How Many Teeth Does An Adult Dog Have? Spoiler: It’s More Than You Think!
If you’ve ever taken a really good look at your doggo’s chompers, you’ve probably found yourself wondering, “How many teeth does an adult dog have?”
It's a great question with a fascinating answer! Have you ever noticed that dog teeth look very different than our own teeth? It’s with good reason: your pup’s pearly whites have been highly specialized over years of doggy evolution. It’s no accident that dogs have those sharp, fierce-looking canines!
Let's take a look at adult dog teeth and everything you wanted to know about your pup's chompers.
So, How Many Teeth Does An Adult Dog Have?
Surprisingly, adult dogs have 42 permanent teeth — a full 10 teeth more than the human average of 32 (not including wisdom teeth)!
Also notable: puppies have 28 baby teeth, while human babies have 20 baby teeth. That's a whole lot of chompers! What does it all mean?
Here’s everything you should know about adult dog teeth. Still have questions? Drop us a line in the Dog Pack forums!
The Evolution Of Adult Dog Teeth
Modern dogs are closely related to ancient wolves. These ancestors were carnivores, and your pup’s chompers evolved to better chew and tear through meat. That’s right — your best friend Taco was once a powerful, carnivorous wolf!
As dogs evolved, their jaws and teeth evolved to crush bones in order to reach nutrient-rich bone marrow. As biting power increased, their overall size and strength increased, too. That added size and strength made it easier for early canines to chase down and overpower their prey!
Today, our dogs are omnivores. They eat wet and dry foods that contain plant material (and you can even make your own dog food in a slow cooker). But their mighty teeth remain as a reminder that doggos weren’t always the domesticated BFFs we know and love.
Once, they were mighty creatures who had to hunt for their meals … and today, we love to spoil them silly.
How Do You Take Care Of Adult Dog Teeth?
Dogs don’t regrow teeth. Like humans, once they lose a tooth, it’s gone forever. This is why it’s essential that you keep an eye on your pup’s dental health. Dogs can get cavities and gum disease, just like people!
To help your dog keep their pearly whites, make a habit out of brushing your dog’s teeth at least once per week (although every day is ideal). If your dog can’t even handle the sight of a toothbrush, consider one or all of these alternatives:
- Once per year, take your dog to the vet for a professional dental cleaning under anesthesia with an oral x-ray
- Give your dog treats that encourage the mechanical scrubbing of their teeth, like vet-approved chew toys and treats (like carrots, but not almonds)
- Regularly rinse your dog’s teeth with an antimicrobial rinse to kill pathogenic bacteria
- Look inside your dog’s mouth once per week to make sure everything looks (and smells) healthy
If anything looks or smells strange, schedule a visit to your vet. How do you take care of your pup’s teeth? Let us know in the comments!