There’s nothing quite like the sight of a dog yawning. The flatting of the ears, the tightly shut eyes, and then the mouth opens to its full and impressive size before chomping back shut, and all returning to normal. When that mouth is open though, we get to see a dog’s set of teeth and they certainly are an impressive collection of gnashers and nibblers. But how many teeth are there in your dog’s gob? Just so that you don’t have to annoy your dog by counting them yourself, we’ve done it for you – let’s take a closer look.
All the better to eat you with
One of the first things you’ll notice about a dog’s teeth is that they are all quite pointy and sharp – even the molars at the back have a pronounced jaggedness to them. After all, there is a very good reason we call our own pointy teeth ‘canines’. This is because the ancestor of a dog is a wolf – and wolves are very much carnivores, so a layout of predominantly sharp and pointy teeth is ideal for a meat-eating diet.
Anyone who has owned a puppy will tell you that their teeth are like little razors and incredibly sharp, but when do these first appear? Well, across all breeds of dogs, a puppy will start getting their milk teeth coming through at around two weeks old. Thankfully, they make far less of a fuss about it compared to human babies, so you likely won’t notice any changes in them until they give you an experimental nip and then you’ll know all about it.
There are 28 milk teeth in a young dog’s mouth and they are all fully grown in in about 8-10 weeks from when they first appear. These teeth are extra sharp to help with chewing, but thanks to the short amount of time it takes for a dog to reach maturity, these milk teeth don’t hang around for very long. In less than a year (more likely 9 months-ish) your dog will have replaced all of those puppy teeth with their adult teeth.
And when all of those adult teeth are in, you’ll be able to count a whopping 42 of them in your pooch’s smile. These are divided up as follows:
- 12 Incisors – great for chopping through food
- 4 canines – great for ripping food apart
- 16 premolars – those are the jagged ones that can grip, rip and chew
- 10 molars – that do the heavy-duty chewing
This set up comes from a dog’s ancestors; wolves. And modern wolves do indeed also share the trait of having 42 teeth in the above configuration.
In order to ensure that your dog keeps hold of their 42 teeth for as long as possible, they need to take care of their grill, just as much as we humans do. Pick up some of our dental chews today to give them a helping hand.