Whether you just brought home a pug puppy or you’re assessing your older pug’s teeth, you might be wondering—how many teeth do pugs have?
Unless you own a really patient pug, it’s unlikely they’ll sit still long enough for you to count all of their teeth. Nevertheless, taking your pug’s dental care seriously is crucial for their wellbeing.
We’ll give you the low-down on how many teeth pugs have, common dental issues in pugs, and how to care for them.
How Many Teeth Do Pugs Have?
Here’s the fast answer—adult pugs have 42 teeth.
But first, they have baby teeth, just like humans.
A pug has no teeth when they’re born. They then grow a set of milk teeth (called deciduous teeth, if you want to get fancy). These teeth begin growing at six to eight weeks old.
A pug puppy grows 28 milk teeth. But by four months old, they’re already starting to lose them, being replaced by adult teeth. Once your pug reaches nine months of age, you can expect them to have their full set of 42 adult teeth.
Teeth That Fall Out
If you have a pug puppy that loses their teeth but you can’t locate those pearly whites, chances are your pup swallowed them.
Don’t worry—this is normal. A pug’s baby teeth are tiny, so they usually pass through their digestive system without any harm.
On the other hand, if your adult pug loses one or more teeth, this may be cause for concern. It could mean that they’re experiencing dental disease due to a lack of dental care on the owner’s part.
That said, if you have an older pug, occasional tooth loss is more expected and not necessarily a reason for concern.
Pug Teeth Issues
There’s a common issue that pugs—and all toy dogs, for that matter—experience during their lives: They don’t have a lot of jaw space to fit their 42 pearly whites.
That’s right—although pugs are smaller than breeds like Rottweilers and Great Danes, they have the same number of teeth as large breed canines.
Needless to say, this can create some serious health issues for your pug. Let’s take a closer look at them.
The Space Problem
Pugs are a brachycephalic breed, meaning that they have a squashed face. There’s no doubt about it—that’s what makes pugs so adorable. However, it can cause a host of health issues.
One of those issues is that pugs have tiny jaws.
As a result, their teeth have little room for proper growth. It’s common for pug teeth to grow sideways and to slant from being overcrowded.
The most effective way to fix this is for a vet to remove some of your pug’s teeth. Ideally, they should do this when your pug is young, as it’ll decrease the chances of their teeth becoming weak and breaking.
Tooth decay is another common dental issue in pugs. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why—with teeth so closely packed together, food gets caught more easily.
Plaque build-up is another major concern in pugs.
To reduce the chance of your pug experiencing painful tooth decay, set up a schedule to brush their teeth a few times per week. You can purchase dog-approved toothpaste online and use a child’s toothbrush to gently scrub your pug’s teeth and gums.
They likely won’t love it at first, but using positive reinforcement and treats should help them become more comfortable with it over time.
Let’s start with the good news—dental disease is entirely preventable by removing overcrowded teeth and regular brushing.
Nevertheless, by the time a dog of any breed reaches three years old, 80% of them have dental disease.
Tartar build-up is the foundation for dental disease. When this happens, the tartar irritates the gums, sparking an infection that can trail down to the roots of the teeth.
Dental disease in pugs goes far beyond a mouth problem—it can cause heart, kidney, and joint issues. If left untreated, your pug could die up to three years younger than average.
Why Bite Matters
In the ideal world, your pug will have a small undershot jaw. That means that their lower jaw—and teeth—will stick out slightly more than those in their upper jaw.
However, if your pug’s jaw has a large underbite, this could cause them several issues. At best, they’ll have jaw discomfort. At worst, the misalignment can make it difficult for them to chew their food and get proper nutrition.
If your pug has a more level bite without pronunciation from the upper or lower jaw, this won’t affect their health.
Your veterinarian will be able to determine whether your puppy pug’s jaw alignment may cause them issues as an adult.
Do Pugs Have Bad Teeth?
Pugs don’t inherently have bad teeth. Instead, it’s their small jaw that causes many of their dental issues.
In addition to manually brushing your pug’s teeth a few times per week, below are some other strategies you can use to reduce their chances of teeth problems:
- Feed your pug dry food
- Purchase toys that have oral health in mind
- Give your pug treats made for cleaning their teeth
- Schedule professional teeth cleaning with your vet
You should aim to have your vet clean your pug’s teeth at least once per year. However, it’s common for pugs to need more frequent professional cleanings, given their brachycephalic nature.
You might be wondering—why should I give my pug dry food instead of wet food?
That’s because dry food gently scratches at your pug’s teeth, helping to remove plaque build-up.
Are You Ready to Take on Your Pug’s Teeth?
You may not have expected the question “How many teeth do pugs have?” to spark so much troubling information about pug teeth.
The good news is that while pugs often experience an array of dental issues, you can prevent most of them by taking your pug to routine vet visits.
Furthermore, by utilizing at-home teeth cleanings and oral hygiene toys and treats, you’ll significantly reduce the chances of your pug suffering from severe dental problems.