When Do Puppies Stop Teething?
Teething can be a challenging time for both the puppy and their owners. For the pup, teething can be really painful with sore gums to contend with. For puppy parents, you may find that your pup wants to chew anything they can get their teeth on in an attempt to ease the discomfort they are feeling. But with a little planning and knowledge, you will be through this challenging time without too many mishaps! So, when do puppies stop teething and how do you get them through it? Let’s find out!
When Does Puppy Teething Start?
In order to answer the question (when do puppies stop teething?) we need to cover where it all begins. So, let’s think about when teething starts. Your pup is born without any teeth, but they begin to come through very quickly, and much sooner than a human baby.
2 to 4 Weeks
At 2 weeks old, the first teeth begin to appear. These are the incisors located at the front of the mouth on both the top and bottom jaws. The incisors are used to rip the meat from bones and for grooming.
The next ones come through at around 6 weeks old; these are the molars and premolars. The molars are located right at the back of the mouth and are used to break down any hard foods that your puppy needs to chew. So, that includes their dry dog kibble and hard dog biscuits. The premolars sit directly in front of them, and these are used to chew and shred any food they may be eating.
Finally, when your puppy is around 4 weeks old, four sharp, needle-like canines appear sitting aside each other. These are the incisors - top, and bottom. The canine teeth are used for tearing food apart and you will also see your puppy use them to lock on to an item they are trying to chew, such as a bone or toy.
5 to 8 Weeks
By the time they get to around 6 to 8 weeks old, the last molars are in place with your pup now having their full set of 28 puppy or deciduous teeth. It's not long before your puppy's adult teeth begin to push out the puppy teeth. This is due to their body absorbing the baby teeth roots, causing this first set to fall out.
12 to 16 Weeks
With the puppy teeth beginning to fall out and the new adult teeth pushing their way in, this is when you might experience some teething problems. This is because it is a painful time for your pup with their gums becoming very sore. One way they can relieve the pain is through chewing, so it is important to provide suitable teething toys for them. You might notice that they are drooling more than usual and you may spot blood on their toys after they have been chewing.
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When Does Puppy Teething End?
By the time your youngster is 6 months old, all of their puppy teeth should be gone. Their permanent teeth replace the puppy teeth and there is an additional four premolars and 10 molars to give a total of 42.
What Can I Expect When My Puppy Is Teething?
Puppies explore the world with their teeth, so even without the complication of teething, you can expect them to want to check out everything by putting it in their mouth first. When you add in the discomfort they will feel during teething, it will increase their need to chew, so you need to make sure that they have plenty of safe items for them to munch on. Your local pet store will have a whole range of suitable toys but make sure that you choose suitable ones for both your pup's age and size.
One great way of relieving the gum pain they may be experiencing is to pop their favorite toy into a zip lock bag and place it in the freezer overnight. The next day the cold sensation on their gums can really help to ease the discomfort.
Keep swapping toys to keep them interested and to convince your youngster that they are a much better option than the legs of your table!
What Complications Can Arise?
Generally, puppy teething passes without any major problems. Sometimes the adult teeth come through before the puppy teeth have fallen out, giving your pup the appearance of two sets of teeth. This does tend to happen more with the brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds such as Pugs and Boston Terriers, and it is often the upper canine teeth that are the ones to get retained.
Now again, this often sorts itself out, but there are times when a vet will need to extract those retained puppy teeth to give the new set room to come through. Where the problem does not resolve itself, it can cause what is called a malocclusion. The misaligned teeth cause food to get trapped, which can then lead to dental disease.
When Should I Speak to My Vet?
Checking your puppy's mouth on a regular basis means that you soon get to spot any problems, and your pup gets used to their teeth being looked at. If you notice a stale smell, yellowing of the teeth or see that there are chipped or broken teeth, then a vet visit is needed to check out what is going on.