Complete Guide to Teething in Puppies

Would you like to know exactly how the change of teeth in a puppy works and what things need to be considered? Then be sure to read the whole process of Teething In puppies so you can play it safe.

How many teeth does a dog have?

The dog's owner checking its teeth

Like us humans a puppy is born completely without teeth. His milk teeth will then grow within the first 12 weeks. As a rule, a dog has 28 milk teeth. 

Those teeth begin to fall again from the third month and after that, the puppy gets its permanent teeth.

The teeth should be completely changed by the 6th month which means your four-legged friend will replace its 28 milk teeth with 42 adult teeth by the 6th month.

The dog’s milk teeth

The milk teeth of dogs erupt one after another from the third week of their life. After the completion of this process, your puppy’s primary teeth will consist of a total of 28 teeth.

  •  6 molars in the upper and lower jaw
  •  2 fangs in the upper and lower jaw
  •  6 incisors in the upper and lower jaw

When do puppies lose their milk teeth?

The dentition of your four-legged friend will take place between the fourth and seventh months after his birth. Teeth are usually changed earlier in larger breeds than in small ones. 

The milk teeth fall out and the 42 permanent teeth erupt. Your dog’s permanent set of teeth accordingly contains the following teeth:

  •  6 incisors each in the upper and lower jaw
  •  2 fangs each in the upper and lower jaw
  •  12 molars in the upper jaw
  •  14 molars in the lower jaw

The order of change in dogs teeth

A dog looking up to his owner with mouth open

The change of teeth of your four-legged friend should follow a fixed sequence with certain steps:

  • The 4 front incisors in the upper and lower jaw fall out and will replace between the 3rd and 5th month of age.
  • The 2 missing incisors in the upper and lower jaw will add between 3 and 5 months of age.
  • The fangs in the upper and lower jaw loosen and will replace between the 5th and 7th month of age.
  • The first molar tooth in the front that has no milk tooth precursors breaks through in both the upper and lower jaw between the 4th and 5th month of age.
  • The other 6 front molars in each case in the upper and lower jaw replace the corresponding milk teeth between the 5th and 6th month of age.
  • The first 4 rear molars erupt in both the upper and lower jaw between the 4th and 6th month of age.
  • The last two molars appear between 6 and 7 months of age.

Teething in puppies at a glance: 8 Helpful Points

  • The change of teeth takes place from around the 16th week after the birth of dog, earlier in giant breeds than in small ones.
  • The tooth change should be completed after approx. 3 months.
  • The dogs deciduous consist of 28 teeth and 42 permanent teeth.
  • Recognize the typical behavior patterns that indicate teething in dogs (e.g. nibbling on furniture, loss of appetite, etc.).
  • Make sure that your dog’s teeth change in the correct order.
  • Avoid dragging and retrieving games during teething.
  • Offer your dog chews and toys that are suitable.
  • Check your dog’s teeth regularly and, if necessary, go to the vet to avoid misaligned teeth later.

How do I know that the tooth change has already started?

If your dog does not display any abnormal behavior during the change of teeth, you can tell from the texture of his teeth whether he is already changing teeth. 

A dog showing its teeth

The permanent teeth are visually different from the milk teeth:

  • The permanent teeth are larger than the milk teeth.
  • Compared to the extremely pointed milk teeth, the permanent teeth are visibly less pointed.

Symptoms of teething in puppies

It is expected that your dog will suffer from minor or major discomfort during the change of teeth. The discomforts include:

  • Toothache
  • Inflammation in the gums and the associated bad breath
  • Slight bleeding in the mouth area
  • Increased salivation
  • Diarrhea
  • Elevated temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Nocturnal unrest

Sometimes it can also happen that a milk tooth does not fall out while the permanent tooth is already erupting. In these cases, visit the vet or if necessary extract the milk tooth so that the permanent teeth can grow in their normal position. 

See your vet sooner rather than later to avoid irreparable damage and misaligned teeth.

Behavioral change during teething

Not every young dog can get through the change of teeth without problems. Observe your four-legged friend very closely during this critical phase. 

You will be able to observe easily whether your dog has symptoms of teething from typical behavioral patterns like:

  • The dog no longer wants to eat his food or uses it very sparingly.
  • Your four-legged friend may move the food back and forth in its mouth a little awkwardly and has trouble chewing.
  • The dog nibbles on all kinds of furniture or other objects. With this behavior, dogs usually want to get rid of loose milk teeth.
  • It is also common for your furry friend to lick its mouth continuously because the loose milk teeth sometimes cause severe itching.

The crucial 6th month

After reading all facts about teething in puppies now you could already find out that your loyal companion should have all of his permanent teeth in his mouth by the 6th month. 

Unlike us humans, there are no delays in changing the teeth of dogs. Changing teeth rarely cause problems and it usually happens without any special help on your part.

However, it happens sometimes that the young dog has not lost all of its milk teeth by the 6th month. It is also possible that these have not been replaced or that there are even gaps between the teeth. 

Keep An Eye out for any problems

Even if this is rare, you should keep an eye on the teeth of your furry friend, because the milk teeth would have to be replaced by the 6th month. Otherwise, your dog may have a permanent problem with its teeth. 

  • Have the milk teeth not been completely replaced by 42 “adult teeth” by the 6th month? 

Then we recommend that you should visit a veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • Thinking about treatments?

Remember orthodontic treatments are not as successful in dogs as they are in humans. These treatments can lead to some serious complications. Like your dog may have had crooked teeth or other consequences all his life. For this reason, it is advisable to observe the dentition and the change of teeth.

Possible problems with teething in puppies

Similar to infants, puppies also suffer when they change teeth. Symptoms like diarrhea and pain in the jaw area are completely normal.

An increased temperature is also a symptom of tooth change. Due to the pain in the jaw area, your little friend can probably no longer feel like eating. That is also quite normal. But please watch your dog closely in these situations

  • Does the fever persist or the diarrhea hasn’t gone away for several days?

Then it is always better to go to the vet one more time.

Refrain from these things

Avoid bones and hard treats when puppies are teething

You can make teething easier for your furry friend but sometimes by taking wrong measures you can also make it difficult for him to change teeth. Even if this is usually unintentional. 

So that this doesn’t happen to you, you will have to follow the no-go’s like:

No distorting games

Tugging games are by no means suitable for your dog’s teeth changing phase. Your puppy is exposed to severe pain during the change of teeth. This pain may increase when you pull.

It can also happen that your puppy’s milk teeth will tear out but this, in turn, will make it difficult to change teeth. It reduces the success of healthy teeth in adulthood.

No hard treats

Hard food additives (treats or bones) can also have a counterproductive effect on changing teeth. The negative effect is similar to the effect of the distortion games. 

The teeth are very sensitive during this time. Your dog may be in a lot of pain. Therefore, he may experience more pain from these types of treats.

Solutions to help with teething in puppies

When your dog changes teeth, you should avoid dragging and retrieving games so as not to cause pain to your dog or damage its teeth. There is also a big risk that your dog will associate painful retrieval with something negative in retrospect. 

Instead, you can offer your four-legged friend different chews, such as various natural chews (e.g. chewing roots or antlers) or chew toys. 

Puppies love pulling chew toys

A kong filled with frozen yogurt will also give your young dog great pleasure because the yogurt has a pain-relieving effect due to its cooling properties.

Make sure, that your dog’s daily energy and nutritional requirements are not exceeded. An excessive supply of chews can cause your fur nose to grow too quickly, which can cause some problems. 

To prevent your puppy’s dental problems as early as possible, it is best to practice the dental check on your little companion at an early age and carry it out to a regular check-up. 

You should briefly open the muzzle and look at your dog’s teeth. Without exception, this should be done free of stress and violence, so that your dog does not associate anything unpleasant with checking his teeth later.

Don’t lose patience

The time of teething is difficult for your little one. It’s not just the physical symptoms that are troubling him but his psyche also suffers from the change of teeth.

Pain, fever, or diarrhea can stress your little one. For this reason, it is recommended that you show a lot of patience, especially during this time.

Give your four-leg friend regular cuddles and snuggles. Do not stress him out on walks or force him to eat unnecessarily.

Frequently Asked Questions

The milk teeth of a dog are 28 which are then replaced with 42 permanent teeth in adulthood.

Your puppy’s teeth change from the 16th week after birth. This then lasts up to the 6th month and then the change of teeth should be completed.

Provide your pup with enough chews. However, they should not be too hard, otherwise, they can irritate sensitive teeth during teething. In addition, you should refrain from distorting games for this reason.