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How Long Do Puppies Teethe? Surviving the Chewpocalypse with Style and Band-Aids! - PawSafe
Dog Dental

How Long Do Puppies Teethe? Surviving the Chewpocalypse with Style and Band-Aids!

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

how long do puppies teethe

Raising a puppy is like riding a roller coaster of cuteness and chaos, especially when it comes to realizing how long puppies teethe. Much like babies, puppies go through a teething stage that involves some discomfort and a whole lot of chewing. Typically, this oral milestone kicks off when puppies are about 3 to 4 weeks old and continues until they’re around 6 months.

 Just imagine — those tiny, needle-like teeth have quite a journey. From the eruption of the deciduous teeth, often called “milk teeth,” to the arrival of their adult set. Your pup’s mouth will undergo a lot of changes during these few months.

As their milk teeth make way for their permanent pearly whites, you might notice an uptick in drooling, some mild irritability, and an insatiable urge to chew everything in sight. We’ve armed ourselves with expert advice from Dr. Martine Van den Broeck, DVM, PhD, in her research on puppy dentition and transition to help you survive those razor-toothed monsters!

During this period, puppies go through the discomfort of new teeth emerging, leading them to chew everything in sight to alleviate the pain. Providing appropriate chew toys and maintaining a dental care routine can help these youngins. 

This gnawing phase is basically when puppies lose their baby teeth to make way for their permanent teeth. Even as you deal with all those master bites, don’t worry. While those little chompers are coming in, there are plenty of ways to soothe your puppy’s gums and keep those new teeth sparkling clean. Just stick with us for this wild ride.

And remember, if at any point the process seems off-track or your puppy is in a lot of discomfort, your vet is just a phone call away to provide guidance and support.

Fun fact: In case you’ve wondered how many teeth dogs have, puppies have 28 milk teeth, while adults have 42 teeth. Well, except for the Chow Chow, which has 44 teeth.

First Teefs to Emerge

When you notice your young one is not just gumming their toys but actually starting to bite them with tiny little teeth, you’re in for a biteful. These tiny teefs making an appearance also mark when puppies can start eating food.

By the way, these little nippers will start to fall out to make room for their adult set by the time they’re 3 months old. But hold onto your slippers! You’ve still got a few months to go. By the time your pup hits 6 months old, they should have all 42 of their adult teeth. Yes, that’s a whole lot of teeth for such a small creature.

In dog dental development, the very first teeth that you’ll see popping through your puppy’s gums are the incisors, which are basically their front teeth. They’re small but sharp! You’ll probably feel them during playtime — ouch!

Next up are the canines, the pointy ones that look a bit like fangs. These are followed by the premolars. Puppies don’t have baby molars. Remember, these are just baby steps — or baby chews if you will — they’ll lose them and get their grown-up versions before you know it.

Puppy Teething Chart

3 to 5 weeksBaby incisors then canines erupt
5 to 8 weeksAll 28 of your pup’s teeth have come in (12 incisors, 4 canines, 12 premolars)
12 weeks (3 months)Baby teeth start to fall off and permanent teeth start to grow 
4 to 6 monthsAll permanent teeth grow. In order of incisors (12), canines (4), premolars (16), then molars (10- 4 upper jaw, 6 lower) 

Fun fact: Experts show you can estimate a young pup’s age using teeth examination. You can do this by checking out which milk teeth have erupted for the younger ones, or which permanent teeth have come up if older. 

Puppy Teething Symptoms 

Spotting the signs early means you can help your furry canine through this gnarly phase.

Chewing Behaviors

You’ll notice your puppy suddenly seems to think everything is a chew toy. Yup, from your favorite sneakers to the sofa legs, chewing is the name of the game when those baby teeth are on the way out. Studies show that destructive chewing as the most common puppy behavior challenge.

Drooling and Gum Irritation

Get ready for the drool! It’s like a faucet you can’t turn off. The act of chewing above stimulates more production. Plus, drool is just a natural coping mechanism for oral discomfort.

Red Gums 

Keep an eye out for their gums — they might look redder than usual. It’s a tough break for pups, but red gums and extra spit are telltale signs that teething is getting under their skin, literally.

Discomfort

Your little buddy might be a bit grumpy, and who can blame them? Discomfort can make puppies whimper or reject food. It’s like having an itchy sweater on your teeth — you’d be wishing for some relief too!

Blood on Chew Toys

In some cases, a small amount of blood may be visible on chew toys or objects as a result of the baby teeth breaking through the gums.

Appetite Changes

Some puppies may experience a temporary decrease in appetite during the process. 

Missing Teeth

It’s common for puppy owners to notice the appearance of gaps where the teeth were.

Helping Your Puppy Through Teething

When your little furball starts losing and growing chompers, things can get a bit gnarly. Your pup’s gums are sore, and they’re going to chew. Let’s make sure they’re chomping on the right stuff below!

Frozen Treats

A frozen carrot or a special teething toys for puppies chilled in the freezer can turn your pup’s frown upside down. The cold helps ease the gum soreness.

Chew Toys

Offer durable rubber chew toys, nylon bones, and even occasional rawhide. These are designed for teething puppies, giving them something safe to bite on, which can also save your sneakers from destruction. These will also help you stop a dog from biting when too excited.

Dental Chews

Dental chews for puppies can be a helpful addition to their oral care routine, promoting good dental hygiene and providing relief during this nibbling stage. 

Wet Washcloth

Dampen a clean washcloth and freeze it. Once frozen, allow your puppy to chew on the cloth. The texture can be soothing for their gums.

Teething Remedies

Gentle Massage: Rub your puppy’s gums gently with a clean finger — just be ready for a bit of nibbling!

Puppy Teething Gel: Pet stores sell specially formulated teething gels. Apply a small dab onto the gums to soothe discomfort.

What to Avoid

Hard Bones: Bones that are too hard can break your pup’s teeth. Stick to softer options that don’t pose a fracture risk.

Poultry bones like chicken: These are fragile and can splinter, causing chocking or injury to the mouth and GI tract.

Human Medication: Never use human pain relief for your pup. Always consult with your vet for puppy-safe options.

Dental Care During Teething

Teething can be a gnawing time for your puppy, but with the right dental care, you can make it a toothsome experience for both of you. Let’s sink our teeth into some essential tips!

Regular Dental Check-Ups

Keeping tabs on your puppy’s dental development is a must. Schedule regular visits to the vet to ensure those little chompers are coming in correctly. These check-ups can prevent dental issues that could become problematic chews, I mean, news, down the road.

Keep Those Teefs Cleans

Get into the habit of brushing your puppy’s teeth daily — yes, daily! Or twice a week for starters. Start with a puppy-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste (never use human toothpaste on your fur baby).

It might feel odd at first for both of you, but with praise and treats, they’ll soon be looking forward to it. Remember, gentle circles on the teeth, and don’t forget those back molars where sneaky plaque likes to hide!

When to See a Vet

Sometimes, when your young canine is chewing everything in sight, you might wonder if everything’s going alright in that little mouth of theirs. Let’s chew over the times you should actually consider taking your puppy to the vet during this phase.

Teething Complications

Teething is usually a straightforward process, but occasionally, your pup might show signs that something is off. If you notice excessive drooling, are getting “ow!” moments from bleeding gums, or see that your pup is more grumpy than a cat on a wet day, it might be time for a vet visit. Also, if your puppy’s appetite has gone down, it could be because of dental troubles.

Persistent Baby Teeth

Now, your puppy’s baby teeth are typically supposed to be out by the time they hit 6 months, kind of like how kids are expected to have their adult teeth by. Well, it’s not exactly the same timeline, but you get the point.

If those baby chompers decide they’re too cozy and don’t fall out, leading to a crowded mouth, your vet should take a look. 

Persistent baby teeth can cause issues like misalignment of the new adult teeth, which can lead to more serious problems. Think of it like a too-tight parking space in a busy lot — not fun for anyone, especially your pup.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Teething can be a gnarly time for your little fur baby, but fear not – we’ve chewed over your top questions to give you the bite-sized answers you need.

What can you give a little 8-week-old Puppy to help with their teething troubles?

At eight weeks, your pup’s gums might be pretty sore. Try chilling a teething toy or a carrot in the fridge to soothe those tender gums. Remember, keep it puppy-safe!

What’s the best chew toy to keep that puppy busy nibbling?

Rubber toys that can be stuffed with treats are like a fun puzzle for your pup. Just make sure it’s durable enough to stand up to those sharp puppy teeth. Look for toys specifically designed for teething puppies.

How can you tell if your puppy is Teething?

Oh, you’ll know. They start chomping on everything in sight – from your shoes to sofa corners. Plus, you might notice a little more drool than usual or even find a tiny tooth lying around!

Do dogs still get the urge to chew at one-year-old?

Totally! Even after the teething stage, dogs love to chew. It’s their way of keeping jaws strong and teeth clean. So keep those safe chew toys handy well into their adult years.

When do pups typically lose their baby teeth?

Your puppy will likely start to lose those needle-sharp milk teeth around 3 to 4 months old. Don’t be shocked if they swallow them – it’s pretty common and usually harmless.

What age do Puppies Stop Biting Everything?

Expect some relief from the constant chewing by the time they hit 6 months, as most pups will have their adult teeth by then. But remember, your canine will always appreciate a good chew session!

Final Thoughts

When your pup starts munching on everything in sight, it’s a good bet they’re teething. Just like human babies, puppies go through a phase where they lose their baby teeth and grow a set of adult chompers. Typically, this toothy business lasts from about three to six months. During this time, your little fluffball might seem a bit mouthier than usual — don’t worry, it’s totally normal!

Remember, this is just a phase, and like most phases (think: terrible twos), they pass. So keep your socks picked up, have a giggle when you find that the remote control now has teeth marks, and give that puppy some extra cuddles. They’re just growing up!

References

  • Broeck, M.V.D., Bels, L.D., Duchateau, L. and Cornillie, P., 2023. Time and sequence of the replacement of the deciduous by the permanent dentition in dogs and its applicability for age estimation. Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia, 52(3), pp.460-489.
  • Roccaro, M. and Peli, A., 2020. Age determination in dog puppies by teeth examination: Legal, health and welfare implications, review of the literature and practical considerations. Veterinaria Italiana, 56(3), pp.149-162.
  • Winter, L., 2023. Decoding puppy behaviour. Companion Animal, 28(4), pp.44-46.
  • Muylle, S. (2023) Dental Development of Dogs – Dog Owners, MSD Veterinary Manual. MSD Veterinary Manual. 
  • Aktan, A.M., Kara, İ., Şener, İ., Bereket, C., Çelik, S., Kırtay, M., Çiftçi, M.E. and Arıcı, N., 2012. An evaluation of factors associated with persistent primary teeth. The European Journal of Orthodontics, 34(2), pp.208-212.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe

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Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.