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Arch Creek Animal Clinic
Call us today! 305-945-1223
Give us a call today! 305-945-1223

15372 W Dixie Hwy, 
North Miami Beach,
FL 33162

Understanding the Puppy Teething Process

February 1 2021

Do you have a teething puppy in your household? This is an adorable (and sometimes destructive) stage of your pet’s life. Aside from protecting your furniture legs from your puppy’s incessant chewing, there’s not a whole lot to do while your little Fido is going through the teething process. Knowing some details about puppy teething is a good idea, though. That way, you know what your pet is going through and when, and you can let your vet know right away if something seems amiss.

Newborn Puppies

Just like human babies, puppies are born without teeth. They don’t need them at this stage, after all. They will nurse from their mother if possible. If the mother isn’t available, they’ll need to be hand-fed from a bottle.

2-3 Weeks of Age

Around two or three weeks of age, little Fido’s first baby teeth will start coming out of the gums. The smaller front teeth, called the incisors, are usually the first to appear. The canine teeth will follow—these are the four long fangs. Your furry pal’s premolars are the last to appear, and they come in behind the canines near the back of the mouth. When it’s all said and done, your canine friend 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 your pet 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 they’ll begin eating solid puppy food.

3-4 Months of Age

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

6 Months and Older

By the time your dog is six months old, all 28 of his baby teeth will likely be gone, and will have been replaced by 42 adult teeth. Your puppy will now have molars in addition to premolars, which are the largest teeth at the back of the mouth that help with chewing and mashing food.

Our Advice on Understanding the Puppy Teething Process in 2024

How often should owners brush their puppy’s teeth during teething?

During the teething process, owners should aim to brush their puppy’s teeth several times a week, ideally every other day. This helps maintain oral hygiene and introduces the puppy to a regular dental care routine early on. Use a puppy-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to gently clean the teeth and gums, focusing on areas where plaque can build up. Regular brushing helps alleviate discomfort associated with teething and reduces the risk of dental issues as adult teeth emerge. Always consult with a veterinarian for personalized recommendations and proper techniques.

Can the teething process affect a puppy’s appetite or eating habits?

Yes, the teething process can affect a puppy’s appetite and eating habits. As baby teeth fall out and adult teeth come in, puppies may experience gum soreness and discomfort, making eating less appealing. They might eat more slowly, be picky about food texture, or temporarily lose interest in eating. Softening their kibble with water or offering wet food can help ease discomfort. Monitoring their eating habits and ensuring they maintain a healthy diet is crucial during this period. Consult a veterinarian if significant changes in appetite or weight occur.

Are there any breed-specific considerations or timelines for teething that owners should be aware of?

Breed-specific considerations for teething do exist, as smaller breeds often start and complete the teething process earlier than larger breeds. For instance, toy breeds may begin losing baby teeth around three months, while large breeds might start closer to four months. Additionally, some breeds with unique dental structures, such as brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs or Pugs, might experience more dental crowding, leading to potential complications. Owners should monitor their puppy’s teething closely and consult their veterinarian to ensure the teething process progresses smoothly and to address any breed-specific concerns.

How can owners puppy-proof their home to prevent damage from chewing?

To puppy-proof a home and prevent damage from chewing, owners should remove or secure items within reach. Keep electrical cords, shoes, and small objects out of the puppy’s environment. Provide plenty of chew toys to satisfy their need to chew, redirecting them to these when necessary. Use baby gates to restrict access to off-limits areas and store household chemicals and valuables in locked cabinets. Apply taste deterrents to furniture and other items that cannot be moved. Consistent supervision and crate training when unsupervised also help prevent unwanted chewing behaviors.

When should owners schedule their puppy’s first dental check-up with a veterinarian?

Owners should schedule their puppy’s first dental check-up with a veterinarian around six months of age, coinciding with the completion of the teething process. This timing allows the veterinarian to ensure that the adult teeth are coming in properly and to check for any retained baby teeth or other dental issues. Our veterinary dentistry services can help identify and address any potential problems early on. Early dental check-ups help establish good oral hygiene habits and allow the vet to identify and address potential problems before they escalate. Regular dental care is crucial for maintaining a puppy’s overall health and preventing future dental complications.

Do you have questions about your puppy’s teething? We’re here to help. For more information on maintaining your pet’s oral health, check out our article on Care Tips for Your Pet’s Dental Health. Call your vet clinic in North Miami Beach, FL, today.