How Many Teeth do Dogs Have? Plus 5 Dental Care Tips

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While you may know a lot about your dog, a lot of people have questions about their pet’s teeth. In this article we’ll answer some of the most common questions about dog’s teeth:

You have questions, we have answers…

How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have?

Dogs have 42 permanent teeth. Whereas, humans have 32 permanent teeth not accounting for wisdom teeth. As puppies, dogs have 28 teeth [1]. Whereas, human counterparts only have 20.

Do Dogs Lose Their Baby Teeth?

Dogs do in fact have baby teeth and they begin to lose them anywhere up till they are around 16 weeks old [2]. By this time, puppies will have lost all their baby teeth and the permanent teeth will be in place.

Do You Have to Care For Dogs Teeth?

a golden retriever sitting in a meadow

A common misconception with dogs is assuming that you don’t have to brush and care for them. The fact is, your dog needs to get their teeth cared for if you want them to be completely healthy [3].

The root of a lot of diseases stems from dental health in both humans and dogs. Dogs are meant to eat a diet consisting primarily of meat.

Because of this, a diet of dry dog food that contains a lot of processed foods and fillers is likely to cause your dog’s teeth to need manual cleanings.

While cavities are rare in dogs, they do happen. Dogs typically don’t have a diet that is full in sugar and the shape of the teeth along with the differences in the bacteria in the mouth make it unusual. However, dogs do develop gum disease regularly.

Top Tips for Caring for Your Dogs Teeth

No matter what kind of dog you have, you should be regularly caring for your dog’s teeth. You want to brush your dog’s teeth on a daily basis.

This is especially true considering dogs weren’t designed to consume a diet full of dry and processed dog food. Both large and small breeds can end up developing a variety of different kinds of oral problems including gum disease.

Having too much dental plaque and tartar buildup on a dog’s teeth can ultimately result in the weakening of the tooth structure and even permanent tooth loss.

If your dog’s breath constantly smells bad, your dog likely suffers from gum disease as their mouth is full of bad bacteria and plaque buildup. A healthy mouth shouldn’t smell bad.

1. Check Your Dogs Teeth And Gums

You can generally tell whether or not your dog is suffering from plaque build-up and gum issues. The best way to tell is by checking their mouth and looking for the signs.

If your dog has bleeding gums when you brush his/her teeth or even if they have brown or discoloring of their teeth, they are likely dealing with severe plaque buildup and the early stages of gum disease.

Some of the most well-known symptoms of gum disease are receding gums, excessive drooling, bad breath, and tooth loss. Therefore, you should take your dog to the vet to get them checked on if they exhibit one or more of these symptoms.

2. Professional Cleanings

It can be very difficult to maintain optimal oral hygiene care for your dog. After all, no dog is going to enjoy having a toothbrush shoved down their mouths. Therefore, you will want to be certain that you are investing in professional dental cleanings for your dog at least once per year.

Getting professional cleaning is going to be important to get rid of plaque and tartar buildup. Like your own teeth, you won’t be able to remove these things with regular brushing.

Therefore, it’s recommended to have professional cleanings done.

3. Invest in Healthy Mouth Chew Treats

Another good thing that you can do to improve your dog’s oral health would be to invest in healthy chew treats for your dog. Getting various chew treats that are designed to get rid of excess plaque and tartar can be beneficial to keeping your dog’s mouth healthy.

While it is not going to be enough on its own, it will help to remove some of the plaque on your dog’s teeth and along the gums.

4. Chew Toys

Another good thing that you will want to do is invest in chew toys for your dog. There are all kinds of good chew toys that can make for a much healthier mouth.

Not all of the chew toys that you find on the marketplace are designed to help benefit the oral health of your dogs, however. Typically, you want to avoid any chew toy that could result in permanent damage to your dog’s teeth.

Instead, you want to get the chew toys that are designed to help your dog’s teeth that are made up of material like nylon or rubber.

5. Dental X-Rays

As you would for yourself, it is important to get x-rays taken regularly [4]. This will allow your veterinarian to spot potential issues that lie underneath their gum line.

Along with this, it can help them spot any problems that can be dealt with sooner rather than later to avoid issues that could crop up in the future. Getting x-rays is a great way to keep your dog’s teeth as healthy as possible.


Overall, there is a lot that you want to be aware of when it comes to your dog’s teeth. While dog’s teeth are typically less prone to cavities than human teeth, you still need to take the same routine steps to care for them.

Dog’s teeth, like human teeth, do not grow back. Therefore, if your dog loses his or her teeth, they are gone for good.

By taking the right steps to properly care for and maintain your dog’s teeth and oral health, you should be able to ensure that your dog doesn’t suffer from gum disease or tooth loss as a result of a lack of care.


  1. Alexandra Anastasio, Dog Dental Care: How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have? American Kennel Club. Retrieved from
  2. Matt Soniak, Puppy Teeth: Everything You Need to Know, PetMD. Retrieved at
  3. Essential Tips to Care for Your Pet’s Teeth, Vet Street. Retrieved from
  4. Jan Bellows, DVM, The Importance of Dental X-rays in Dogs, VCA Hospitals. Retrieved from

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