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How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have?

Dogs have two sets of teeth: primary teeth, also known as milk teeth and adult teeth. Puppies are born without teeth, but their milk teeth start coming in at around three to four weeks of age. By the time puppies are six to eight weeks old, they should have a full set of 28 milk teeth. These teeth will eventually fall out, making way for the adult teeth.

Adult dogs have 42 teeth, which are composed of incisors, canines, premolars and molars. The number of teeth a dog has can vary based on breed. For example, smaller breeds like Chihuahuas and Toy Poodles may have fewer teeth than larger breeds like Great Danes and Saint Bernards.

Types of Teeth

Dogs have four types of teeth, each with a specific function.

  1. Incisors: These are the small teeth located at the front of the mouth. Dogs have 12 incisors, six on the top and six on the bottom. They are used for gripping and biting.
  2. Canines: Canines are the long, pointed teeth located on either side of the incisors. Dogs have four canines, two on the top and two on the bottom. They are used for tearing and holding onto prey.
  3. Premolars: Premolars are located between the canines and molars and are used for cutting and shearing. Dogs have 16 premolars, eight on the top and eight on the bottom.
  4. Molars: Molars are the large teeth located at the back of the mouth. Dogs have 10 molars, four on the top and six on the bottom. They are used for grinding and crushing food.

How Big Are Dog Teeth?

The size of dog teeth can vary based on breed and age. Smaller breeds tend to have smaller teeth, while larger breeds have larger teeth. The size of the teeth also depends on their function. For example, a dog’s canines will be larger if they are used for hunting and killing prey.

In comparison to human teeth, dog teeth are generally sharper and more pointed, with thicker enamel. This is due to their carnivorous nature and the need to rip and tear meat.

Do Dogs Lose Their Teeth?

Yes, dogs lose their teeth just like humans do. As mentioned earlier, puppies lose their milk teeth as they grow and develop adult teeth. This process usually starts around three to four months of age and continues until they are around six months old. During this time, you may notice your puppy chewing on things more than usual and exhibiting signs of discomfort, such as drooling and whining.

Teething Stages

Teething is a gradual process that can last several months. It can be uncomfortable for puppies, so it’s essential to provide them with relief during this time. There are three stages of teething:

  1. The first stage is when the puppy’s incisors start to come in, which occurs at around three to four weeks of age.
  2. The second stage is when the premolars start to come in, which occurs at around four to five months of age.
  3. The third and final stage is when the molars come in , which occurs at around five to seven months of age. During this stage, your puppy may experience the most discomfort, as these teeth are larger and take longer to come in.

How Much Do Teeth Differ from Breed to Breed?

The size and shape of dog teeth can vary significantly between breeds. For example, Greyhounds and Whippets have very small teeth, while Mastiffs and Great Danes have large, powerful teeth. The number of teeth can also vary. Smaller breeds may have fewer teeth than larger breeds.

Dental issues can also be more common in certain breeds. Breeds with flat faces, such as Bulldogs and Pugs, may be more prone to dental problems due to their unique facial structure, which can cause overcrowding and misalignment of teeth.

Signs That Your Dog May Be Teething

Teething can be uncomfortable for puppies and they may exhibit signs of discomfort during this time. Here are some signs that your puppy may be teething:

  • Chewing on everything: Puppies may chew on anything they can get their paws on to relieve discomfort.
  • Drooling: Teething can cause excessive drooling in puppies.
  • Irritability: Puppies may be more irritable than usual during the teething process.
  • Loss of appetite: Puppies may be less interested in food when they are teething.
  • Bleeding gums: As teeth come in, they can irritate the gums, causing them to bleed.

What Should You Do When Your Dog is Teething?

If you have a teething puppy, there are several things you can do to provide them with relief. Here are some tips:

  • Provide chew toys: Give your puppy safe chew toys to chew on, such as rubber toys, Kongs and ropes. Avoid giving them hard items like bones, which can damage their teeth.
  • Ice cubes: Give your puppy ice cubes to chew on to numb their gums and relieve pain.
  • Frozen treats: Freeze some wet dog food or yogurt in ice cube trays and give your puppy the frozen treats to chew on.
  • Supervision: Supervise your puppy at all times to ensure they don’t chew on anything they shouldn’t.

Common Dental Issues in Dogs

Dental issues are common in dogs and can cause significant health problems if left untreated. Here are some of the most common dental issues in dogs:

  • Gum disease: Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque & tartar on the teeth and can lead to tooth loss and other health problems.
  • Tooth decay: Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth and can cause pain, infection and tooth loss.
  • Oral tumours: Oral tumours can develop on the gums, tongue, or other areas of the mouth and can be cancerous or noncancerous.
  • Malocclusion: Malocclusion is a misalignment of the teeth, which can cause discomfort, pain and difficulty eating.

Tips for Preventing Dog Dental Issues

Preventing dental issues in dogs is essential for their overall health & well-being. Here are some tips to keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy:

  • Brush their teeth: Regular brushing can help prevent plaque buildup and keep teeth clean. Use a dog-specific toothpaste and brush their teeth at least two to three times a week.
  • Provide dental chews and toys: Chewing on dental chews and toys can help remove plaque and tartar from the teeth.
  • Feed a balanced diet: Feeding your dog a balanced diet can help prevent dental issues by providing the nutrients they need for healthy teeth & gums.
  • Regular dental check-ups: Schedule regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian to ensure your dog’s teeth and gums are healthy.
  • Avoid feeding table scraps: Feeding your dog table scraps can increase the risk of dental issues and other health problems.

Dental health is an important aspect of your dog’s overall health & well-being. Understanding the anatomy of dog teeth, when they lose their teeth and the types of teeth they have can help you take better care of your furry friend. By following the tips in this article, you can help prevent dental issues and ensure your dog’s teeth & gums are healthy.

Teeth Information by Breed

Are you looking for dental information on a particular breed? See below for detailed teeth write-ups on all of the most popular breeds.

Dog Teeth – How Many, When Do They Lose Them, Types, Teething & Size