Canine Dental Anatomy
Canine Dental Anatomy
Canine Dental Anatomy

Canine dental anatomy


Are you wondering when your pup’s teeth are due to fall out? Want to know how many teeth your dog will have? If so, you’re not alone. Check out our dog dental anatomy guide to find the answers to both these questions and more.

Types of tooth

Just like humans, dogs have a number of different types of teeth. These different teeth perform different jobs and help dogs to break down food whilst chewing. Every dog has the following types of teeth in their mouth:


Incisors are the small teeth found at the front of a dog’s mouth. They are used for scraping, as their shape makes them ideal for trying to scrape meat from bones. Dogs also use their incisors when grooming themselves. Dogs often try to remove fleas and ticks by nibbling at their coat and using their incisors to pick out and kill parasites.


Canines are the long and pointed teeth found towards the front of your dog’s mouth, behind its incisors. These teeth are used for tearing food such as meat apart. They are also used to lock on to an item a dog may have in its mouth, such as a bone or chew toy. Dogs grow four canine teeth, two on both the bottom and upper jaw.


Pre-molars are the sharp-edged teeth found behind a dog’s canines. They are usually used to chew and shred any food a dog may be eating. You may notice your dog chewing a meaty bone with the side of their mouth; this is so their pre-molars shred the meat away from the bone.


Molars are used to break down any hard foods that your dog has to chew. This includes dry dog kibble and tough dog biscuits. These molars are found behind a dog’s pre-molars, and they are the furthest teeth back in a dog’s jaw.

Canine Dental Chart

Now you know what kind of teeth your dog has, why not take a look at where each one sits in your dog’s mouth. You can do this using our canine dental chart below:

canine dental anatomy infographic

When do puppies start teething?

All mammals have to go through a teething stage; this includes both you and your puppy. Unlike humans, puppies begin to start teething at around 16 weeks of age. This means their milk teeth will begin to fall out and new adult teeth will begin to poke through.

Once the teething process begins do not be surprised if your dog is chewing everything is sight. This kind of behaviour is completely normal. We recommend you provide your dog with plenty of chew toys throughout this period and praise them for using them.

When do puppies lose their teeth?

It usually takes around 4 months for puppies to go through the whole process of teething. By the age of 7-8 months your puppy should have grown all of their adult teeth, if their not all there yet try not to worry too much. However, if it gets to 9 months and there are still some adult teeth missing we advise you contact your vet. They will be able to access your dog’s mouth and find out if their mouth needs any dental work.

How many teeth does a dog have?

Most dogs have the same number of teeth. However, they will have a different number of adult teeth compared to a puppy. Pups will usually have a total of 28 teeth when all of their milk teeth have grown. That’s 14 in their upper jaw and 14 in their lower jaw.

Once a dog has reached adulthood they will have a whole new set of teeth and a different number of them. An adult dog should have 42 teeth in total: that’s 20 on top of their jaw and 22 on the bottom. If your adult dog does have fewer teeth than 42 it could be because they have lost or broken a tooth. This usually happens through carrying items in their mouth they can’t break, such as stones or thick sticks. If you have noticed your dog has a tooth broken or missing, we advise you contact your vet who should be able to help.

If you’re looking for a healthy way to help keep your dog’s teeth clean consider a delicious dental chew treat such as Purina Dentalife. Each chew stick is not only a tasty treat, but it also helps to keep dogs’ teeth clean. For more information about Dentalife and its health benefits check out our products. If you’re looking for more information about a dog’s dental health take a look at our dental care page.


What is DentaLife?

Purina® DentaLife® is innovative daily treat that cleans as your dog chews for healthy teeth and gums and fresh breath