How Many Teeth Do Adult Dogs Have?
For centuries, dogs have always been very popular with humans, which explains why they are known as man’s best friend. They have been a part of the household for hundreds of years and continue to be even now.
Whatever their purpose, we can’t deny the fact that dogs play an essential role in our lives. They serve as security and most notably as pets for most animal lovers. They come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities – just like us humans! From herding dogs to sporting dogs, non-sporting, hounds and so on, there is a dog for every purpose and almost every person.
Most people are very aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy body through diet, exercise and so on. This maintenance is certainly not only for humans, it is critical for dogs also. A dog’s health is as vital as its usefulness, that is why it must remain a priority to all dog owners. One critical part of dogs that are not particularly well cared for are its teeth. Now let’s take a closer look at dog teeth and examine ways of keeping it healthy. When it comes to oral hygiene, your pooch’s teeth really do matter!
Dog Teeth – A Real Mouthful!
Every adult dog, quite literally has a mouth full of teeth. Dogs lose their puppy teeth and grow another 42 new teeth, which seems like quite a lot when compared to 32 teeth in humans. However, each and every tooth serves a purpose for eating, chewing, picking up things, biting, self defense, protection and attacking (if ever the need arises).
Dog teeth are made up of the molars, premolars, incisors, and canines, which all come together to form the standard foundation in the mouth of dogs. Here is a brief run through what these specific teeth do:
These are sharp, little teeth, right at the dogs frontal jaw. They are useful to dogs when picking up things such as toys and food. Talking about food, the incisors help in cutting and shredding food to make it easier to chew on. There are a total of 12 incisors in an adult dog – comprising of 6 in the upper jaw and 6 in the lower jaw.
Although there aren’t many canine teeth in a dog’s mouth, the ones they do have act as a tool for holding things or carrying things after they have been picked up. Just like our hands help us hold things, the canines (fangs) help dogs carry whatever they pick up. There are 4 of these in each adult dog with 2 each for both the upper and lower jaw.
These are the most sophisticated teeth in a dog’s mouth. They are basically for chewing, chewing, and more chewing! They serve as the grinding machine in the mouth of dogs. There are 8 in total in the mouth, made up of 4 in the upper jaw and 4 at the bottom.
These teeth are responsible for further chewing and breaking down of food prior to swallowing. They act as a more advanced chewing aid for dogs (for chewing hard foods like bones) and eases the food digestion process in dogs.
The adult dog teeth is noted for its strength when compared to its puppy teeth and even to human teeth. It is therefore imperative to keep it clean and healthy.
Your Dog’s Oral Hygiene – It’s More Important Than You Think
If you own a dog, you will know that it isn’t that easy to keep an eye on its oral hygiene all the time. Truthfully, it can be cumbersome to do so – as some dogs tend to be stubborn when you try to care for their teeth.
A dog’s teeth are just as important as any other part of its body. This is particularly true because of the multi-purpose functions that a dog’s mouth serves as mentioned earlier. Forget about talking and eating, just imagine if you had to use your mouth and teeth to work, clean up, protect yourself, pick things up, put them down, carry things along, the list in pretty exhaustive! Imagine the manner of items (clean and dirty) that would come in contact with your mouth, it’s quite awful to even think about. Now we can really appreciate just how important dental and oral hygiene is for dogs.
Every tooth in the mouth of a dog is instrumental. Dogs are also fond of chewing on things, which helps dogs exercise and strengthen their teeth, thereby keeping them in good shape.
Unlike humans (with 28 teeth at early stages and 32 as an adult), dogs start their lives having 28 teeth as puppies and then to 42 as adults. Puppy teeth are famous for their sharp nature of ripping through things out of curiosity. At this stage, it becomes crucial to start a healthy dental routine and lifestyle in order to grow strong, healthy teeth in the long run. Maintaining your dog’s dental hygiene early on means that you are reducing the likelihood for your dog to suffer from dental issues like tooth decay, cavities, bleeding gums, bad breath, ropey saliva and even tooth loss. So quite clearly, just like humans, dogs are also vulnerable to several dental problems, making it a must to maintain a healthy dental lifestyle.
The Vet – Your Best Bet!
As part of your dog’s dental hygiene routine, it is always advisable to see an experienced vet. You should aim to pay a visit to your vet at least once a year (or even twice if you have the chance) to ensure that your dog teeth are in tip top shape.
The vet is your best bet in making sure that your pooch’s mouth and teeth are in optimal condition. Your vet will provide treatments and medicines for your dog, and advise you of all the best dental hygiene practices to observe – some of which are listed here:
- Daily brushing of your dog’s teeth
Yes brushing your dog’s teeth is the way to go for long-term tooth preservation. Purchase dog-friendly toothpaste and brushes and regularly brush their teeth to keep then lovely and healthy.
- Eating healthy foods
Providing your dog with a healthy balanced doggie diet is as crucial to their teeth as it is to their entire body. Don’t be tempted to feed your dog with your leftovers or sweet snacks. Take time to do some research and make sure that the food you feed your dog really is the right one for him.
- Plaque prevention
Give your dog good quality dog chews to reduce the likelihood of plaque build-up.
- Regular oral check-ups with your vet
Your annual visit to the vet will provide you with the opportunity to foresee, treat and prevent any lurking dental problems. Your pooch will be forever grateful.
Indeed, regular exercise is a must for dogs – but one of the biggest keys to a happy healthy dog starts in their mouth. Their teeth are plentiful, with each tooth serving multiple purposes. Your dog needs all the attention it can get in order to maintain its oral hygiene. No effort is too small or too big. Start and establish a great dental hygiene routine early in your dog’s life. Every effort and investment you make into your dog’s dental routine will always reap great rewards and save you the cost of hefty vets bills as a result of major dental treatments, repairs or surgery.