You finally have your new fur-baby. They are an adorable little fur ball of energy… and teeth. But how do you take care of a kitten or puppy’s teeth? Here is everything you need to know about your new family member’s chompers.
Most, if not all, of the baby teeth are in by 8 weeks. Puppies will have 28 baby teeth while kittens will have 26. It is very important to brush them. You can start brushing their teeth around 6 weeks. This is a crucial time to get your pet trained and use to their teeth being brushed.
Around 4 months the first adult teeth begin to appear, which will be the upper canines. Over the course of the next months, your puppy or kitten will being to lose the rest of their baby teeth. You may notice that your puppy and even your kitten will want to chew on things. You can give your puppy a toy that will massage their gums. Kittens can be offered treats to help with their teething. You may never find the baby teeth that fall out, most of the time they are swallowed while eating.
When all is said and done, your dog should have 42 teeth or your cat should have 32. During the whole development process you should be on the look out for anything abnormal along with check ups with your veterinarian.
- Retained Deciduous Teeth – This is where the baby teeth don’t fall out like they should. The adult tooth may begin to come up next to the baby tooth instead. This could cause many problems and should be addressed as soon as possible.
- Base Narrow Canine Teeth – In some cases the teeth will be positioned abnormally towards the center of the mouth. This can cause a lot of pain and infections.
- Periodontal Disease – This is the most common disease seen in cats and dogs, yet is easily prevented by regular brushing and dental exams by a veterinarian.
- Missing Teeth – If your pet is simply born with out a tooth there is no cause for concern. However, if a tooth hasn’t erupted then serious damage could be done to the jaw along with infections. If you notice a missing tooth, it is best to allow your veterinarian to get an x-ray to be safe.
- Fractured Teeth – Try to avoid hard toys when it comes to baby teeth or adult teeth less then a year old. Fractured teeth can cause a lot of discomfort.
- Malocclusion – This is where your pet’s teeth are not aligned properly. If still functional and doesn’t cause discomfort, then the malocclusion is nothing to worry about. However, if your pet is unable to eat or in a great deal of pain due to the malocclusion, intervention may be necessary.
- Cleft Palate – Your puppy or kitten may be born with an opening in the roof of their mouth. Food and water could go through this opening and out through the nasal passages instead of the digestive tract. It best of this condition is treated at an early age to help with the quality of life.
Always make sure to get regular check ups with your veterinarian and start off on the right foot with great oral care early!