It’s fun to tell kids that puppies and kittens are a lot like their owners in this way—they have two sets of teeth in their lifetime: baby teeth and adult teeth. Of course, the process of losing baby teeth happens a lot more quickly for our furry friends. Here are more fun facts about the temporary chompers of our beloved household animals:
If you’ve ever had a puppy or kitten, then you’ve probably felt their baby teeth. They’re sharp! These pets have sharp but brittle baby teeth to help them chew food while their jaws are still developing. It also helps to wean them off of mom’s milk as mom nudges them toward other sources of food.
Puppies begin to get baby teeth (called deciduous teeth by vets) when they’re about three to six weeks old, and these make way for permanent teeth when they’re about four to eight months old. Adorable, right?
Puppies have 28 baby teeth and 42 adult teeth. That’s more than humans! Let’s compare: We are born with 20 baby teeth in the jaw and grow up to have 32 adult teeth. Cats develop their 26 baby teeth at about three to four weeks old, losing them at about 3 to 9 months old to make way for 30 permanent teeth.
You’re probably wondering where all your pets’ baby teeth go. Don’t feel bad if you’ve never noticed the process of a pet shedding baby teeth. Many owners don’t, as pets often lose their teeth in a variety of places without anyone realizing it. The teeth are often lost or swallowed (by your pet!).
Did you know that monkeys love to floss and that purple sea urchins also have teeth?