Puppy’s teething troubles have a nasty pointy end and can be quite sore.
Caution: Puppy’s teething is like meeting Jurassic Park raptors – cleverly disguised as a ball of cuteness.
Your puppy won’t hunt you down and eat you, but when you’re dealing with puppy teething, we all ask: “When will my puppy stop teething?”
Let’s help you with:
- how puppy’s teeth grow
- what happens during teething
- how you can avoid puppy bites
- avoid bad puppy teething behaviour
Dogs growth through two sets of teeth like we do
Your puppy’s baby teeth start appearing as early as 3 to 5 weeks of age. They have a full set of puppy teeth by 8 weeks old already.
At 4 to 6 months, teething starts. This is the process a puppy’s adult teeth start coming in and puppy teeth start falling out.
How many teeth do Dogs have?
A set of puppy teeth amounts to 28. Those include:
- 12 incisors
- 4 canines and
- 12 premolars
Only a month after your puppy finishes growing them, he starts losing his baby teeth.
Adult dogs have 42 teeth. They have:
- 12 incisors
- four canines
- 16 premolars and
- 10 molars.
Adult teeth don’t all growth through at once. They should all be in your puppy is 6 months old and are there for life.
What happens to your puppies baby teeth?
May times a puppy swallows his own baby teeth. That’s kind of gross, but it’s quite natural and nothing to worry about. You may rarely find the odd baby canine lying on the floor.
Worry if a baby tooth doesn’t fall out.
Sometimes an adult tooth comes in right behind a baby tooth and two teeth vie for one spot. This is most common with the canine teeth, the fangs, but it’s not good. If you see permanent teeth coming in while the baby teeth are still there, it’s important to see a vet and possibly have those baby teeth extracted.
~ according to Dr Everett Mobley, DMV
When Do Dogs Stop Teething?
A general timeline of when your puppy’s teeth come in is a follows:
- 2 to 3 weeks: Your puppy’s incisors come in.
- 3 to 5 weeks: Your puppy’s four canines emerge.
- 5 to 6 weeks: Your puppy’s premolars come in.
By 8 weeks of age, the full set of baby teeth have come in.
- Weeks 12 to 16, the adult incisors start coming in. The canines come in around this time, too.
- Weeks 16 to 20: Your dog’s premolars start coming in.
- Weeks 16 to 24: Your dog’s molars come in.
By 5 to 6 months of age, all your puppy’s adult teeth should have come in.
Why do Dogs teethe in the first place?
So, why do dogs grow two sets of teeth? Turns out both dogs and humans do it for the same reasons.
Dogs and humans start growing teeth as we start weaning off a mother’s milk and transitioning to solid food.
The problem: adult teeth are too big for our jaws at this age.
Until a child or a puppy’s jaws get a little bigger, we are stuck with our baby teeth. Baby teeth also act as a guide for our adult teeth come in properly. As our jaws grow it’s why we have big gaps between our teeth before our adult teeth come in. Our adult teeth grow in those spaces the same way your puppy’s teeth do.
Keeping your Dog’s teeth healthy
Cavities are rarely seen in dogs, but that doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t have dental problems. You have to help look after your fur buddy’s teeth.
Most veterinarians recommend daily brushing. Problem is not all dogs will tolerate having their teeth brushed. It is always recommended to at least try to brush your dog’s teeth. Once a week would be good or once a month at the least. The earlier you start a dog on a regular dental care routine, the more likely Fido will tolerate it.
Why Are Puppy Teeth So Sharp?
As wild puppies transition from milk to solid food, they need sharp teeth to tear into the meat Mom brings them.
Sharp teeth also have a social function. They teach your puppy how to interact with other dogs. This is called ‘bite inhibition’. Puppies learn that biting another puppy too hard while playing is bad.
Your puppy learns that he will get more play time if he is gentle with his friends. Older dogs might give a scarier correction for obnoxious puppy biting. Most pups will learn very quickly and want to avoid that in the future.
Unfortunately, this does not always happen when puppies but us. It’s often hard for puppies to learn not to bite us hard. It can take a while to get that lesson into their cute little heads.
How to handle Puppy teething
A puppy who’s teething likes to chew on everything. This usually means that you get chewed on too.
When my German Shepherd puppy was teething, my arms, feet, ankles, toes, fingers all looked very practised upon.
Why did he feel the need to chew on everything — a.k.a. mostly me?
When puppy teeth come in, they hurt — similar to a human baby’s teeth. When his adult teeth come in, your dog is still a puppy. His jaws are developing and his teeth are moving. This causes lots of aches and pains.
Chewing on things helps ease those aches and pains. You’ll want to protect your furniture, shoes, lower limbs and your fingers from a teething puppy. The best way to do that is to provide toys meant for chewing, like Kongs.
During this time, try to avoid using your hands to interact with your puppy. Humans often use their hands to touch dogs and play with them. Puppies see our hands as playthings and therefore, chew toys. Replace your hands with actual dog toys to help redirect this behaviour.
Have a toy on hand always to interact with your teething puppy. This way he won’t chew on your hands, pant legs or shoes. It also teaches your puppy that the fun continues if he chews on the toy, but the fun stops if he bites you. It’s always important that training be fun.
Important: do not give your puppy a toy after he puts his teeth on you. Your puppy will think: ‘Hmm, how do I get my human to play with me? Oh, I know, if I bite them, I’ll get a toy,’ Be proactive and give him the toy first.
What to do if a teething Puppy bites you
The second a puppy puts his teeth on skin, stop playing. Walk away from him. You can even mimic what another puppy would do, let out a ‘yip’ sound.
It causes the puppy to stop and look at you to see if he hurt you. Use that time to walk away from him, wait about 10 seconds and then return to playing with a toy. In no time a puppy learns that if he puts his teeth on you, the playing stops.
Let us know: Is your puppy teething? Got any puppy teething horror stories? How do you deal?