessions that stimulate your chow chow’s natural chewing instincts.
By implementing these preventive measures, you can help ensure that your chow chow enjoys a healthy and pain-free dental life.
Understanding the intricacies of chow chow teeth is crucial for every responsible dog owner. By familiarizing yourself with their dental anatomy, teething stages, common dental issues and appropriate care, you can provide the best oral health support for your furry friend. Remember to prioritize regular dental check-ups, maintain a dental hygiene routine and seek professional advice when needed. Your chow chow’s radiant smile will be a testament to their overall well-being and happiness.