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Your dog’s teeth

A pup is born toothless. Just as in humans, puppies will first develop their baby teeth (milk teeth). These will later be replaced by permanent adult dog teeth.

dog teeth

The baby teeth of a puppy

When puppies are about 3 weeks old, their baby teeth will normally start to appear. Pups need their baby teeth to process solid food. A puppy also needs to learn how to use its teeth; they need to know how hard they can bite. When they are still young, they learn to do so by biting their brothers and sisters. If they bite too hard, a reaction will follow. A puppy also uses his teeth to examine things, as they do not have hands to hold things with.

When do puppies lose their teeth?

Between 13 and 21 weeks your pup will start losing its teeth. First the incisors are lost, then the canine teeth and lastly the molars. Most puppies have changed all teeth around the age of 7 months. The age at which a puppy will lose its baby teeth varies depending on the breed and size of your dog. Large breeds usually lose their milk teeth earlier than smaller breeds.

Overview dog teeth
Tooth type Formation baby teeth Changing period
Incisors Between 3-4 weeks of age 3-5 months of age
Canine teeth Between 3-5 weeks of age 5-7 months of age
Premolars Between 4-12 weeks of age 4-6 months of age
Molars 4-7 months of age

Adult dog teeth

The teeth of adult dogs consists of 42 elements, which include:

  • 12 incisors, 6 in the upper jaw and 6 in the lower jaw
  • 4 canine teeth, 2 in the upper jaw and 2 in the lower jaw
  • 16 premolars, 8 in the upper jaw and 8 in the lower jaw
  • 10 molars, 4 in the upper jaw and 6 in the lower jaw

Function of your dog’s teeth

Dogs are traditional carnivores. The teeth have incisors to gnaw the meat off bones. The canine teeth are to grab a prey. The molars are used to tear off the meat and to hold it. The adult teeth have 2 types of molars, being the premolars and the molars. These molars are not present as baby teeth.

Caring for your dog’s teeth

Just like your own teeth, it is important to take care of your dog’s teeth. The best way to do this is by brushing your dog’s teeth. Check our website for a complete product overview of dental care for dogs. More information about dental care for dogs can be read in the article National Pet Dental Health Month.