One of the biggest challenges faced is dealing with teething.
Teething is a process that all puppies go through as their baby teeth grow in and are replaced by their adult teeth.
Puppy teething can be tough on both dog and owner, so I wanted to share some tips that helped us make it through this phase.
Let’s start with a quick overview of the puppy teething process and timeline. After that, I will share my tips for treating your puppy’s teething symptoms, as well as ways to make the process a little easier on both of you.
The Puppy Teething Phase
Puppies typically start teething between three to seven weeks old. The teething process can last until the puppy is around six months old. During this time, you may notice your pup chewing on everything in sight as they try to relieve the pain and discomfort of their new teeth coming in.
Puppy Teeth Chart
- Three weeks old: deciduous teeth or “baby teeth” start coming in.
- Twelve weeks old: deciduous teeth start falling out, and permanent ones grow underneath them.
- Eighteen weeks old: all baby teeth are gone, and the adult teeth are fully in.
Some small breed puppies may longer grow in their adult teeth.
How Many Teeth Do Puppies Have?
A puppy has 28 baby teeth, which adult teeth will eventually replace. The adult canine teeth are:
- Incisors – six in upper and lower jaws, start coming in at about four weeks old.
- Canines – two in upper and lower jaws, start coming in at about three weeks old.
- Premolars – six in upper and lower jaws, start coming in at about five weeks old.
Premolars are used to grind to help chew food before swallowing. Incisors are grasping teeth used for biting and supporting the lips. Also called fang teeth, canines are the sharpest teeth in the mouth and mainly tear flesh.
Symptoms of Teething in Puppies
Several symptoms can indicate your pup is teething. Some common ones include:
- Excessive chewing – your puppy will likely chew on anything and everything as they try to soothe their gums.
- Drooling (increased salivation) – the increased saliva can help lubricate the gums and make it easier for the puppy to chew.
- Irritability – your pup may be grumpy and fussy due to the pain of teething.
- Loss of appetite – your puppy may be less interested in food because chewing can be painful.
- Pawing at the mouth – your pup may try to rub their mouth or chew on their paws to relieve the discomfort.
- Swollen gums – this is a common symptom of teething,
- Teary eyes – the irritation from teething can cause your puppy’s eyes to water.
While all of these symptoms are normal for teething, be sure to speak with your vet if you notice any unusual symptoms or issues. Some issues can indicate a more serious health concern.
Puppy Teething Tips for Owners
In addition to helping your pup deal with their teething symptoms, there are several things you can do to make this process a little easier on yourself.
Give your pup something to chew
If your pup is teething, make sure they have plenty of chew toys to keep them occupied. Chew toys like these Nylabones are perfect for helping your puppy deal with teething pain. Keep your pup’s toys and chew items in the same spot, so you know exactly where to find them when they need them.
It’s essential to keep an eye on your puppy when they’re teething. Be on the lookout for any signs that your pup is choking. If you see them coughing, gagging, or struggling to breathe, get some help immediately.
Be prepared for a mess
Puppy teething can result in a lot of drool and slobber. You may want to keep a rag handy for wiping up the mess, and you might also consider putting down an absorbent puppy pee pad or towel in areas where your pup likes to hang out.
Train your puppy
Teaching your pup new commands and tricks can help keep them busy, which will distract them from their teething pain. You can also use their natural instinct to chew and train them not to bite or chew on things they aren’t supposed to.
Create a safe environment
Teething puppies are prone to chewing on things they shouldn’t, so it’s crucial to create a safe environment for your pup. Make sure you remove anything from the floor that could be a choking hazard and keep them away from items that can be toxic.
You should also keep an eye on your pup if they’re in the yard or near a body of water. Puppies are curious, and they may try to chew on things that could be dangerous.
The teething process can be frustrating for both you and your puppy. Try to be patient and give your pup a lot of love and attention, even if they’re being fussy or irritable.
Puppy Teething Treats
There are a lot of products on the market that claim to help with puppy teething, but you should be careful about what you give your pup.
Some teething products, such as rawhide chews, can be dangerous if swallowed. They can cause choking, intestinal blockages, and even death.
Other products, such as rubber toys or chew bones, can be safe if used in moderation. But they can also cause problems if your pup chews them too much or if they swallow pieces of the toy or bones.
Your best bet is to stick with safe, old-fashioned treats like frozen carrots or Kongs filled with peanut butter. These are safe and effective, and your pup will love them too!
What to Do When a Puppy Starts Losing Teeth
Losing baby teeth is a normal part of puppy development, but it can worry owners. Here are a few things to keep in mind if your puppy starts losing teeth.
It’s normal for your pup to lose its baby teeth. This is part of the teething process and usually starts when they are around four to six months old.
Puppies usually lose their baby teeth in pairs, so if you notice one tooth missing, the other should be on its way out soon.
Puppies don’t need their baby teeth for long, but you should keep an eye on them to make sure they aren’t losing too many at once.
If your pup is still losing teeth after they’ve turned one year old, you should take them to the vet. This could be a sign of a more serious issue, such as an infection.
What to Do if Puppy Teeth Don’t Fall Out
Baby teeth should begin to fall out when your puppy is around four months old. If this doesn’t happen, it could signify a condition known as retained teeth. This can cause problems with the adult teeth coming in, and it’s also painful for your pup.
A hereditary condition sometimes causes retained teeth. If you notice that your puppy has retained teeth, take them to the vet for a check-up. The vet may need to remove the retained teeth surgically.
When Do Puppies Get Their Permanent Teeth?
Puppies get their permanent teeth when they are around seven to eight months old. By this time, all baby teeth should have fallen out and been replaced by 42 adult teeth.
Your pup may still be teething at this age, but their gums won’t be as sensitive or sore. Puppies need all of their permanent teeth by the time they are one year old, but some pups may get them earlier or later than that.
What to Do if Puppies Have Missing Teeth
If you notice that your puppy is missing teeth, it’s essential to take them to the vet for a check-up. The vet will examine your pup to see what’s happening and may need to do x-rays or a dental exam to see embedded teeth. These teeth should be removed before they cause problems with the adult teeth coming in.
If your pup is missing many teeth, it may have a condition known as hypodontia. This is when the puppy doesn’t have enough adult teeth to replace all baby teeth. If your pup has hypodontia, they may need dental implants or other corrective surgery.
Puppy Dental Diseases
Dental disease is common in puppies, and it can lead to many health problems down the road. Here are a few things to look out for:
- Periodontal disease – It causes inflammation and infection in the gums and can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
- Malocclusion – This is when the teeth don’t fit together properly, and it can cause pain and problems with eating.
- Tooth resorption – It is a condition in which the roots of teeth are destroyed, causing them to become loose and fall out.
- Cyst – These can form around the mouth and teeth and can be cancerous.
- Jaw fractures – Puppies can fracture their jaws if they chew on something hard.
If you notice any of these issues in your pup, take them to the vet right away for a check-up.
How to Clean Puppy Teeth
It’s essential to clean your puppy’s teeth regularly, especially if they are prone to dental disease. You can use a dog toothbrush and toothpaste when a puppy is at least six months old to brush teeth, but there are also other options.
Dental chews and treats are a safe way to keep your puppy’s teeth clean and healthy. You can also use a water additive that helps to prevent bad breath and plaque buildup.
You should brush your puppy’s teeth at least twice a week, but more often if they have dental disease. Be sure to get all of the plaque and tartar off of their teeth, and don’t forget to brush the gums as well.
How to Brush Puppy Teeth
Brushing your puppy’s teeth is a lot like cleaning their ears. You have to be careful not to injure them, and it’s best to start the process when they are a puppy to get used to it.
You can use a human toothbrush but don’t use human toothpaste because there are xylitol ingredients in it that are harmful to dogs. You should also get a pet-safe toothpaste that doesn’t contain fluoride or other toxic chemicals.
Before you start brushing your puppy’s teeth, get them used to having their mouth open. You can do this by rubbing their gums with your finger or by opening their mouth and letting them lick your finger. Once they are used to having their mouth open, you can start brushing their teeth.
Start by brushing the biggest front teeth and work your way to the back. Be sure to brush all of the surfaces of the teeth gently; only brush as far back as your puppy is comfortable with, and stop if they start to fuss or pull away from you.
When you’re finished, give your pup a treat and lots of praise to let them know that they did a good job.
The Bottom Line
Puppies are adorable, but teething can be hard on both you and your pup. If you notice that your puppy is teething, you can do a few things to make it easier for them.
Give your pup plenty of chew toys so that they have something to gnaw on when their gums are sore. And most importantly, be patient! Teething is a normal part of puppy development, and it will eventually end.
If your puppy is having trouble with teething, you may want to see a vet for some advice on making the process easier.
Remember, keep your pup’s teeth clean and healthy, especially if they are prone to dental disease. You can do this by brushing their teeth regularly and giving them dental chews and treats.