Bringing a new puppy home is the beginning of an exciting journey. A new puppy needs a lot of care and love, especially when it comes to hygiene. As the owner, it is important to you know about puppy teething and how to properly care for your furry friend’s teeth.
From experience, I know that there is a lot to learn about puppy teething and helpful ways to soothe their mouths while they grow through this stage.
There is nothing more joyful than watching your little puppy grow up into an adult and see their baby teeth change.
What do you need to know about puppy teething?
There is a lot to know about puppy teething!
It is important to know why your puppy is teething, how many teeth they will lose, and how to care for them while they are teething.
Puppies are actually a lot like babies during this stage of their lives. In fact, their mouths experience the same sensitivity as a baby’s mouth does when they are teething.
You might also want to keep some of your precious furniture out of your puppy’s way when they are teething because you never know what they might find to gnaw at (I learned the hard way with this).
Why Do Dogs Teethe in the First Place?
Just like us humans, dogs start with baby teeth and grow adult ones when they reach a certain age.
You might be surprised to know that puppies grow 28 baby teeth during their first three to six weeks of life! That is a lot of pressure in their tiny mouths!
Dogs teethe because they are growing teeth. And this natural process can make their gums very sensitive and sometimes sore.
What Are the Symptoms of Puppy Teething?
There are quite a few symptoms of puppy teething that you should watch out for as a dog owner!
If you are wondering if your puppy is in fact teething, you can run your finger along their gum line and should be able to feel teeth breaking the skin or a slight bulge.
I find that this method works best for determining if teeth are coming.
The first symptom to look out for is bleeding or swollen gums
Do not worry if you notice blood in your puppy’s mouth or on their cute new bed. The gums are swollen and bleeding because teeth are breaking through the skin.
Of course, if you own a St. Bernard puppy, there might be more blood than a Chihuahua because of their size difference.
Chewing is the next major symptom of puppy teething
It is important to go stock up on a bunch of chew toys. Puppies chew during teething because they are trying to soothe their gums by rubbing or biting down on objects.
Chewing helps temporarily relieve the discomfort of growing adult teeth.
Your Pup is Drooling Also
You may also notice your little pup is drooling a lot. Unfortunately, they do not make bay bibs for puppies to stop the drool from going everywhere.
If you notice your puppy is excessively drooling, try to wipe his or her mouth often and keep them off of cloth furniture (drool and cloth do not get along).
If you notice little teeth lying around on your floor, it is probably your puppy’s baby teeth that have fallen out.
Often time, puppies will either swallow them while eating their food or drop them on the floor. Enjoy your puppy’s toothless grin while it lasts – they grow up fast!
Puppies may also experience a poor appetite while teething
Do not be alarmed if he or she turns away from their food bowl because sore gums can make it difficult to eat.
As long as your puppy is showing good signs of health other than not eating, there should be nothing to concern you. You may want to try adding a bit of water to their food to soften it or feed them soft treats.
My teething puppy always gobbled up a handful of soft chew treats that you can find at any pet food store.
Another sign of puppy teething is bad breath
This can be more bothersome for the owner than the puppy itself!
The reason why your puppy has foul breath during teething is that the gums are moist and may be full of bacteria (not harmful). And so once the teeth break through, the dampness of their mouth should reduce as well as the bad breath.
Just keep your nose away from your puppy’s mouth until the bad breath is gone.
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A Timeline of Puppy Teeth
Your new puppy will sprout teeth faster than you can blink. This stage of your little puppy’s life will be over before you know it and he or she will be on her way to toddlerhood very quickly.
There are a few stages of teething: 2-3 week stage, 3-5 week stage, and 5-6 week stage.
During these stages, your puppy’s teeth will be going under some serious transformation that will leave you feeling like a proud puppy parent.
Most likely during this stage, your puppy will still be at the breeder’s home or with the mother.
Also, your puppy’s baby teeth will look and come in similar to that of a human baby’s teeth, except there won’t be as much screaming and crying involved.
# During the first 2-3 weeks
Your puppy will just begin opening their eyes and begin nursing from their mother. Their baby teeth will start to emerge, and by the end of the third week, the majority of their baby teeth will start coming through the jaw.
It is during the 2-3 week stage the incisor teeth make their appearance in your puppy’s mouth.
# The 3-5 week stage
Marks the period when the four canine teeth emerge.
They should also be able to begin eating soft food at this time but should avoid anything hard to chew because of their gum and teeth sensitivity.
# By the 5-week
Mark your darling puppy should have all his or her teeth. The 5-6 week stage is typically right around the time owners come to pick up their new puppies.
When you bring your puppy home, it is important to start gently rubbing their gums with your finger to get them used to future teeth brushing.
However, be careful they don’t nip you because their 5-6 week teeth are razor sharp and are also the premolars that are strong.
You may also start finding your puppy’s teeth falling out just after this stage of development as well; don’t worry, they do not feel like stepping on a kid’s Lego!
Your puppy’s adult teeth will cause some discomfort when coming through, so it is important to keep providing them with lots of chew toys.
In total, the average dog has 42 adult teeth but the type of teeth can vary from breed to breed.
# From 12-16 weeks
The adult incisor and canine teeth will start coming in. The canine teeth are meant for holding things in the mouth or when the dog needs to defend him or herself.
The incisor teeth are used for nibbling food orbiting at an object or treat.
# Weeks 16-20 are
When your dog’s premolars will emerge, create a more mature look at your dog’s oral structure.
I remember when I first noticed my dog’s mouth changing into more of an adult mouth – it was a very sentimental moment!
Your puppy’s teeth will need more rubbing and brushing at this stage to help with teething pain.
# Weeks 16-24
It should be the last stage of adult teeth coming in and your dog’s molars should also be growing in.
These molars will help your dog crush or grind food and bones well.
# Month 5 to 6
When your puppy hits the 5 to 6-month age range all of their adult teeth should have grown in. This is a very exciting moment for your puppy as they enter adulthood.
Make sure you are still providing your dog with chew toys to prevent chewing on your coffee table and bed.
What do you need to know about puppy Nipping?
It is important to teach your puppy that nipping is not okay, especially if you have small children in the home. It is a natural urge for puppies to want to bite, but their sharp teeth do not feel good when they bite at your skin.
It is good to know why your puppy nips and ways to stop it. It is okay to encourage your puppy to gently play but if he or she keeps biting hard then you should correct the behavior.
You may want to pull your hand away if your puppy tries biting to teach them to not nip.
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Why Puppy Nipping is Dangerous?
Puppy nipping is dangerous because it can break the skin and cause bleeding and bruising. If an adult is nipped by a puppy it is painful, but can you imagine a small child being nipped?
It would be extremely painful for them and could cause damage to their sensitive skin. Not only that, puppies who unnecessarily nip can turn into dogs who bite.
How to Stop a Puppy from Nipping?
There are many great ways to stop puppy nipping. From experience, I recommend the “leave it” command in a strong voice.
If your puppy tries to bite your hand, pull back and say “leave it” in a loud command.
It is helpful to redirect your puppy and even provide it with a toy when it tries to nip so that it knows it should bite the toy instead of a hand.
Once your puppy is vaccinated and ready to socialize, try having a playdate with another dog so that your puppy will realize how hard to bite.
How to Survive Puppy Teething?
You do not have to lose your mind (or hand) while your puppy is teething.
There are many great products out there to help your puppy successfully get through this stage.
Most canines love toys, so now is your chance to stock up on a bunch of cute toys for mutts to tear apart.
Some popular ones you may want to try are Nyla bones, any Kong bone or toy, and teething keys which resemble ones designed for babies.
Remember, the more you give your dog to chew the better their gums and teeth will feel.
Incorporate Healthy Eating
Giving your dog healthy food and treats to munch on will also help with the teething stage.
Crunchy vegetables and chewy treats can help soothe any discomfort in your dog’s mouth and give them something to chomp down on.
You may also want to pop some peeled carrots in the freezer for your dog to gnaw on.
The icy feeling on the carrots will slightly numb your dog’s gums and the carrots will provide them with something tough to chew on.
Designated Teeth-Free Zone
If you are still looking for ideas, you may want to try designating teeth-free zones in your household. You can do this by cornering off a safe area that does not have anything dangerous for your dog to chew on.
Most people have a teething-free zone if they have to run to the store for a quick minute or hop in the shower. This also gives the small doggy a place where it will learn it cannot chew on things.
What Interesting Facts Should You Know About Puppy Teething?
- Puppies are born without any teeth
- Brushing your dog’s teeth can help with teething
- Teething happens, in the same way, a human baby teethes
- Puppies have more teeth than kittens
How Many Teeth Does a Dog Have?
Dogs will develop 42 teeth, which is 10 more than we humans have.
Puppies will grow incisors, canines, premolars, and molars when they reach adulthood. However, depending on the size of the pooch breed an adult dog can have fewer teeth than the average 42.
Why Puppies Bite?
Puppies are constantly on the lookout to find things to put in their mouth.
When puppies engage in play with their owner or other puppy pals they like to play with their mouth, and so this should not be confused with aggression.
Why Are Puppy Teeth Sharp?
Puppies have sharp teeth for many reasons, even though as owners we do not like their sharpness! However, because puppies have weak jaws still, the sharp teeth make up for it.
During the weaning process, a puppy’s sharp teeth will cause the mother to push him or her away allowing them to seek out real food.
What to Do if a Teething Puppy Bites You?
If you are bit by a teething puppy, you might feel some pain because of their razor-sharp teeth.
That being said, a puppy has not yet been exposed to the environment, other dogs, and many germs so you most likely do not have to get a tetanus shot.
Simply disinfect the bite and bandage it up to prevent germs from entering the wound.
When do Puppy’s Teeth Fall Out?
You should expect to notice your puppy’s teeth falling between 14 to 30 weeks of age.
Some owners like to keep the baby teeth and others vacuum or toss them out.
What to do When a Puppy Starts Losing Their Teeth?
As soon as you notice your puppy is losing teeth, keep your eye out for them in the home.
You will also want to start giving your puppy chew toys to chew on and he or she may start experiencing gum discomfort due to teething.
At What Age Do Puppies Get Their Permanent Teeth?
It all depends on the breed of puppy you brought home! Most dogs will develop their adult teeth around four or five months of age.
They will lose their 28 puppy teeth and develop 42 mature adult teeth.
You should notice six incisor teeth on the top and bottom, and your puppy looks more like an adult.
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How to Keep the Teeth Healthy?
Your dog needs teeth to chew food and toys, and so it is a good idea to learn the types of teeth your dog has in his or her mouth. The adult dog has molars, premolars, canines, and incisors.
The incisors are at the front of your dog’s mouth and there are six at the top and six at the bottom.
Incisors are used mainly for tearing and chomping tough food. Molars are in the back of the mouth and are used for grinding food.
The premolars grow behind the canines and are sharp, they are used for chewing and gnawing at bones. The canines are the fang-like teeth that are there to carry objects tightly in the mouth.
Help Relieve Your Puppy’s Distress
While your dog is developing adult teeth, there might be some distress and pain in its mouth. Luckily, you, the owner, can do a lot for your sweet pup to help them feel better!
# Stock the Toy Box to Reduce those Puppy Teething Symptoms
I always made sure my dog had tons of toys to keep their mouths busy. I stocked up on bones, stuffed animals, and rubber-made toys that can take a lot of beating.
# Frozen Chews
Additionally, I froze carrots, bananas, and sweet potatoes for my dog to chew on. The coldness from the freezer soothed their gums while giving them something tough to chew on.
# Change Your Tooth-brushing to Gum Massage
Another great way to ease your puppy’s teething distress is by massaging their gums.
Not only does this give your puppy relief, but it also prepares them for future teeth brushing and allows for bonding with you.
# Protect Your Belongings and Yourself
The worst thing that can happen is having your favorite pair of slippers or a new coffee table chewed by your puppy. It is also a good idea to hide your valuables during the teething stage so you do not have to pay the price later.
If there are items you cannot move then try setting up a puppy gate around them so your dog cannot access those items.
Problems That Can Occur
Sometimes when a dog is developing adult teeth there might be a problem.
Do not worry if you notice your dog’s teeth developing differently, but you should seek advice from a veterinarian.
# Retained Baby Teeth
If you are still seeing a baby tooth and not an adult tooth in your dog’s mouth then this is called a retained tooth.
You should contact your vet if you notice a retained tooth so that they can exfoliate the gums and encourage the tooth to fall out and make room for an adult tooth.
# Wrong Number of Teeth
You may also recognize that your dog has the wrong number of teeth. Do not panic! This may be because of your dog’s breed or the size of his or her mouth; smaller mouths hold fewer teeth.
If you notice any other problem that worries you then be sure to have it looked at immediately, such as painful-looking crooked teeth or an infected tooth.
When to Consult a Puppy Professional?
If you have tirelessly tried to get your puppy to stop nipping and chewing everything in existence while teething, you might need to call a puppy professional.
A Qualified Behavior Professional can come to your home, meet your new puppy, and give you some helpful tips.
Now that you have thoroughly read about all there is to know about teething and nipping, you can consider yourself an expert!
It took me a while to get to know the ins and outs of teething, but it gets easier the more puppies you bring home into your family.
Now you should hopefully be more confident when dealing with your puppy’s nipping and teething issues.