Puppies are born toothless and start getting their first teeth after 2-4 weeks. Just like humans, they first grow baby teeth (also called deciduous or milk teeth). Once they finish coming in after about 12-16 weeks of age, the puppy should have 28 baby teeth. Only then do their permanent adult teeth start coming in to replace them. From birth to a full set of 42 adult teeth, the entire process usually takes about six to eight months.
Unfortunately, the teething process usually involves some discomfort and pain for the puppy. You do have some options at your disposal to ease his time, though.
Sometimes, things won’t go smoothly. Hopefully, your puppy is perfectly healthy, but here are some common problems to watch out for:
These are rare, but still, they happen from time to time. The most common problem is retaining some baby teeth after the adult ones have come in. Some small and brachycephalic dog breeds (like French Bulldogs and Pugs) are more likely to experience retained teeth.
Retained teeth can be problematic and be the cause of various bad things, including:
For that reason, a professional vet must remove the retained baby teeth. The removal of those teeth doesn’t have to be a dedicated procedure, though. The vet may perform it while neutering or spaying the puppy.
It is usual for your puppy to experience some minor bleeding during the teething process. It should be almost unnoticeable, however. It’s okay if you see some minor red stains on his toys here and there, but if the bleeding is more severe than that, you should get him checked by a vet.
As a general rule, if you have any reason to suspect something might be off with your puppy, visit the vet to make sure he’s alright.
If your puppy still has his baby teeth by the time he is 30 weeks old (7 months old), it could be a sign that something might be off with the teething process. In that case, it’s a good idea to have the vet inspect him.
As some parents can testify, the teething process is not the most pleasant. Dogs, like human babies, may experience some discomfort and pain while going through it. While you can’t make the discomfort and pain go away completely, you can help reduce them a bit:
I recommend having a professional vet check on your puppy during the teething process. A vet can make sure that everything is well, and if not, treat your puppy as early as possible.
Try not to interfere with the puppy’s baby teeth falling out unless necessary. Only a professional vet or a pet dentist should remove a puppy’s teeth if necessary. Please don’t do it yourself unless you precisely know what you are doing.
Here some tips that will help you protect your puppy’s teeth in the long term:
Biting, nipping, and chewing are normal and healthy behaviors of almost all dogs, even adult ones. For that reason, you can’t stop the biting entirely. However, you can take some steps to reduce the bite’s frequency and strength when it does happen.
The chewing and nipping will stop being cute when your puppy becomes a big and healthy adult dog. In an ideal world, you will have already taught him proper bite inhibition by this time.
Keep working on proper bite inhibition with your puppy. He will slowly but surely lose interest in biting and nipping if you stay consistent. As a bonus, when he does slip and decide to bite, it will be a soft bite and will likely not hurt anyone.
You can redirect his attention towards a soft chew toy like a rope if he is in a very high energy stage and does not listen to you.
Negative reinforcement will only lead to a scared and fearful puppy. Punishment won’t make your puppy learn any faster and can even cause him to regress. Please don’t get mad at him for doing what is natural for him. If you don’t like a behavior your puppy is doing, use treats, play, and pets to reward him when he does something you do like. If you consistently reward the behaviors you want, your puppy will be well behaved in no time.