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Should You Buy a Puppy with an Overbite? Here Are Common Problems

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

There's a good possibility that you've browsed through dozens of online puppy pics if you're looking to purchase a new dog. On occasion, you'll see a picture of a dog with the cutest overbite you've ever seen!

Once you bring your new puppy home, it becomes clear that the overbite is really caused by misaligned teeth, which is a much worse issue than you initially thought. Should you have still purchased this puppy, then?

We're going to talk about one of the most crucial factors today—whether or not your dog has an overbite—because it's one that many individuals tend to overlook.

What is a Puppy Overbite?

A dog with an overbite has their upper teeth overlapping their lower teeth. The upper jaw is longer than the lower one when there is an overbite. The space between the top and lower incisors appears when the mouth is closed. This condition is hereditary.

Contrary to popular opinion, overbites in people and dogs are not merely a cosmetic issue. Additionally, it’s a functional condition that impairs a dog's quality of life and needs medical treatment.

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Some breeds are more likely than others to have an overbite, and the severity can vary greatly. Collies, German Shepherds, Shelties, Dachshunds, Basset Hounds along with many crossbreeds that utilize these dogs; these are all breeds where this issue is more common. Most of them have long, narrow snouts. But other breeds, such as the English Bulldog, display these characteristics as well.

A dog with an overbite will need to be examined by a veterinarian to determine the extent of the problem. It could mean that the overbite will have to be corrected by that same vet soon after you get your puppy home.

Let’s glance at some information about dog bites, the problems they cause, along with some treatment options.

A Dog's Overbite Can Have an Impact on Their Quality of Life

What effects can an overbite have on a dog's quality of life? We know that a dog's overbite might cause two difficulties or prospective problems.

First of all, it can make it challenging for them to swallow food or liquids since their tongue might slip back and obstruct their throat.

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The second issue is that teeth will make contact less easily in the front, making it more likely that a dog would need to chew his meal rather than just chomping down and tearing off chunks as a typical dog would. Ear infections, sinus infections, gum disease, and other dental issues might result from this.

These same dogs can drool excessively, their breath could smell quite bad and their gums could bleed. While this affects them, it can affect you and your family just as much. The kids might not want to play with Fido if he smells to no end.

Dog health issues extend beyond overbite. Animals with brachycephalic airway syndrome may experience breathing difficulties as a result of anatomical anomalies brought on by physical malformations. Depending on the animal, the severity varies, but in most situations, dogs with this problem are not bred and are offered for adoption.

If you're thinking about adopting a dog from a shelter with an overbite, find out how frequently they've been examined for this issue and how many surgeries they’ve undergone.

Puppies with Overbites May Be More Prone to Dental Problems

Dogs that have overbites run a higher risk of developing periodontitis and tooth wear. Teeth that are small and crowded can be challenging to clean and accumulate food debris that can cause tooth and gum disease. These issues can be hard to prevent for dogs with overbites, even if you brush their teeth on a regular basis.

Due to their packed teeth, dogs such as pugs are more likely to develop dental illnesses. A buildup of germs and food debris from crowded teeth can result in gum disease. In more extreme situations, teeth may need to be plucked out while they are puppies to make room for a healthy mouth. Extraction, at times, is a necessary evil.

As a puppy develops, minor bites normally repair themselves and routine brushing to remove debris can keep the bite from growing worse. Any tug-of-war should be avoided if your dog is exhibiting overbite symptoms since it might exacerbate the deformity and put more strain on the dog's jaw.

The only option to correct an overbite in older canines is with orthodontic appliances like spacers and braces. These accessories should typically be worn over extended periods of time, sometimes even up to two years.

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Pet Insurance Can Be Expensive for Dogs with Overbites

There is a silver lining. In many situations, overbites can be corrected with surgery or diet. But, as the heading says, pet insurance will help. It can be expensive, though.

That's not to suggest you shouldn't think about getting pet health insurance. Although normal dental treatment is not covered by pet health insurance, you may frequently add a health plan. The cost of your pet insurance goes up if you add a health plan, but it may help pay for dental cleanings, which can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000 on average, based on where you live.

Due to the possibility that your pet has food intolerances or because it may be necessary to rule them out as part of the diagnosis, some nutritional concerns need to be treated with a hypoallergenic diet. Pet food is often not covered by insurance companies. However, some are, in particular circumstances, such as when bladder stones are removed.

Don’t let a potentially simple problem like an overbite distract from what’s really important: finding your fur-ever friend. The journey with your pup is always far more important than the destination. Take the first step! Just make sure that they can chew their food and breathe properly along the way.

Buying a dog can be stressful if you don’t know what you’re doing, but it doesn’t have to be! Let us help you with all of your Doodle needs.

Have questions? Ask anything. Ready to bring home a healthy puppy? Let us know.

Jenna and the JLDD Team

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Roger Henderson
Roger Henderson

Hi...I am looking at a puppy that has a 1 in 4 vet graded overbite. As I understand it that is not severe. How much of what you discribe in your discussion of overbite should I be concerned with.? The pup is 12 weeks old. Does an overbite get worse? Should I ignore it given it is 1 in 4? Thanks for considering my question. Roger...

Jenna Stone
Jenna Stone

Are you talking about a base narrow mandibular? Typically a 1 in 4 is no big deal and they correct it themselves by chewing on things. We typically recommend making sure they have tennis balls to chew on to help correct that bite! We can email you our information sheet on it if you want to shoot us an email at

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