A question that all pet parents will have is “When do puppies lose their teeth?” While a newborn pup is always a welcome addition to the family, they tend to teethe and chew on everything in your home. This is all part of the teething process or the development of new teeth. In this quick guide, we discuss the teething phase in detail while answering another question, “What to do with puppy teeth?”
How Puppy Teeth Develop
When you’re a new parent to a furbaby, there are already a lot of things to think about like walking, feeding, potty training, and keeping it healthy. But another thing you’ll need to consider is their teeth which develop during the first 8 to 9 months of life. During this time, your puppy will get two sets of milk teeth which you will need to care for until they get their permanent teeth.
Puppies have different needs than adult canines; for example, if your puppy is still really young, you might need to offer him a puppy milk replacer to ensure that he’s getting the essential vitamins he needs. And even when he’s reached the age that he can safely consume dog food, offering him a specially formulated dry dog food or wet dog food for puppies from one of the most trusted dog food brands is essential.
But before we move on to when puppies lose teeth, we first need to understand puppy teething. That’s right; just like human babies, canine babies teethe. At around 5 to 6 weeks of age, you’ll see your puppy’s first teeth and they’ll begin the weaning process but this may not come along until 8 weeks for certain breeds.
During the teething phase, the gums can become inflamed, red, and irritated; and as you can imagine, it can be pretty uncomfortable. Your puppy’s mouth will contain as many as 28 sharp baby teeth, and in an effort to soothe their sore gums, puppies will chew on anything they can find – couches, shoes, and even their own dog bowl, dog bed, or dog crate!
Stages of Losing Baby Teeth
Generally, a puppy’s baby teeth will fall out after one month; the good news is that they will come off faster compared to growing back. At 3 months of age, a dog will usually lose its first set of teeth, starting with the incisors, and by their fourth month, most of a puppy’s baby teeth will have fallen out. It’s also during this time that adult molars will begin to come out, so your pup might teethe a lot.
By the time they’re six months old, your puppy’s adult teeth should be in place. Dental problems such as an overbite or crooked teeth may require a dental appointment with a veterinary dentist before they finish their teething process. Once it reaches 7 to 8 months old, your puppy should have all of its permanent adult teeth, with 20 by the upper jaws and 22 by the lower jaws for a total of 42 teeth.
Caring for a Teething Puppy
Much like human babies, a puppy will go through a teething phase where their deciduous teeth erupt once they reach two weeks old. The first to appear will be its incisors, followed by its canine teeth, then the premolars, and finally, the molars but there will be some variations between breeds. Supporting your puppy through the teething stage isn’t too hard but you will need to know when your furry friend is in pain.
While every pooch will go through teething differently, it will be a painful process for the most part. As a result, you should be able to see symptoms and identifiable behaviors that tell you when your dog’s teeth come out, such as:
- Excessive Biting
- Excessive Chewing
- Abnormal Drooling
- Bloody Saliva
- Change in Feeding Habits
If you can see that your puppy is eating, drinking, playing, and socializing as usual, then there should be no issue with its teething. While it’s not easy to see your pooch suffer, this natural developmental stage can’t be stopped. But you can help them get through the pain and discomfort they experience by offering them the options below.
Providing Relief from Teething
As your puppy’s teeth move around and fall out, it will have tender and sore gums and the best way to help them get through it is to encourage chewing. While this may seem counterintuitive, this is actually the best thing you can do to give relief to your puppy. If you fail to give your puppy safe chew toys or other things to chew, it might pick something more convenient, such as your favorite shoes.
- Toys: Offer your young puppies a selection of puppy teething toys, chew toys for dogs, and other sturdy toys that can withstand serious gnawing, like durable rubber dog toys and plastic dog toys. Do keep in mind, though, that you should try to avoid offering him too many toys at one time because it may teach him that he can chew on anything, which can lead to problematic behavior.
- Natural chews: Dental chews can also help to ease teething pain; by giving them something to chew on, you’re helping to soothe their gums and reduce the destructive behaviors that come with this process. It’s a good idea to use dog chews such as bully sticks, fish skins, and even beef tendons. Giving your dog natural chews will provide plenty of nutritional value while supporting dental health.
- Frozen Food: While ice cubes are too rough on their sensitive gums, giving your puppy chunks of cold carrots (don’t use a whole carrot), frozen mini bagels and a fruit variety can be a great solution. You can also freeze puppy chew toys such as hollow or rubber toys that hold water.
What to Do with Puppy Teeth
Veterinarians agree that pet owners should let a dog’s baby tooth fall out on its own — it’s never a good idea to pull on puppies’ teeth to make room for new adult teeth. A dog’s teeth will come with long roots, and pulling on them can cause the root to break off, leaving it behind and could result in an infection. Adult dogs that have their baby teeth intact may need to visit the vet to have their tiny teeth pulled out.
This issue is common in toy breeds like Yorkshire terriers, which prevents their adult tooth from properly forming. When different sets of teeth overcrowd your puppies’ mouths, it may lead to periodontal disease, bad breath, and plaque buildup. To prevent these problems, be sure to give your pup regular brushing starting from an early age and give them proper dental care and dental cleanings to ensure healthy teeth.
How to Stop a Teething Puppy from Biting
When sharp puppy teeth come into contact with our skin, pain is sure to follow but this isn’t a sign that your pup hates you — it’s probably just teething. It’s during this stage that your puppy may form a lot of bad habits that will be much harder to correct when they get older. Whenever your puppy tries to nibble at your fingers, be sure to give it a treat, chew, or toy as a replacement.
Giving it soft puppy food is the best solution and can also work on smaller breeds. As your pet tries to grow a full set of teeth, remember that being proactive will always be better, so always have toys available for them to chew instead of your hands and fingers. Whenever you play, the main goal is to make sure that they have a good time and that they forget about the pain of teething.
When it comes to teething, the best thing you can do is to ensure the growth of your pup’s adult teeth. You can do this by making room for a permanent tooth that’s starting to grow or using a cold pack to soothe their gums. The most common puppy teething mistake that owners make is neglecting to pay attention to their symptoms; luckily, you can completely care for your new puppy by following this guide.