When our pets lose their teeth, it can leave us wondering, “do dogs’ teeth grow back?” Tooth loss is something many pet parents will face at some point whether it’s during the dreaded teething phase when no shoe is safe or later in life when our older dogs may suffer from dental disease and tooth decay.
So what do we know about dog teeth and how they regenerate? Can you expect your pup’s teeth to grow back?
Do Dog’s Teeth Grow Back?
Adult dogs cannot regrow teeth after they lose them. If an injury or disease causes your dog’s tooth to fall out or if your dog’s tooth is extracted, it’s gone for good. However, you can consider doggy dentures if missing teeth is affecting your dog’s quality of life.
Still, this is one of many reasons we must prioritize caring for our dog’s teeth, such as by adding a good doggy mouth rinse to their drinking water. Read more on how to take care of your dog’s mouth.
However, dogs do lose their teeth when they are puppies, just like humans do. But first, let’s look at why dogs may lose their teeth.
Common Reasons Dogs Lose Teeth
All dogs will lose their teeth when teething, but as adults, several factors can lead to a dog permanently losing a tooth:
- An injury or trauma can damage or knock a tooth out. This could happen during play, a hard fall, or even if a dog eats or bites something hard.
- Dogs who developed the habit of chewing on rocks, or have particularly strong bites playing tug, often lose a tooth.
- Dental problems and disease are perhaps the second most common reason dogs lose teeth. This is particularly true for small dog breeds, such as toy Poodles or Miniature Schnauzers, who have overcrowded mouths and often start losing lose molars by the age of eight. However, most dogs have gum disease and periodontitis by the time they turn three. This means that vets often have to extract teeth.
Remember that dogs do not naturally lose teeth as they age. If your old dog’s teeth are falling out, do not ignore it as it means they were injured or have a serious periodontal disease and need scaling and other treatment.
Do Dogs Have Baby Teeth?
Yes, puppies have milk teeth just like humans. They are born without teeth, and their tiny, needle-sharp teeth usually start appearing at 3.5 weeks. This is when the mom will grow uncomfortable nursing them, and the weaning will begin.
To encourage mom to keep feeding them, they will lick her face. To read more about this, see our articles “why do dogs lick each other’s mouths?” and “do dogs like being kissed?“
Young puppies will grow 28 primary teeth. These are their “deciduous teeth,” also called the baby or milk teeth. Their milk teeth will have finished coming in at roughly eight weeks.
When Do Puppies Start Losing Their Teeth?
Puppies begin losing their milk or baby teeth at roughly three months. During the puppy teething timeline, you should first see the loss of their front teeth or incisors between 3 and 4 months old.
At four months, the canines fall out, and finally, between 5 and 6 months, a puppy will lose their molars. During this period, a puppy will lose 28 baby teeth and gain 42 adult teeth. A dog’s adult teeth are also called secondary or permanent teeth.
Do Puppies Lose Teeth At 5 Months?
Yes, at five months, puppies should have nearly regrown their canines, and their front adult incisors should be fully grown. During the five to six-month period, their back molars should be falling and growing. This is one of the most challenging periods when puppies will likely chew the most.
Do Puppies Lose Their Canine Teeth?
Yes, puppies lose their canine baby teeth at roughly four months. This can differ slightly depending on breed, but if you are unsure how old a puppy is, you can use the following guide:
- Open eyes but no teeth: 10 days to 3.5 weeks old
- Full set of milk teeth: 6 weeks to 3 months old
- Losing front teeth (incisors): 3 to 4 months old
- Losing canines: 4 to 5 months old
- Losing molars: 5 to 6 months old.
Remember, it can take up to 9 months for a dog to grow a full set of permanent teeth, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore broken or missing teeth, in case of injury.
Help! My Dog Lost A Tooth What Should I do?
If your dog lost adult teeth, act quickly with the following:
- Place the lost tooth in milk immediately. Milk can keep the tooth alive in case the vet can replace it. Remember, dogs regrow puppy teeth but not adult teeth, so treat it as a traumatic injury.
- Act quickly, as the root and pulp beneath the fallen tooth are likely exposed. This can cause your dog incredible pain.
- Even if your doctor does not replace the tooth, they may still need to perform surgery to remove the part of the tooth left beneath the gumline. They may also need to secure the other teeth from any dental disease that may cause more teeth to fall out.
Can You Replace A Dog’s Tooth?
Yes, dogs can now get dental implants, just like humans. Of course, if your dog’s tooth breaks off and you can rescue it in time (see above), your vet may be able to reattach it. But dogs can also get dentures.
Just like humans, dentures seem to improve the quality of life of our toothless pets. Putting an implant in a space also stops the other teeth from migrating. However, this is still a new procedure, and we need further studies to conclude whether we need them.
Canine dentures are also an expensive procedure, costing between $500 and $800 dollars per tooth. It is also quite rare and unclear if every veterinarian is currently able to provide this service.
Can Dogs Eat Kibble Without Teeth?
Some of us may be reluctant to have a dog’s teeth pulled out in case it interferes with how they eat. But dogs are able to eat much better if they don’t have a painful tooth in the way. You may also be surprised at how well dogs with fewer teeth navigate relatively hard food like kibble.
Of course, if dogs have very few teeth left, softer options are always available, like canned food. You can also soak your dog’s favorite kibble in water to soften it.
A puppy losing teeth is a normal part of growing up. But adult dog teeth falling out is a bit of a trickier business. Dog dental issues should never be ignored since they affect the rest of the body, including heart health. If a tooth falls out, try to rescue it in milk and take it to your emergency veterinarian immediately to see if they can reattach it.
If not, they will likely need to clean out the remainder of the root and pulp underneath to prevent an abscess or infection. Doggy dentures are available these days, but they are expensive. Most dogs cope fine with missing teeth, but we must do everything we can to keep their mouths healthy.
Tamsin De La HarpeAuthor
Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.
Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.