Puppies love to chomp down on everything with those dagger-sharp teeth – including our hands – during their favorite activity: playtime! Learn more about the ordinary puppy teething age and how to soothe puppy teething symptoms before you drive each other crazy.
Sweet, furry little pups are some of the cutest and most lovable creatures on Earth – which is a good thing because when they're cutting new teeth, they can be absolute terrors!
Teething time often means our pups begin to act out, but when you consider the puppy teething pain they're experiencing, it makes a lot of sense – the little dog is doing anything it can to relieve its teething symptoms.
Find out more about the teething phase as our canine companions grow adult teeth and discover how to best soothe the puppy's teething symptoms with simple teething puppy help.
What is Dog Teething: Do Puppies Lose Their Teeth?
Like humans, puppies grow a set of baby teeth shortly after birth that is eventually replaced with larger, adult teeth to suit their growing needs to eat hard foods.
The roots reabsorb, and new adult dog teeth push their way through the gums. Anyone who's cared for a teething baby knows this process is painful and can cause a lot of distress.
Dogs develop 42 adult teeth in total throughout the teething process.
Teething Timeline: How Long Does Puppy Teething Last?
We've built a typical canine teething timeline, but keep in mind that every puppy is different, and their times may vary slightly from case to case.
Here's what you should expect to see in a typical dog's teeth development:
- Birth - 2 Weeks: The puppy is born with no teeth.
- 2 - 4 Weeks: Front teeth begin to emerge, followed by the start of back teeth.
- 5 - 8 Weeks: By the time 8 weeks rolls around, all 28 puppy teeth should develop.
- 8 - 12 Weeks: Puppy teeth begin falling out.
- 12 - 16 Weeks: Adult teeth start to emerge.
- 6 - 8 Months: All 42 adult teeth should develop by the 8-month mark.
So, by the time you get your pup at 8 weeks old (or later), they've already experienced the initial teething phase to develop their puppy teeth.
At the 3-month mark, you may begin to notice teething symptoms that last for, on average, another 2 to 3 months (we wish you the shortest teeth period possible!).
Sometimes a dog swallows its puppy teeth, but don't be surprised if you accidentally step on a puppy tooth lying around on the floor!
6 Signs Your Dog is Teething
The teething phase can push you to your last nerve! Try to keep in mind that your doggo is experiencing quite a bit of discomfort as their new teeth push through, and they won’t understand why.
Here are some indicators that they’re acting out due to teething.
#1 Chewing Your Favorite Things
Dogs love to chew a ton on the best of days, but their chewing habits go into overdrive as they seek and destroy all of your favorite clothes and furniture.
They don't mean any harm to you – the pressure in their mouth provides some temporary pain relief, and for some reason, without direction, they choose the items we treasure the most and go to town on their favorite puppy teething treats.
Your pup is likely going to chew your hands up, too, so be prepared – it hurts more than you would think!
Your average dog that's prone to drool will be a slobber-making machine during teething time. Pain in the mouth and gums causes a natural physical reaction that makes teething puppies produce more saliva.
#3 Changed Eating Habits
If a puppy is eating slowly, you know they're experiencing some pain! Though puppies are usually some of the most aggressive eaters around, the pain they experience as they teethe will make them less excited to eat.
A teething pup may slow down as they eat or avoid it altogether on the worst days. Poor little guys!
#4 Bleeding and Swollen Gums
The teething process causes some inflammation in the gums, so expect to see the typical side effects that come with that:
- Redness in the gums
They may last for several months, even after teething is over.
#5 Crying, Whimpering, and Whining
Puppies are still so young that they have many baby-like traits, making them more prone to vocalize their pain and discomfort in hopes that mama, or you, will help.
It's heartbreaking to hear our sweet little pups cry, but it's a necessary part of growing up for them.
You may listen to them whine at night, as they eat, or as they chew on their toys.
#6 Missing Teeth
The inevitable happens during the teething process – all of these symptoms eventually lead to lost teeth.
You may find the tooth itself, or you may just notice sudden gaps in your pup's silly smile.
Keep them to make a necklace – or maybe don't, because that's a little creepy!
How to Relieve Pain When A Puppy is Teething
To some degree, the teething pain your pup experiences is unavoidable.
There are ways to keep them a little more comfortable and make the process as painless as you can until you're finally through this tricky stage of your dog's life.
Give Them Plenty of Chew Toys
If you think your pup has enough chew toys, teething time will make you think again – so buy as many types of dog toys as you see fit.
The toys are a bit of an investment, but they actually save you big in the long run when your dog doesn't chew your most expensive pair of shoes!
- Try picking up teething toys of various textures, from hard rubber to soft, plush fabrics and everything in between.
- Vary the shapes too, to keep your pup occupied and suit their sometimes quickly changing chewing needs during the teething stage.
- Some pups like to play tug-of-war, and the rope play can add some extra pressure to the teeth, meaning additional pain relief for your dog!
- One of our favorite homemade puppy teething toys is entirely free. Give teething puppies an ice cube to munch on to keep them busy and provide a cold, soothing effect on their gums.
- Toss their favorite toys in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes for a similar effect.
Limit Their House Access
Teething puppies will be frustrated because of the pain and get pretty good at distracting themselves by getting into trouble.
A few well-placed baby gates are one of our favorite puppy proofing tips to use during this phase.
The gates go a long way to ensure your home doesn't get destroyed while you're away or distracted – you can also try pens or crates during the most crucial times.
Making a pup's space smaller limits the amount of damage they can do!
Feed Them Well
It's essential to feed your dog a highly nutritious diet, especially during the puppy and teething phases.
Dry food will help loosen the teeth a little faster, but wet food will be helpful for pups who are in too much pain to eat – read your dog's cues to determine what they need, and consult your vet about which options are best.
When to Call a Vet
Try to get through the puppy phase at home as best you can, but don't hesitate to call your vet if you're struggling.
The vet will be more than happy to discuss your situation and answer any questions you have!
Final Note: Proper Doggie Oral Care
Congratulations! You've made it through one of the most challenging phases of dog ownership.
But your job isn’t done! Once your dog's teeth grow in, it's critical to maintain their oral health throughout their lives – brush their teeth at least once every 2 to 3 days, and feed them dental sticks to keep their plaque down.
Take your pup for routine oral checkups with a professional, as dogs are just as prone to tooth decay and gum disease as humans!