Even though most dogs today are domesticated and grow up on commercial dog food, they still have the same teeth their wild ancestors had. Dog teeth are also very similar to human teeth, with a few main differences. It is important for dog owners to learn about these differences in order to be able to keep their dog’s teeth and gums healthy. Good dental health is an important part of good overall health and wellness.
Types of Teeth
Just like their human counterparts, dogs have “baby” teeth, which fall out and get replaced by permanent teeth.
The second set of teeth, which start coming in at about four months of age, include incisors for nibbling, canine for piercing, premolars for biting, and molars for crushing.
The first set of teeth starts to come in at about 6 weeks of age and does not include any molars since puppies are not strong enough for crushing bones at such a young age.
Puppies of most breeds have 28 teeth, which fall out and replaced with about 42 adult teeth.
If you have had a puppy in your home during the teething stage, you know all about damaged shoes, torn clothing, and broken items. Puppies do this because they are in pain from teething. They may start chewing on things before four months of age out of curiosity, but the chewing really picks up around the four month mark when their gums start bothering them as teeth start pushing through.
It is highly recommended that dog owners keep shoes and other clothing off of the floor or in closets. Puppies do not understand that chewing on these items is wrong. They simply want the pain to subside. Dog owners may also try buying special puppy chew toys that are made for teething dogs.
Examining Dog Teeth
There are many reasons you might need to get inside a dog’s mouth. For example, the dog needs to take pills, has something stuck in his teeth or mouth, or to clean dirty teeth. However, most dogs do not enjoy or want to allow anyone to get inside their mouths.
Train your dog to open his or her mouth on command. You can do this in a few simple steps and repetition.
1. With your right hand, take a firm but gentle grasp of your dog’s muzzle. Place your thumb behind the dog’s left canine tooth (the big sharp one).
2. Hold your dog steady with your left hand.
3. Now push your thumb into your dog’s mouth behind that canine tooth and say the command, “Open.”
4. Give your dog a treat and some words of encouragement.
5. Repeat this process 3 to 4 times a day until your dog does this command properly each time.
Learning about your dog’s teeth will allow you to be better prepared in case something happens to your dog’s teeth or gums.
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About the author:
Kayleigh has always loved animals and has spent time volunteering at the local dog shelter. The love of her life is her four year old Rottweiler, Lizzie. She enjoys writing for YeePet.com since it combines her love of animals with one of her favor...