Do Donkeys Need their Teeth Floated? (Answered)

by Kloee Ngozi
Updated on

Teeth floating is a necessity for donkeys. Donkeys need their teeth floated at intervals.

If you do not do this, your donkey will experience a lot of difficulties when chewing; it could lead to your donkeys losing their appetite and eating a lot less.

This could, in turn, adversely affect the health of your donkeys, if your donkeys don’t eat well, then their immune system is compromised, and they will be prone to more incidences of sickness and loss of weight.

If you do not file the sharp edges of your donkey teeth, it could hurt them when they chew and substantially compromise their ability to chew and eat.

To learn more about this, stick with us as we explore the floating of equine teeth in this well-researched piece.

What is teeth floating for donkeys?

Do Donkeys Need their Teeth Floated

Essentially floating for donkeys means the filing away of sharp edges of your donkey’s teeth to aid them to chew better, which in turn aids their digestion of food.

Floating is a way to attend to your donkey’s dental needs, so it is necessary for the maintenance of your donkey’s mouth.

Not taking care of your donkey’s mouth by way of floating their teeth could expose them to significant pain while chewing.

This could lead to loss of appetite and mouth injuries. The teeth of donkeys grow continuously because the root is also very long.

So the continuous growth of their teeth coupled with the fact that they chew in a circular motion makes floating necessary.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on can donkeys eat celery?

How do I know if my donkey needs teeth floated?

There are several ways to know when your donkey needs its teeth floated, generally when the points of their teeth are overgrown and are poking their gum while they chew.

This leads to significant pain that could lead to the following signs that your donkey needs its teeth floated.

1. Dropping food while chewing

This is a telltale sign that your donkey needs its teeth floated.

When you see a donkey chewing and the food drops from its mouth or the food continuously drops out of the donkey’s mouth while it is chewing, The donkey is most likely experiencing a lot of pain while chewing. and

This would most likely be due to it needing its teeth floated or some other dental condition.

This is a sign that you should get a dentist to check your donkey’s teeth.

2. Eating and Excessively Drooling

This is a very good sign that your donkey needs its teeth floated.

The sharp edges of your donkey’s teeth could lead to a lot of discomfort and pain while they chew and lead to excessive drooling while chewing.

At this point, you should get a veterinarian to check your donkey.

3. Loss of Appetite

When you notice that your donkey is not eating, as usual, your donkey might have lost its appetite because of the pain it encounters when eating due to lack of floating of its teeth.

Donkeys rarely lose their appetite, so it must be something significant that would make your donkey lose its appetite.

At this point, you should get the mouth of your donkey checked to know if its teeth need to be floated.

4. Weight loss

Your donkey could lose significant weight due to lack of eating because of the pain it encounters when it eats or chews food.

You could easily fix this weight loss by getting your donkey’s teeth floated.

5. Quidding

This is when your donkey puts its food between its cheek and its teeth.

Your donkey will do this because chewing is extremely uncomfortable for it.

You should take something like this as a sign that your donkey needs its teeth floated.

6. Teeth with sharp points

This is quite easy to detect, all you need to do is check the teeth of your donkeys, and you would see that they have sharp points.

Easily you should be able to know that your donkey’s teeth need to be floated.

Not attending to these signs could lead to significant damage to your donkey’s mouth; it could lead to gum irritation and Abscess in the mouth of your donkey.

You should attend to it as soon as you notice one or more of these signs than letting it lead to more damage.

Also check out this article I wrote on keeping donkeys as pets

How often does a donkey need its teeth floated?

There is no exact time that you should get your donkey or horse’s teeth floated.

Generally, it is recommended that you get their teeth floated once every six months or sometimes once a year; it depends on the age of the donkey.

When it comes to things like this, prevention is better, so you should seek to prevent a situation that your donkeys would need their teeth floated and would already be causing damage before you get it done.

The best way is to schedule regular checkups for your donkeys so whenever they need their teeth floated, you just get them floated instead of waiting every six months or every year.

 An equine dental technician (EDT) or veterinarian is best equipped to tell you when your donkeys need their teeth floated.

If you have a young donkey, try to get their teeth checked at least twice every year.

If your donkey is already an adult, Try to get their teeth checked at least once every year or more. I

f your donkey is old, then you should get its teeth checked every three months because older donkeys tend to have more dental issues.

Always get the opinion of a specialist when it comes to Equine Dental Care.

How much does it cost to get teeth floated on a donkey?

The general cost of getting your horse’s or donkey’s teeth floated is about 90 to $200.

This cost does not apply to everybody everywhere because the vet will charge his fees according to his scale.

We can not tell you the exact cost of floating your donkey or horse’s teeth would be within this range, it might be lower, or it might cost more.

Your location, the vet, and the specific needs of your donkey could add to or reduce the costs.

Do donkeys usually have teeth problems?

Donkeys usually have dental problems; it is highly unlikely that your donkey would go through its life without needing dental care.

You need to be able to recognize when your donkey needs dental care, and if you cannot do this, you should have a vet regularly come to check your donkeys.

Can I float my donkey’s teeth myself?

Floating of your donkey’s teeth should always be done by a specialist, a vet, or an equine dental technician.

No matter how tempted you are, you should not proceed to float your donkey’s teeth yourself.

This would lead to damaging your donkey’s teeth or causing more harm than you ever intended.

Floating is not an easy task; it requires a lot of training and experience that you do not have and using the tools that you do not know how to use except you are a specialist qualified to float your donkey’s teeth.

What does a donkey use its flat teeth for?

Donkeys used their flat teeth for ripping leaves and grasses before they grind or chew the leaves or grass.

Do donkeys lose their front teeth?

Donkeys have temporary teeth, and they lose these teeth, which includes their front teeth.

This happens when the donkeys are around 2-3 years old.

It continues till the donkeys get to the age of five. At this point, their permanent teeth would have fully set in.


 Equine dental care is not easy, and it comes with having donkeys.

You cannot have donkeys and horses and not anticipate that they would need dental care.

With the help of this article, we hope you have been adequately informed about some of the staples of Equine dental care.

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About the author

Kloee Ngozi

Kloee is a backyard farmer and avid gardener who enjoys tending to her garden and plants. She is so engrossed with her plants that she has pet names for all of them. She likes to relax with a bottle of wine and read a book.


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