Raising a puppy can be a true challenge on occasion. One of those times that can create headaches for both pet owners and the puppy themselves is when their teeth start to grow.
But when does it happen? Does it hurt a lot? What symptoms does teething in puppies cause? Find out the answers to all of these questions and more below!
At What Age Do Puppies Stop Teething?
There is no right and wrong answer to this question because dogs tend to vary a lot in terms of size and body characteristics.
So, while the general rule is that teething in puppies tends to stop at around the age of 8 months, for some, this could happen sooner or later.
A 6-month-old puppy should have the majority of their teeth developed.
The process starts as early as 2 weeks of age. An 8-week-old puppy will experience it in full force, which is also when the symptoms that both the dog and the pet parent tend to hate will begin showing up.
Dogs’ teeth can be split up into five major categories:
- Carnassial teeth
A more detailed staging of how and when teething in puppies happens can be found in the section below.
Week 2 to 4
This is the time when your puppy’s incisors will start to grow. The incisors can be found at the front of the mouth, on both the top and bottom jaw. The canines will also partially develop during this period, along with the dog’s premolars and molars.
Week 5 to 8
Over this time span, your dog’s molars will start pushing out through the gums, so your puppy will experience some degree of pain in the back of their mouth now, too. This is also the time when your dog’s milk teeth are reabsorbed or fall off so as to leave room for permanent ones.
Week 12 to 16
Most baby teeth are shed between weeks 12 and 16, and the majority of the permanent ones will partially develop or reach full size by this point. Your dog needs as much activity during this time because the process can be a little uncomfortable.
6 months and beyond
Once your dog gets to the age of 6 months, their entire set of teeth should’ve developed completely. If that doesn’t happen, it could last for two more months, but once the age of 8-9 months is reached, your puppy should have all of their teeth in their mouth, and they should no longer experience teething symptoms.
What Causes Puppy Teething?
Teething is a natural process for the majority of mammals that exist on our planet. Human children experience it, too, and they also have little milk teeth that get replaced with permanent ones.
The staging is different than in our canine friends, but that’s only because we are two very different species.
Dogs have 42 teeth in their mouth, so it goes without saying that when all of them start erupting through the gums, things can get uncomfortable very quickly.
Teething Symptoms for Puppies
Not all puppies experience the same clinical signs of teething, but there are a few that are common for almost all dogs out there.
Here are a few examples:
- Excessive drooling
- Nipping and chewing at everything in the house
- Red and swollen gums
- Difficulty eating or even drinking water
- Biting as part a part of regular play
Some of these behaviors need to be curbed with the proper instruments.
If you allow your dog to bite you and everyone else in your home because you’re feeling sorry for their pain now that they’re teething, they might get the wrong idea about who’s the alpha and might dominate you later on – by nipping at you all the time.
Instead, try to get your puppy to chew on various toys or just distract their attention and talk to them whenever they get nippy.
Make sure they’re properly socialized and that they interact with plenty of other dogs and other people.
How to Care for Your Puppy During Teething
Here are a few pieces of advice on how you can alleviate your pup’s discomfort and also make your life a little easier at the same time.
The cold from frozen treats or just regular ice cubes can improve your dog’s condition for a short amount of time. While the discomfort doesn’t go away forever, at least your puppy will feel more at ease for ten to fifteen minutes at best.
When their teeth are developing, puppies want to chew everything and everyone around them. If you do not want to get your shoes completely destroyed and you also wish for the process to be as smooth as possible, give your dog as many rugged toys as you can.
Some are very difficult to destroy. However, make sure that you inspect your dog’s toys once every two weeks or so to ensure that they don’t risk ingesting any of the parts.
Treats are a great idea if your pup is heavily motivated by food and you also want them to enjoy the taste of something interesting while getting their gums comforted. Try to avoid snacks such as rawhide treats and bones as they could pose some risks to their health.
While your puppy might not want you touching their mouth, especially at this time of their life, it’s never a bad idea to try and inspect your dog’s teeth as they’re growing as much as possible.
Some might be growing incorrectly and may cause problems down the line, such as when their adult teeth begin to develop. Bleeding or extreme pain, along with a foul mouth odor, are not normal, so you should go see the vet in these cases.
- Create a brushing routine
Chances are that your canine companion is not going to love you very much when you’re trying to brush their teeth, especially if they haven’t fully come out yet and they’re experiencing some degree of pain.
But setting up a routine where you do clean your pet’s teeth once every two days (if not daily) is necessary as early as possible in your dog’s life. It helps them get used to the idea that this is what will continue to keep happening, so they will not pose as much resistance when they become an adult.
About the Author
Head of Research and Editorial at thepetjourney.com, Joshua has over 7 years of experience as a finance and automotive research consultant. He is a childhood pet owner and dog enthusiast.
Before writing about dog care, Joshua wrote about all things finance and transport.
In his spare time, he enjoys traveling through Europe to partake in marathons