Now, I don’t know about you, but I was obsessed with Frank the Bulldog puppy’s teeth for the longest time. In fact, there’s no ‘was’ about it; I still am obsessed with his teeny-tiny little teenies. Aside from the cuteness, though, would you know if your puppy or grown dog had tooth problems? Could you spot the signs of periodontitis or cavities?

If not, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to take a deep dive into the doggy mouth to discover whether or not dogs get cavities and what to do about tooth troubles.

Are you ready? I shall begin.


  1. Can Dogs Get Cavities
  2. What Are the Signs That Your Dog Might Have a Cavity
  3. Here’s How Cavities in Dogs are Treated
  4. Protecting Your Dog from Getting Cavities
  5. FAQs
  6. Conclusion

Can Dogs Get Cavities

Yes, dogs can get cavities, also known as caries, but they are less common in dogs than they are in humans, according to NCBI research. There are several differences between humans and canine mouths, which makes the latter less susceptible. These include a higher pH balance in doggy saliva, gaps between their teeth, and conical-shaped teeth. They also eat food that contains less sugar and acids than we humans do.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t watch your doggo’s teeth, though. Poor dental hygiene will still lead to cavities, dental disease, and, if ignored, a truckload of pain and discomfort for them. Studies show that cavities account for up to ten percent of all tooth losses in dogs. That’s why you should monitor your pet, noting what is normal. Then, when you notice something strange on your pet camera playback or in real life, you’ll know that it’s not normal and requires veterinary attention.

What Are the Signs That Your Dog Might Have a Cavity

Canine cavities can be quite hard to spot, especially if you don’t regularly check your pup’s mouth. They usually occur in the natural pits of your dog’s teeth, which makes them even more difficult to spot, particularly with the molars and premolars. If your dog has cavities, you will see spots of red, pink, black, or brown. If the cavity is advanced, you might even see an actual hole in the tooth. Anything that differs from the regular ivory-white tooth color is a warning sign.

One of the first signs that your pup might have problems with their teeth is difficulty eating. Your pet might drop their food a lot while eating, struggle to eat, or even refuse to eat or drink completely. They’ll avoid food because it hurts to eat, much the same as humans with toothache, and this is a symptom you’ll pick up on quickly, especially if you use pet tech, such as the Petcube Cam 360. With 8x digital zoom, 1080p quality, and a full 360-degree view of the room, you’ll notice any feeding problems – and any other potential problems, too.

Other signs of cavities in dogs to keep your eyes open for include:

  • Increased or excessive drooling;
  • No interest in food and/or water;
  • Changes to teeth color: yellow, brown, red/pink, or black;
  • Spots of discoloration along the gumline;
  • Obvious signs of pain and discomfort;
  • Increased vocal noises (crying, whining);
  • Broken/damaged teeth;
  • Behavioral changes (indicating pain).

According to studies, dogs are most likely to have caries (cavities) in the fourth premolar and also in the first and second molars.

Here’s How Cavities in Dogs are Treated

When your vet looks at your dog’s teeth and finds a cavity, they’ll give a 'stage' between 1 and 5. Stage 1 is a cavity that only affects the outside enamel of the tooth. Stage 5, on the other hand, is a very advanced issue, with the roots fully exposed and almost all of the crown missing.

The right treatment will depend on the stage of the cavity. A simple stage 1 can usually be treated and rectified with a filling, just as humans can. A slightly more complex problem, stage 3, usually requires surgery on the root canal before being sealed.

Stages 4 and 5 are serious, and it is more than likely that a vet will want to remove the entire tooth or teeth that are decaying. It could also mean that neighboring teeth are starting to become affected. A vet will put a stop to this by adding a sealant to the remaining teeth.

If you’re unsure whether or not your dog has cavities, why not get in touch with Petcube’s friendly, qualified, and trained vets? They’re available around the clock, 24/7, with a Petcube’s Emergency Fund subscription, and that’s not the only thing that will become available to you. For just $29 per month, you’ll get emergency cover for up to six pets in your home, up to $3,000 – and it gets even better! To say thank you for reading the blog today, I’d like to offer you an exclusive discount of 27%, which you can take advantage of by clicking right here.

Protecting Your Dog from Getting Cavities

Preventing your dog from getting cavities requires a multi-faceted approach. Regular vet checks will pick up on any problems at an early point, and regular teeth cleaning is also important. WebMD research suggests that doggy teeth cleaning should be done daily with a dog-safe toothbrush and toothpaste.

Chewy toys and treats are great for keeping dogs' teeth clean, and the right kind of complete dog food is also important. You should also make sure that you have a look inside your pup’s mouth from time to time. Once you know what it looks like to start with, you’ll quickly notice changes or problems that need to be addressed.


Which dog breed gets more cavities?

Although any dog can suffer from cavities, certain breeds are said to be more predisposed to the problem than others. These include Pugs, Poodles, Bulldogs, Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and Shih Tzus. Tooth decay is quite rare for dogs, according to vet Lorraine Hiscox of VCA Canada, accounting for only 10% of all dental issues in dogs.

What happens if you ignore a dog's cavity?

Your dog is going to be in pain at some point with a cavity in a tooth. They don’t usually show signs of pain, as it is classified as a weakness for predators, but you should assume that they are. By ignoring the cavity, you’re causing extreme pain and stress for your pet. Eventually, it’ll affect eating and drinking, which will cause your dog even MORE problems than they already have. You should not ignore a dog's cavity or any other kind of dental issue.


If you wouldn’t let your own teeth get into disrepair, why would you let your dog’s teeth get to that state? Teeth are important to dogs, and just having one tooth out of action or in pain is enough to ruin your pet’s quality of life. A quick trip to the vet could be all it takes to allow your dog to live free from pain and discomfort, and that’s just responsible pet parenting!

If you’re ever in any doubt, feel free to give Petcube’s vets a shout! That’s what they’re there for, after all.

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