Table of Contents
- 5 Stages of Puppy Teething
- What Are the Main Puppy Teething Concerns?
- What to Do When Your Puppy is Teething
- How to Help a Teething Puppy
- Products That Can Help with Teething
There are a few things all dog owners worry about when they’re about to bring a puppy home.
My biggest worries were that Maggie wouldn’t like her toys, enjoy her food, or even adjust to her change in home.
The last thing on my mind was her teething schedule.
When it came to anything health related, I figured that her vet would fill me in if anything wasn’t looking right.
Learning about your puppy’s teething schedule is actually something that can help you understand and care for your dog better as they grow.
I wish I could have done more research to stay ahead of the game.
Here’s everything you should know about puppy teething and what kind of schedule it has.
5 Stages of Puppy Teething
Dogs have different stages of teething just like humans do, but they have many more.
In total, dogs go through five stages of teething that owners can keep an eye on:
Stage 1: 2-4 Weeks
When puppies are born, they don’t have any visible teeth.
Their teeth stay hidden in their gums until around three weeks of age, but can start coming in as early as two weeks.
Puppies get 28 milk teeth, or deciduous teeth. They’re tiny and not very sharp, which means that any teeth that do descend during the first few weeks won’t hurt the mom when the pups nurse.
Stage 2: 5-6 Weeks
Between the fifth and sixth weeks of life, a puppy will start to develop their canines and pre-molars.
Canines are the long sharp teeth that will help them bite into food, and molars will assist in chewing.
At this point, they’ll start being weaned off their mother, since nursing will be much more difficult with the sharper teeth descending from the gums.
You can start switching to puppy gruel or mush around this time.
Stage 3: 8 Weeks-3 Months
When your pup comes home at eight weeks old, they should have all their teeth.
This is good, because it means they’ll more easily be able to eat soft foods.
At the same time, they go straight into the next teething stage, which is when they lose their baby teeth.
By the time they reach three months old, they’ll have lost their entire first set of teeth.
You may notice that your pup doesn’t have a strong grip when they bite.
Maggie wasn’t able to play tug when she was this young, and that’s because it takes until stage four for the roots to absorb into the gums.
That doesn’t mean the teeth are permanent, but it does mean that their bite will grow stronger.
As they chew and bite things more forcefully, the baby teeth will continue to fall out until they reach six months.
Stage 5: 6-8 Months
At six months old, your dog should have lost all their puppy teeth and grown into their adult teeth.
Some pups may need until they’re seven or eight months old to do this, as the growth period can be different depending on the dog and their genes.
By their eight month birthday, your dog should have all 42 adult teeth that are relatively all the same size. Any teeth that are noticeably smaller are probably leftover baby teeth and should be removed by your vet.
What Are the Main Puppy Teething Concerns?
The first immediate concern you may have for your puppy is their level of discomfort.
Do their gums hurt all the time, even on the first day you bring them home?
At best, they’ll have on mild amounts of discomfort when growing in and losing their milk teeth.
Another concern is that your puppy may not grow all the teeth they need. As you take your pup to the vet, they’ll keep an eye on this with oral checks at every exam.
One other teething issue that some puppies deal with is not losing their baby teeth.
Sometimes adult teeth begin to form, but the milk teeth stick. If you see this happening, let your vet know as soon as possible, so they can surgically remove the baby teeth if needed.
What to Do When Your Puppy is Teething
Puppies are known for chewing up anything they can get to, and that’s because for most of their first year of life, they’re teething.
The most important things you can do for your teething pup is to always give them access to toys and puppy proof your home.
You’ll learn what your puppy is interested in chewing in your home as they grow, but here are some basic preventative measures you can take:
- Lock the lid on your trash can.
- Put medicine in cabinets.
- Hide cleaning solutions behind doors or locks.
- Minimize loose electric cords.
Anything that may have a scent, be within reach, or look like fun to a curious puppy will be at risk of being chewed while your dog is little.
While you won’t escape the puppy years without your dog chewing anything, hiding away dangers like food, medicine, and electric cords is essential to do.
How to Help a Teething Puppy
I would have assumed that the best way to help a teething puppy would be to give them some kind of pain medication and limit their access to chew toys.
In reality, letting them chew on their favorite toys is the best way to help them through their teething process.
It’s a way to relieve their aching gum while also loosening up teeth that need to fall out.
If you’re concerned about the pain that will still be left after a good chew session, you can always buy freezable toys and let them gnaw on something frozen.
It’s like when you put an ice pack against an injury. It will reduce their swelling and numb any pain.
Products That Can Help with Teething
I remember wanting to get Maggie the right toys for her teething besides the stuffed animals I had set up all over her crate.
Thankfully, there are a lot of options out there for teething pups to enjoy.
It may seem like the opposite of what you need to get, but avoid bones and buy any hard rubber toy instead.
Puppy teeth will gnaw bones into tiny fragments that end up upsetting their stomachs.
Instead, invest in hard rubber toys like Kongs.
They’ll last a long time, can hide treats, and can even be put in the freezer. Frozen toys will help cool aching gums during teething.
You can also look for hard nylon or thick rope toys.
They’re also durable against sharp puppy teeth so you won’t need to worry about cycling through tons of toys.
There were some cords and electronics that Maggie could sometimes get access to.
I checked out a few anti-chew sprays and found that they can actually work. This will take some trial and error, but you’ll eventually find a flavor that your dog won’t enjoy licking.
Maggie loved the first bitter blackberry spray I bought, but she wasn’t a fan of sour apple spray.
See what works with your dog and call your vet if you have any questions about a product’s ingredients.
Puppy teething isn’t as scary as it may seem.
With the right training, toys, and attention, you and your dog will both make it safely through their first year at home.
After Maggie turned a year old, she stopped chewing on things like magic.
With some time and the right toys, you and your puppy will conquer their teething.
When do puppies start teething?
Teething really begins during their third stage, which is when they have all their baby teeth and now the adult teeth are starting to grow in.
It’s an uncomfortable period for your pup, but nothing to be afraid of.
When do dogs lose their puppy teeth?
Puppies start to lose their teeth almost as soon as they get brought home at eight weeks old.
Their teeth will be so tiny, you’ll most likely never find them. They can get lost in carpets and even swallowed while your puppy eats.
Do puppy teeth fall out?
Puppy teeth begin falling out as early as eight to ten weeks old.
Once all their milk teeth have grown in, it’ll be time for the adult teeth to begin to form.
How many teeth does a dog have?
Puppies have 28 milk teeth as their first set of teeth, but by the time all their adult teeth come in, they’ll have 42 in total.
What are some symptoms of my puppy teething?
You may notice that your puppy chews more often on toys, gnawing on them instead of ripping them apart.
They could also have gaps in their mouths when their teeth fall out or be sensitive to being touched around their mouths.
Does teething hurt my puppy?
Teething isn’t fun for any puppy to experience, but they won’t be in any immense amount of pain.
They’ll mostly have an uncomfortable sensation in their gums, which can be helped by frozen toys.