Animals use the canine teeth for tearing off pieces of meat. These teeth are relatively long and pointed and are primarily meant for holding food in order to tear it apart. They are also occasionally used as weapons.
Wikipedia says canines are used primarily for firmly holding food in order to tear it apart, and occasionally as weapons. They are often the largest teeth in a mammal's mouth. Most species that develop them normally have four per individual, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower, separated within each jaw by its incisors; humans and dogs are examples. In most animals, canines are the anterior-most teeth in the maxillary bone.