When Do Puppies Start Teething?
Congratulations on adopting a puppy! Now that you're caring for a little warm bundle of love, you'll want to prepare for each stage in your puppy's life. At some point, your puppy is going to chew on everything. But just when do puppies start teething? Puppies get their first set of baby teeth when they're very young, but their adult teeth come in around three to four months of age. It's important to help your puppy however you can during this time.
Puppies Get Their Baby Teeth at Two Weeks
Puppies start getting their first set of teeth—called baby teeth—when they are about two to four weeks old.1 They're still nursing at this time and should be with their mom and littermates. Unless you're caring for the momma dog too, you won't see your puppy during this stage. Puppies usually don't go to their new homes until they are at least two months old.
Puppies Start Teething Around Three To Four Months
Around the time they are three to four months old (and sometimes as early as two months), puppies' baby teeth start falling out and their adult teeth start growing in. You may even find tiny little baby teeth around your home. Puppies start with about 28 baby teeth and end up with 42 adult teeth.2
But when does each type of tooth typically emerge? Your puppy may get her incisors around two to five months of age, canine teeth at five to six months, premolars at four to six months, and molars at four to seven months.3 So by the time your puppy is four to eight months old, she should have all her adult teeth.
In some rare situations, a puppy may still have some baby teeth by the time her adult teeth have all come in. If that happens or if you see anything else that concerns you, talk with your veterinarian.
Teething Can Be Painful
Teething can be quite painful and uncomfortable for your little, wriggly puppy. He chews as a way to ease some of that pain and provide himself some comfort. You might even see him drooling a little or find some blood spots on his toys.
Since chewing makes him feel better, go ahead and let him indulge. Give him lots of chew toys that are safe, so he'll be less inclined to chew on your favorite shoes or your hands. Seek out toys made especially for teething puppies; these are soft, flexible, and easy to bend. A variety pack of chew toys can be a good place to start.
Don't forget to distract your puppy a little from the discomfort. It's always nice to have something to get excited about when you're not feeling well. Go for a walk, play fetch with a Puppy Chew Boomerang, give him a comfy bed to sleep on, and chase him around the yard. If he's really small, put him in a Shoulder Sling Pet Carrier and show him the outside world.
Some Puppies Can Be Trained Not To Chew On You
Pet owners have varying degrees of success teaching their puppies not to chew on the wrong things. Giving him a more tempting alternative is probably your best option. Don't reward your pup if he's chewing on the wrong thing. If he chews on your hand, for example, yelp in a high pitch and pull your hand away, then leave him alone for a bit.4 Yelps are how puppies communicate with each other, so you'll be talking in his language. This can be an effective way to train him on what's okay to chew and what's not.
This is also a good time to talk to your veterinarian about brushing your dog's teeth. If you start around the time when your puppy is six months old, he'll get used to having his teeth handled. This will make brushing much easier when your pup becomes an adult.
Teething is a natural part of your puppy's life. Around the time she's two to four months of age, you'll see your puppy wanting to chew on absolutely everything. Even if the chewing gets a little annoying, remember to treasure these moments with your sweet puppy. Play a lot, go for walks, and snuggle all you can. This will help you both get through the teething phase in a healthy and natural way.
- Donovan, Liz. "A Timeline of Puppy Teething." AKC.org, 3 May 2019, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/timeline-of-puppy-teething/.
- Donovan, Liz. "Puppy Teething and Nipping: A Survival Guide." AKC.org, 12 October 2015, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/puppy-teething-and-nipping/.
- PetMD. "When Do Puppies Lose Their Baby Teeth and Stop Teething?" PetMD.com, https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/puppy-teeth-everything-you-need-know.
- Williams, Krista. "Teeth, Teething and Chewing in Puppies." VCA Hospitals, 2020, https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/teeth-teething-and-chewing-in-puppies.