If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how many teeth dogs have, wonder no more. In general terms, an adult dog has 42 teeth. I say “in general”, because this can vary depending on the breed, but usually, it’s 42, as follows;
12 incisor teeth, 4 canine teeth, 16 premolar teeth and 10 molar teeth.
How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have – What Each Set is for
The incisors are the small, sharp teeth at the very front of the dog’s mouth – there are six in the upper jaw and six in the lower jaw. If you’ve ever seen a dog strip a bone completely clean of every scrap of meat by tearing it off, it’s the incisor teeth that get the job done.
They’re also the teeth a dog will use when he grooms himself – when you see him biting at his coat, he’s using his incisor teeth to help get rid of burrs and fleas, etc. If you notice that your dog is regularly biting at his skin in this way, it could be an indication that he has a skin irritation, so do take a closer look for yourself, or get it checked out by your veterinarian.
Also known as ‘fangs’, the canine teeth are used for biting into things – these are the teeth which have the ability to pierce or break stuff. There are two canine teeth in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw, located at either side of the incisor teeth.
Give your dog a chew toy, and it’s the premolar teeth that will get to work on it first. There are 16 of these teeth, eight in the upper jaw and eight in the lower jaw, located behind the canines.
Give a dog a bone and it’s the molar teeth that will do all the work. These teeth are used for chewing, and breaking apart, hard items such as bones. Even in a small dog, the molars are very powerful and can make short work of bones and hard biscuits or chews. There are 10 molars in total; two are located on either side of the top jaw and three on either side of the lower jaw.
How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have – Puppy Teeth
When a puppy is born, it doesn’t have a tooth in its head – they won’t start appearing until he’s around two or three weeks old.
The teeth will keep coming until he has a full set of puppy teeth, of which there are only 28. As the puppy grows, he will start to lose these teeth as the adult teeth come through and push them out, making way for the full set of 42.