A visit from the Tooth Fairy is an event most kids look forward to, but humans aren’t the only mammals with baby teeth — cats and dogs have them, too. Even if you’re a pet owner, chances are you’ve never asked yourself “Do dogs have baby teeth?” because they rarely cause issues. However, baby teeth can sometimes be a real pain in the neck — err, mouth.
Like humans, dogs and cats have baby teeth, also known as milk teeth, temporary teeth, or deciduous teeth. Puppers and kittens aren’t born with teeth; they won’t have a full set of baby chompers until they’re around two months old. Eventually, those baby teeth will come out to make room for the adult teeth.
Most pet owners won’t even notice their beloved puppies and kitties have lost their baby teeth because the tiny bones typically just fall into the food bowl or are swallowed. (Don’t worry, swallowing baby teeth is totally harmless for animals!)
How many baby teeth do dogs have? Puppies have 28 baby teeth, but they’ll have 42 teeth when they’re full-grown dogs. How many baby teeth do cats have? Kittens have 26 temporary teeth, while mature felines have 30 adult teeth. And, by comparison, how many teeth do humans have? We only have 32 adult teeth, give or take a few — which is surprising, given how much larger our mouths are than cats’ jaws.
Cats and dogs whose baby teeth don’t fall out before the adult teeth start pushing through may not so silently suffer through symptoms including pain and bad breath, which is caused by food getting stuck between the two teeth. If this happens to your pet, you may have to visit your vet to have him or her extract the baby tooth.
Monitor your pets for any sign that their teeth are causing pain — like bleeding gums, bad breath, vocalizing when they eat or yawn, or avoiding letting you pet their heads — to ensure your furry friends don’t suffer on account of their teeth. Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is key to guaranteeing your little fur children have a winning smile for years to come.