February is National Pet Dental Health Month! Today we're going to go over some of our most frequently asked questions as veterinarians. Those being when do the teeth emerge, i.e. how old is this dog? And number two, how many teeth does a dog or a cat have?
When Do Dogs Get Their Permanent Teeth?
I'm only talking about permanent, not deciduous teeth. They will have their permanent teeth start to emerge at about four months old. They will typically start with the incisors here on the top center and lower about the same time, but they'll get these guys at about four months. The middle incisors or second in size come in at about four and a half, and then the third one's closer to five. Typically your bigger teeth on the sides and back - your canines and some of your earlier premolars - will start coming in usually closer to six months and then shortly after six...they may even flirt with seven months. Your bigger premolars and molars will actually finish filling in then. So to summarize, dogs start getting their permanents at about four months and then all of them should be emerged by closer to six... seven at the latest.
How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have?
If they erupt all of their permanent dentition, an adult dog should have a total of 42 teeth. It's a good bit more than you and me, but they have a total of 42. Cats have a good bit less. An adult cat is only going to have 30 teeth if they all emerge and the dating is just about the same on a cat as to when they erupt. We get a lot of questions like "Hey, I just found this stray dog. How do I know how old he is?" With those guys, again, if they're in that four to the seven-month range, I can usually get pretty accurate as to their age. And if they're before you can get a good guess because of the size of the dog. Anything beyond that seven or so month, it gets tough to know exactly. That's when you're here us say, "Oh, they're about a, I don't know, a year, year and a half." It's hard to get an exact number.
That's it, in a nutshell! Stay tuned, next week we're going to talk about preventative measures for your pet's dental health care. If you goofed and didn't use preventative measures, we're also going to talk about the dental services we offer here, at The Waggin' Train.
To schedule an appointment click here or call (337) 223-9581