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How Many Teeth Do Shiba Inus Have?

Shiba Inus, like most adult dogs, have a total of 42 teeth. These teeth are divided between their upper and lower jaws. The dental formula for adult Shiba Inus is as follows:

  • Incisors: 6 upper and 6 lower incisors
  • Canines: 2 upper and 2 lower canines
  • Premolars: 8 upper and 8 lower premolars
  • Molars: 4 upper and 4 lower molars

Types of Teeth

Shiba Inus, like all dogs, have different types of teeth, each serving specific functions. Understanding these types will give you insight into their oral anatomy and how they use their teeth. The types of teeth found in Shiba Inus are:

  • Incisors: These are the small, flat teeth located at the front of the mouth. Shiba Inus have six upper and six lower incisors, which are used for picking up and grooming objects.
  • Canines: The canines, also known as “fangs,” are the long, pointed teeth located on either side of the incisors. Shiba Inus have two upper and two lower canines, which are used for grasping, tearing and holding objects.
  • Premolars: Shiba Inus possess eight premolars on each side of their mouth. Premolars have a flat surface with multiple cusps, enabling them to chew and grind food effectively.
  • Molars: Located behind the premolars, Shiba Inus have four molars on each side of their mouth. Molars have a larger surface area and multiple cusps, facilitating the grinding and crushing of food.

Teething Stages

Shiba Inu puppies go through various teething stages as their adult teeth start to emerge. Understanding these stages will help you provide appropriate care during this crucial period. The teething stages are as follows:

  • Deciduous Teeth: Shiba Inu puppies are born without teeth, but their deciduous (baby) teeth begin to emerge around 2 to 4 weeks of age. By 6 to 8 weeks, they usually have a full set of deciduous teeth.
  • Permanent Teeth Eruption: Around 3 to 4 months of age, Shiba Inus start to lose their deciduous teeth as their permanent teeth begin to erupt. This process continues until they have their full set of adult teeth, usually by 6 to 8 months of age.

Common Dental Issues in Shiba Inus

Maintaining good dental health is crucial for Shiba Inus. Failure to do so can lead to various dental issues. Common dental problems observed in Shiba Inus include:

  • Dental Plaque: Plaque is a sticky film that forms on the teeth due to the accumulation of bacteria. If not removed regularly, it can harden into tartar and lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Tartar Buildup: Tartar, also known as dental calculus, is a hardened form of plaque that cannot be removed through regular brushing. Tartar buildup can cause gum inflammation, bad breath and tooth loss if left untreated.
  • Gum Disease: Periodontal disease, or gum disease, occurs when bacteria invade the gums and surrounding tissues. It can result in redness, swelling, bleeding and eventually, tooth loss if not addressed.
  • Tooth Decay: Shiba Inu teeth can develop cavities, just like human teeth. Tooth decay is caused by the breakdown of the tooth enamel due to acid-producing bacteria.

What Should You Do When Your Shiba Inu Is Teething?

During the teething phase, your Shiba Inu may experience discomfort and exhibit certain behaviors. To help alleviate their discomfort and protect their oral health, consider the following tips:

  • Provide Appropriate Chew Toys: Offer safe and durable chew toys specifically designed for teething puppies. These toys can help soothe their gums and provide a positive outlet for their chewing instincts.
  • Maintain Oral Hygiene: Start a regular oral hygiene routine early by gently brushing your Shiba Inu’s teeth using a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. This will help prevent plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Offer Relief for Discomfort: You can provide relief by offering cool, but not frozen, chew toys or placing wet washcloths in the freezer and letting your Shiba Inu chew on them.
  • Supervise Chewing Activities: Keep an eye on your teething Shiba Inu to prevent them from chewing on inappropriate items, such as furniture or electrical cords, which can cause damage and injury.

Tips for Preventing Dental Issues in Shiba Inus

Prevention is key to maintaining good dental health in Shiba Inus. Follow these tips to minimize the risk of dental problems:

  • Regular Teeth Brushing: Brush your Shiba Inu’s teeth using a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste formulated for dogs. Aim for daily brushing to remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup.
  • Professional Dental Cleanings: Schedule regular professional dental cleanings with your veterinarian. These cleanings help remove tartar and plaque that regular brushing may not fully eliminate.
  • Balanced Diet: Feed your Shiba Inu a balanced diet that promotes good oral health. Consider incorporating dental-specific treats or dental chews recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Routine Veterinary Dental Check-ups: Schedule routine dental check-ups with your veterinarian to assess your Shiba Inu’s oral health and address any potential issues early on.

Proper dental care is crucial for maintaining the overall health and well-being of Shiba Inus. Understanding the number of teeth, teething stages, types and size of their teeth helps us provide appropriate dental care and identify potential dental issues.

Shiba Inu Teeth – How Many, Teething Stages, Types & Size