The Simple Method of Aging a Dog

In some cases when you have a dog in front of you and you do not know its age the teeth can be used to identify its age period.  With that said if the dog has had diet deficiencies or distemper there can be unusual discoloration. The general rule of thumb is as follows:

The First 12 Months.

At birth there are no teeth. By the time the puppy is three weeks old the temporary incisors and canines erupt. When the puppy reaches three months of age the temporary incisors and canines will be well worn.  At six months the permanent incisors erupt and by one year of age all the permanent teeth will be in place.  These permanent teeth are fresh and white and the incisors show a tricuspid pattern on the cutting edge.

A Young Dog.

At 15 months of age the lower central incisors will show wear and by one and a half to two years of age the cups on the lower central incisors disappear. By four years of age the cusps on the upper central incisors disappear and the teeth are becoming yellowish in color, they may also have tar deposits at the base of the canines.

Middle Age

When a dog reaches five years of age the incisors are worn down, after the age of five years of age it is then guesswork as to how old the dog is. Bone (1998) suggests that at about age six a greenish discoloration of the canines may occur and at this time there will be grayish hairs on the muzzle and around the dog’s eyes.

BibliographyBone (1998) Third Edition, Animal Anatomy and Physiology, Volume 1, Prentice Hall Inc, NJ