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Understanding the Puppy Teething Process

February 1, 2021

Do you have a puppy? If so, you will need to provide lots of chew toys over the next few months, as well as doing some petproofing. Aside from protecting the sofa legs from your puppy’s incessant chewing, there’s not a whole lot you can do while your new pet is going through the teething process. However, it’s a good idea to learn about teething. That way, you know what your puppy is going through and when, and you can let your vet know right away if something seems amiss.

Newborn Puppies

Just like human babies, our canine buddies are born with no teeth. They don’t need them at this stage, after all—your puppy will nurse milk from their mother. At this stage, puppies can’t chew: they would need to be hand-fed from a bottle if the mother isn’t available.

2-3 Weeks of Age

Around two or three weeks of age, your puppy’s first baby teeth will start coming through his gums. The smaller front teeth, called the incisors, are usually the first ones to appear. The canine teeth will follow—these are the four long fangs. Your puppy’s premolars are the last to arrive, and they come in behind the canines near the back of the mouth. When everything has been said and done, your puppy will have 28 baby teeth, which are known medically as the deciduous teeth and are often referred to as the “milk teeth.”

6 Weeks of Age

By the time that your puppy is about six weeks old, all 28 baby teeth will probably have come in. Around this time, little Fido will be in the process of getting weaned off of the mother’s milk or formula, and will begin eating solid puppy food.

3-4 Months of Age

Around the 12- to 16-week mark, your puppy’s baby teeth will start to fall out. The adult teeth come in and simply push the deciduous teeth out of the way. You may occasionally notice a baby tooth on the floor or by your puppy’s water or food bowls. Most often, though, your furry friend simply swallows the baby teeth as they come out, which is perfectly normal.

6 Months and Older

By the time your dog is around six months old, all 28 of his baby teeth will likely be gone, replaced by 42 adult teeth. Your puppy will now have his molars in addition to his premolars, which are the largest teeth at the back of the mouth that help with chewing and mashing food … as well as the occasional book or sneaker. Ask your vet for puppyproofing tips!

Our Advice on Understanding the Puppy Teething Process in 2024

How can you tell if your puppy is experiencing pain or discomfort during the teething process?

During the teething process, puppies may show signs of pain or discomfort, such as increased chewing, drooling, irritability, and reluctance to eat. You might notice them chewing on furniture, toys, or other objects more frequently to alleviate gum discomfort. Swollen or bleeding gums can also indicate teething pain. Providing appropriate chew toys can help soothe their gums. If your puppy seems excessively uncomfortable or exhibits unusual behavior, consult your veterinarian to ensure there are no underlying issues and to get recommendations for managing teething discomfort.

Are there any dietary changes or supplements that can support healthy tooth development in puppies during the teething stage?

To support healthy tooth development in puppies during the teething stage, provide a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients like calcium and phosphorus. High-quality puppy food formulated for growth ensures they receive adequate vitamins and minerals necessary for strong teeth and bones. Additionally, incorporating dental chews designed for puppies can promote oral health and alleviate teething discomfort. Avoid giving hard bones or excessively tough chews that could damage developing teeth. Always consult with a veterinarian before introducing any supplements to ensure they are appropriate for your puppy’s specific needs.

How can you safely and effectively clean your puppy’s teeth during the teething process to prevent dental issues?

To safely and effectively clean your puppy’s teeth during the teething process, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and puppy-specific toothpaste. Start by gently brushing a few teeth at a time to acclimate your puppy to the routine. Avoid using human toothpaste, as it can be harmful to dogs. Incorporate dental chews and toys designed to reduce plaque and tartar buildup. Regularly check for any signs of dental issues, such as swollen gums or persistent bad breath. Establishing a consistent oral hygiene routine early helps prevent dental problems and promotes long-term oral health.

Are there any breeds that are more prone to dental issues or complications during the teething process?

Certain breeds are more prone to dental issues and complications during the teething process. Small and toy breeds, such as Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, and Pomeranians, often experience overcrowded teeth and retained baby teeth, which can lead to dental problems. Brachycephalic breeds, like Bulldogs and Pugs, may also face challenges due to their jaw structure. Regular veterinary check-ups, proper dental care, and monitoring for signs of dental issues are crucial for these breeds. Early intervention helps prevent complications and ensures healthy tooth development.

How long does the teething process typically last from start to finish?

The teething process in puppies typically lasts from 3 to 6 months. It begins around 2 to 3 weeks of age when the first baby teeth emerge and continues until about 6 months when all 28 baby teeth are replaced by 42 adult teeth. During this period, puppies will experience phases of increased chewing and potential discomfort as their adult teeth push out the deciduous ones. Providing appropriate chew toys and maintaining a consistent oral hygiene routine can help manage teething discomfort and support healthy dental development.

Do you have questions about your puppy’s teething? We’re here to help. Call your vet clinic in Waterdown, ON today.

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