What to Do When Your Puppy Loses a Tooth

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Puppies are born without teeth.

Their baby teeth begin to come in when they are around two weeks old. By the time they are 8 to 10 weeks old, they should have all 28 of their baby teeth.

However, not long after, when they’re about four to six months old, they will begin to lose their teeth when the adult teeth come in.

When puppies start to lose their teeth, many dog parents wonder if they should help these teeth along.

Puppy parents often notice that their puppies are losing their teeth because they find them on the floor or because they see blood on their toys. 

As new dog parents, it is hard to know how to help your puppy when they start losing their teeth.

This article is to aid new dog parents on what you should do to help your puppy through their teething process.

For some puppies, the teething process can be very painful.

The Tooth is Loose

It is fun to watch our puppies grow, and part of that process is teething.

I know for Mira, her adult teeth grew in quickly and easily, with minimal issues. There were only a couple of days she showed discomfort.

Should I Pull My Puppy’s Tooth?

When puppy parents first notice a loose tooth, their first thought is to pull it. 

However, it is best to leave that tooth alone and allow it to fall out naturally. Puppy teeth are different than human teeth, and they have longer roots. 

If we pull our puppy’s tooth out and accidentally break the roots off, your puppy will get an infection that will require surgical attention1.  

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Should I Give My Puppy Something to Chew On?

Absolutely! One of the biggest complaints puppy parents have is that their puppy is chewing on their stuff.

Puppies need puppy safe items to chew on when teething. Chewing helps relieve pressure and loosen their teeth.

There are several different teething toys on the market today. Puppy toys for teething help provide comfort as well as encourage the truth to come out naturally. 

Some of my favorite toys to use during the teething process for Mira were ones that could be frozen. Mira seemed to get the greatest amount of comfort from cold items. 

We frequently used the Kong Puppy Goodie Bone. I filled the ends with canned food then popped it in the freezer. The added food encouraged chewing, and the cold helped with the discomfort.

We also used the puppy-sized traditional Kong when we left since it lasted longer; again, we filled it with food and froze it.

My #1 recommendation for puppy parents with teething puppies is to have multiple frozen toys on hand.

Though puppies going through the teething process need to chew on harder toys, you do not want to give toys that are too hard such as antlersbones, and rawhides.

Some of these harder toys can cause your puppy’s teeth to break.

Related: Best Chew Proof Dog Collars for Your Puppy

Should I Give My Puppy Something for the Pain?

If your puppy is having severe pain, it is best to reach out to your veterinarian for medical advice on what you can give your puppy. 

Puppies are far more sensitive to medications than adult dogs, which is why it is not safe to give puppies medications unless prescribed by your veterinarian. 

Also, it is best not to use teething medications meant for humans, such as topical gels, since many contain toxic ingredients to dogs.

If your veterinarian feels that your puppy is in extreme discomfort, they may prescribe a compound formulated at a pet pharmacy that is safe for your puppy. 

Your veterinarian will most likely recommend more natural products such as safe chew toys and other home remedies. 

Some easy and safe home remedies include frozen fruit such as bananas and strawberries, avoid grapes as they are toxic. 

However, please don’t overdo it with fruit since it is high in fiber and can cause digestive issues. Another great option is frozen carrots, again only feed one a day due to their high fiber content. 

Frozen rope toys can make great teething options. Though it is essential your dog is well supervised so they do not eat any of the toy.

The frozen rope provides comfort because the cold helps numb and the soft rope will massage the gums. 

Though ice is safe to give your puppy it is best to give them smaller pieces or crushed ice so as to avoid broken teeth. 

Related: Best Chew Proof Squeaky Toys for Your Puppy

What to Do for Your Teething Puppy

Puppy teeth - What to do

Besides providing frozen kongs, fruit, and vegetables, distracting your puppy with walks, the dog park, the training game, or playing fetch can help keep your puppy’s mind off their sore mouth. 

However, it is essential to provide proper toys and plenty of them. In addition to the frozen toys, many toys help provide greater comfort to the gum area.

The teething toys that I recommend to friends and family include:

Another thing that works when puppies are teething is to massage their gums with your finger.

The nice thing about massaging your puppy’s gums is that it accomplishes two different things.

First, it helps to relieve your puppy’s discomfort.

And second, it will help make brushing your dog’s teeth easier since they will already be comfortable with your finger in their mouth.

To massage their gums, put one finger in their mouth between the side of their cheek and gently move your finger in a circular motion.

If your puppy does not respond well to this and thinks that you are playing it is best to stop. 

The ideal time to try this activity when your puppy is already tired. 

Conclusion

Having gone through multiple oral surgeries with Sophie, I can tell you it is not something you want to go through with your puppy. 

So, as tempting as it is to pull your puppy’s tooth, it is best to leave it alone and try one of the remedies listed above.

If you find your puppy chewing on non-approved items, redirect them to a puppy approved toy. 

Patience is key to getting through the teething process. Remember, the teething stage will pass, and most puppies lose all of their teeth by six months old.  

FAQs

Is It OK If My Puppy Swallows a Tooth?

Yep! It is not uncommon for your puppy to accidentally swallow their baby teeth.

Should You Pull Your Puppy’s Loose Tooth Out?

No, allow your puppy’s tooth to come out on its own.

Do You Need to Brush Your Puppy’s Teeth?

It is unnecessary to brush your puppy’s teeth. However, it is a great training opportunity to get them used to the feel of it when their adult teeth come in.

When Do Puppies Start to Lose Their Baby Teeth?

Puppies start to lose their teeth between four to six months old.

Resources

  1. https://www.fairmontvet.com/ouch-puppy-teeth/#:~:text=When%20puppies%20start%20the%20teething,causing%20an%20infection%20to%20occur.
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