Which Dog Breeds And Types Have The Worst Teeth?


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February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and it’s important because poor oral health is one of the most common problems vets see in their patients.

Taking care of our dogs’ oral health is necessary for all pet parents, not just for fight uninviting breath, but also because dental diseases can be associated with other health issues, such as sinus infections, diabetes, cancer, and a host of other problems.

Feel like your pup has less-than-perfect chompers? Your dog may be a breed known for dental health issues. Here is a look at breeds and types of dogs who tend to have more oral health issues than others.

1. Chihuahuas

A Chihuahua looks to the side with his mouth open.

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

The Chihuahua can be a pretty resilient pup! Being a smaller dog, a healthy Chihuahua’s average lifespan can be anywhere from 12 to 15 years.

Unfortunately, their cute, adorable size means they also have smaller mouths. Teeth overcrowding is a problem that many Chihuahuas face, often resulting in an adorable snaggletooth or underbite of sorts.

This adorable overcrowding could lead to pain and swelling in the mouth.

2. Yorkshire Terriers

A Yorkshire Terrier sits in a sink and pushes a toothbrush away.

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Did you know the term “Yorkie breath” was coined due to the breed’s infamous halitosis?

The Yorkshire Terrier breed is prone to tooth decay, and they are vulnerable to the effects of plaque and tartar buildup. Mouth infections can easily set in with these little pups.

If you have a Yorkshire Terrier, it may be wise to start brushing their teeth more often.

3. Shetland Sheepdogs

A Shetland Sheepdog stands in a grass field with its mouth open.

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Due to their long, slender muzzle, the active Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie, can be prone to a host of genetic dental issues.

Abnormal bites and incisors can be common in this herding breed. Also due to genetics, this breed is also known to sometimes be completely missing a few teeth.

If you really want a Lassie in your life, be sure that you’re ready for the toothy-issues that may arise.

4. Brachycephalic (Short-Faced) Dogs

A Pug shows his teeth.

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Brachycephalic dog breeds include the Brussels Griffon, English and French Bulldog, Shih Tzu, and Pug among others.

Who doesn’t love these adorable short-faced pups? Well your wallet may not after the extensive dental work these breeds may need.

Short-faced dogs are more prone to periodontal disease. This gum disease can lead to some serious pain and bad breath for your dog.

If you have one of these breeds, be sure to get their teeth cleaned regularly and give them quality chew treats–maybe even make your own!

5. Toy And Smaller Breeds In General

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel gets scratched on the chin and smiles.

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Many veterinarians report that toy dogs are some of the most common clients when it comes to chronic bad breath.

Plaque and tartar tend to build up quickly in smaller mouths and should be addressed. Other small pups known for their not-so-lovely breath include:

  • Smaller Poodle mixes
  • Pomeranians
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  • Malteses
  • Italian Greyhounds

These smaller breeds are also prone to tooth decay and gum diseases.

Do you have a pup who’s prone to dental issues? How are you proactively taking care of your dog’s oral health? Let us know in the comments below!

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