Raising a small puppy, watching it grow, playing, all that can be super fun and very rewarding. Just like children, puppies also go through stages of teething. Puppy teething is a delicate stage of every dog’s development that can be more challenging than fun. That’s for both the owner and the little puppy. The following guide covers every aspect of puppy teething and offers guidance on how to deal with it.
Apart from that, it also covers how to keep them healthy, things to avoid so that the pup’s teeth are protected, and how to notice if there is something wrong with its teeth.
Puppy Teething Timeline
Birth To 2 Weeks
Dogs are born without any teeth. During this period, it will slowly start to open its eyes and take notice of the environment in which it is. At this point, all you can do is to take it to a veterinarian for its first health check-up to see if everything is okay with the little pup.
2 To 4 Weeks
This is the period when its baby teeth start to come out. The first one that will start to come out are the incisors. They are the narrow-edged teeth located at the front of the mouth. Usually, they appear when the puppy is two or three weeks of age. There is a total of six incisors, on both the bottom and top jaw.
Premolars and molars start to appear at three or six weeks of age. They are located behind the canines. There are three on each side of the jaw. Four canines start to show at around the fourth week. They look much like needles, and they can be found on each side, bottom and top.
5 To 8 Weeks
The last of the molars come out somewhere from the sixth to the eighth week. At around the eighth week, the permanent teeth start to grow and push out the milk teeth. In most cases, the milk teeth fall out. However, there are some cases in which they don’t fall out at that time.
Due to that, the puppies appear as they have a second set of teeth. If that happens to your puppy, you need to take it to a veterinarian so that he can extract the milk teeth and make space for the permanent ones. Failing to do so can lead to teeth that are not aligned as they supposed to, which can result in periodontal disease.
The puppy needs to have a total of 28 teeth by the end of the eight weeks. It is at this time when they start to eat soft and moist dog food.
12 To 16 Weeks
At this point, all of the baby teeth start to fall, and the permanent is coming out. This is a painful experience for the dogs. Therefore, getting a durable puppy chew toy is highly recommended. At this point, it is for the best if you start inspecting its mouth from time to time and prepare it for teeth brushing.
6 Months & Older
By this time there shouldn’t be any baby teeth in your puppy’s mouth. In case there are, make sure to inform your veterinarian so that they can be removed. All of the milk teeth will be replaced with permanent ones, tooth for a tooth. Plus, there will be ten molars and four premolars. Typically, around the seventh month, most puppies have at least 42 permanent teeth.
How To Keep Your Puppy Teeth Healthy?
- Ask your veterinarian to conduct a dental check-up on your puppy. The veterinarian can check the condition of the puppy’s gums, teeth, and oral cavity. Also, the vet can show you how to brush its teeth properly and which techniques are most effective.
- Next, you need to start preparing your dog for tooth brushing. By regular brushing your dog, you can effectively prevent stinky breath, plague, certain diseases, and other medical conditions. Ideally, you need to brush its teeth once a day, but one or two times a week is often enough.
- Buy “dental days” for puppies. They have a nubby surface that is specially designed to scrub the pup’s teeth. Encourage your pup to use it after every meal.
- Dried meat such as tendons, beef ears, and snouts are perfect treats for your pup. All puppies love them. At the same time, they help keep the teeth clean.
Things That Can Damage Its Teeth
- Try to avoid feeding your pup with cereal grains and meals made with by-products. Those types of food can be much easier to stick to the pup’s teeth. Instead, opt for meals that contain meats, fruits, and vegetables.
- Most vets will advise you against pig hooves, cow bones and stuff that can break the pup’s teeth. The alternative to that is sterilized bones that are made explicitly for puppy dental care.
- Don’t use your toothpaste to brush your pup’s teeth. Instead, purchase a toothpaste that is suitable for dogs. There are several ones to choose from, each with a unique dog-friendly flavour.
- Many dog owners make the mistake of giving sweet desserts to their furry friends. Sweets such as cookies and ice cream are full of sugar and are a bad idea from both a weight and nutrition standpoint.
- Sweets full of sugar are and also has a huge negative impact on tooth health.
- Ice cubes might seem like an okay thing to give to a puppy. They can chew on them and stay hydrated at the same time. Unfortunately, they are a bit too hard for most young pups. Very easily they can end up with a fractured tooth while trying to chew an ice cube. The risk of fracturing a tooth is enormous, and it is one that all dog owners should be aware of.
Warning Signs To Look Out For
An issue with the teeth can easily escalate into something more serious. Sometimes just a bad breath can lead to infections that can affect the heart or the kidneys. That is why one needs to always keep an eye on your pup’s dental health from the very first day.
Some of the signs include:
- Foul breath
- Blood in the saliva
- Bleeding gums
- Loss of appetite
- Broken teeth
One of the most common dental issues for puppies is the build-up of plague. If left unchecked, that can easily lead to inflammation of the gums. That can result in an infection which means there is a danger for the teeth to fall out.
Any of these signs should be a pretty strong hint that you need to make an appointment with your vet. Also, regular check-ups are recommended so that nothing of the above happens to your little pup.