Are Dogs Born Without Teeth?

by Elizabeth Muirhead
While dogs aren't born with teeth, they typically have a mouthful by six months.

While dogs aren't born with teeth, they typically have a mouthful by six months.

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If your furry friend just popped out a litter of puppies, don’t worry about them chewing on your stuff for the first few weeks. Puppies generally don’t have teeth until they are 3 weeks old. Their baby teeth are typically done erupting at six weeks.

Deciduous Teeth

Most puppies have 28 deciduous teeth fully erupted when they are six to eight weeks old. Puppies have six incisors, two canines, and six premolars on the top and bottom. Around age 12 weeks, puppies start to get their adult teeth. By age 6 to 7 months, all adult teeth have erupted, 42 teeth in all. As the adult teeth erupt, the baby teeth tend to fall out.

Special Considerations

Some puppies -- typically small-breed dogs or short-nosed breeds -- are more likely to retain baby teeth than other breeds. These teeth often need extraction to prevent dental disease or alignment problems. This process typically occurs under anesthesia. You should monitor your puppy when he's chewing on objects. Deciduous teeth are fragile and easy to break, which can cause pain as well as infection.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Elizabeth Muirhead is a practicing veterinarian with an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. She has real-world experience with the husbandry, grooming, training and feeding a variety of household pets.

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