Puppies share similarities with human babies, including losing their teeth. Likewise, they experience discomfort too. As a new puppy owner, you might have wondered, when do puppies lose teeth? And like kids, do all puppies’ teeth fall out? Let’s dig into some facts and see the timeline of your pup’s teething.
Do All Puppies Teeth Fall Out?
Yes, all your puppy’s temporary teeth will fall off. You may not notice it amidst the many adjustments for a new puppy at home. Aside from your usual chores, several puppy-related tasks add up to your todo-list. This includes feeding your pup, bathing him, taking him for a walk, and cleaning his messes. So when does your puppy begin teething?
At two weeks old, puppies grow their temporary teeth, or what vets call deciduous teeth. These are also known as “needle” teeth because they are razor-sharp. By their 6th week, they’ll have a total of 28 deciduous teeth.
You’ll then notice your pup will start nipping on anything. They “attack” almost anything they could get a hold of including your hands. Exploring and discomfort of teething cause this “mouthy” behavior. Their teeth start to fall off between 3-4 months. By their 6th month, all the 28 needle teeth will be replaced with 42 permanent ones.
So when do a puppy’s teeth start to fall off? Let’s read further.
Puppy Teething Timeline
All puppies are born toothless. As they get bigger, they also grow their teeth. The timeline below shows when your puppy gets his “milk” teeth and when he loses them. Puppies experience different stages so it’s important for you to understand. So, you’ll know how to care for them.
Week 2 to 4
At this stage, the puppies are still with their mother, nursing. The puppies start to open their eyes and their milk teeth start to erupt. First to grow are the six incisors both at the top and bottom of the mouth. These are found right in the front area of the mouth.
The sharp canines or fangs framing the incisors begin to grow in the 4th week. Next to the canines are the premolars that start growing between weeks three to six. Each side will have three on the top and bottom.
Week 5 to 8
By weeks 6 to 8, the molars erupt completing the set of 28 deciduous teeth. Once they reach 8 weeks, the milk teeth start to fall off. Since puppies complete their set of milk teeth, this is also the time they are weaned and they start eating soft moist food.
Puppies deal with several changes around this stage. Their diet changes and their permanent teeth start to grow too. Their “adult” teeth will start pushing the temporary teeth causing them to fall out on their own. Sometimes the deciduous teeth don’t come off making it appear like they have double teeth.
Week 12 to 16
Most breeders release puppies at 8 weeks old. So if you get your puppy at this stage, you’ll notice he’ll start losing his teeth. You’ll probably find some rice-shaped teeth on the floor when cleaning. Sometimes, they swallow it when eating and this is normal and harmless.
If teething is painful to babies, it is the same for puppies too. That is why they take comfort in nipping on anything. It’s best to provide soft chew toys so they don’t turn into nipping the furniture or other items in the home. Plus, you ensure that they are safe. Also, you can start to get them familiar with you holding their mouth to train them later on with teeth brushing.
6 Months and Older
So, you might wonder, when do puppies stop teething? All the deciduous teeth are expected to have been replaced with permanent ones by six months. By this time, puppy teething stops. Their needle teeth have already fallen off and a new set of permanent teeth grows.
From 28 temporary teeth, your puppy should now have 42 “adult” teeth. This is the average for most dogs. Make sure to check for any remaining puppy teeth. You’ll need to bring your dog to the veterinarian and have them removed.
Start training your dog with teeth brushing at this stage too. The earlier you introduce them to it, the easier for them to get used to the routine. Be consistent and don’t forget to reward your puppy for his obedience.
What to Do When a Puppy Starts Losing Teeth
Now that you’ve learned the stages puppies go through during dog teething. It’s time to know what you can do to help them in this uncomfortable process. Your knowledge ensures they feel well and possible health issues are avoided.
Although teething is a normal process for dogs, sometimes complications arise. The most common one is when a milk tooth remains affecting the growth of the new tooth. Another one is tooth breakage or bleeding problems. Here are the things to watch out for when your puppy starts losing its teeth.
Look Out for More Than One Teeth in a Spot
Sometimes deciduous teeth fail to fall out during teething. Retained temporary teeth need to be taken out by the veterinarian. This is to give space for the permanent teeth to grow. If left on its own, it may cause misalignment (malocclusion) and other dental issues for the puppy in the long run.
Check for Too Much Bleeding
It is normal for the gums to bleed a little once a tooth has fallen out of your puppy’s mouth. You may notice tiny blood stains on their toys or on the floor. But if you see there is too much bleeding, make sure to bring your puppy to the veterinarian. This is to rule out injury on the gums or bleeding disorders.
Check for Broken Teeth
Because puppies love to chew almost all the time, their teeth are prone to breaking. Especially their milk teeth during the teething period. Breaking a tooth may be harmless or serious depending on the cause. If you notice a broken tooth where the pulp is exposed, you need a trip to the vet. It needs to be fixed to avoid infection.
Never Pull a Puppy’s Baby Teeth
Let your pup’s temporary teeth fall on their own. Each tooth has a long root and pulling it may break the root. This can be a source of pain and infection. Tooth extraction for puppies is only for those retained ones. This should also only be done by veterinarians for it to be safe.
How to Care For a Teething Puppy
Although your puppy experiences discomfort during teething, he would seem to be unbothered by it. Most puppies will go on with their daily routines. If your puppy is eating, playing, exploring, and doing normal things, then everything is on the right track. Even so, we can still provide them with support through these suggestions:
Provide Soft and Healthy Food
Let your puppy enjoy his mealtime despite discomfort by offering him soft and moist food. Giving him cold options like frozen fruit bites may also ease gum sensitivity. Plus, it can be a fun and healthy treat! There are a lot of homemade recipes you can try.
Give a Proper Chewing Toy
Train your dog not to chew on your shoes and slippers by giving proper chewing toys. Not only will this save your items, but also ensure your pup is safe. Make sure to buy firm but flexible toys to help exercise his jaws. Make sure to buy toxin-free toys and avoid those with loose parts.
Do Not Reward Nipping
It is common for puppies to nip. But, even at an early age, you should start letting your pup know that this is unacceptable behavior. Everyone in the house should correct your puppy when he starts nipping. It may look cute because he is still tiny and young. But if he carries on with this behavior, it will be a huge problem when he becomes an adult dog.
How to Keep Dog Teeth Healthy
Like humans, dogs can develop dental issues when their teeth are taken for granted. So. it is important for your dog to get used to regular dental hygiene. Here are some suggestions on how to keep dog teeth healthy:
- Start examining your puppy’s mouth at a young age. According to a study, lesser mouth inspections by dog owners at home poses a higher risk of oral diseases in their dog. So, make your dogs get used to it without getting aggressive. If they don’t mind it, it will be easier for you to brush their teeth. Plus, it becomes easier for vets to check them too.
- Get a suitable toothbrush and toothpaste for dogs and brush their teeth regularly. You can ask your vet if you are not sure how to go with the process. Never use human toothpaste as it is toxic to dogs. Choose enzymatic products to help remove plaque from the dog’s teeth.
- Have regular checkups at the vet. Minor issues are spotted immediately. They are resolved sooner before getting worse.
Taking care of a puppy may seem like a tedious task. But, with the right knowledge, you and your puppy will be able to deal with everything with a breeze, including puppy teething. Be consistent with your training and routines. Don’t forget to contact your vet anytime along the way.