Do Puppies Lose Teeth?
Yes, puppies do lose their teeth. Just like human babies, puppies grow baby teeth, to begin with, and these baby teeth fall out and are replaced by adult teeth. The main difference between our canine pals and human babies is that it all happens in a much shorter time for puppies.
Here is the Timeline of Puppy Teething
|Age||What happens||What to do|
Two to four weeks
Puppies eyes usually open at around 10-16 days. This development is usually closely followed by the start of baby teeth.
The incisors come through first, followed by the canine teeth and then the premolars.
Your puppy will still be with its mother at the breeder’s home.
|Six weeks||A puppies baby teeth are usually all visible by about six weeks.||Check that you can see baby teeth – if you haven’t already felt them in play!|
If there are not the start of rows of little sharp teeth by eight weeks, chat to your vet for advice.
|Eight to ten weeks||Puppies will have a complete set of 28 puppy teeth.||Puppies will be onto a solid diet.|
|Between twelve-sixteen weeks||Puppies adult teeth begin to come through. Before they can, the sharp little baby teeth are shed.||Just like human babies, puppies experience pain and discomfort at this stage of tooth development. A good supply of chewy toys helps them.|
You will also find the little baby teeth around.
|Twenty eight weeks||Puppy teeth should have all fallen out and been replaced by the 42 adult teeth.||No one is expecting you to count your puppy’s teeth! If all looks well, then they can be examined at the next veterinary visit. If there are still baby teeth after twenty six weeks, consult your veterinary surgeon.|
The above are approximate dates. Like many things, the timing can vary from individual to individual and breed to breed. The main thing is not to be alarmed if your puppy loses teeth. It’s a natural part of their development.
How to Help Your Puppy when they are Shedding Teeth
When puppies are shedding their teeth, they have a strong desire to chew. Providing them with a variety of puppy appropriate chew toys at this stage enables them to fulfil that need. Just as with house training, you will want to oversee your puppy at the teething stage to ensure they are not choosing to chew furniture, carpet, skirting boards or even electric cabling.
There are various ways that you can manage this stage:
- Puppy Proofing
- Puppy Playpen
- Encouragement and Redirection
However you are going to manage puppy teething, puppy-proofing is the place to start. Remove any items you can that you don’t want to be chewed. Don’t leave electrical cabling trailing where the puppy has access. Contain the puppy in one or two rooms that you puppy proof and can spend time with them. Even if you are using a crate or playpen, you won’t want to confine your puppy to that area all the time. You can use a crate for the times when you cannot watch them carefully.
If crating your dog is something you plan to do anyway, then crate training your puppy from an early age ensures that they see the crate as a safe haven. Putting your puppy in the crate with a choice of chew toys when they cannot be closely supervised keeps them and your household safe.
A puppy playpen is a valuable part of your toolkit when you have a puppy in the house. Just as with a crate, you can place your puppy in there to play, sleep and chill when you cannot close supervise them. A supply of chew toys to keep them occupied and fulfil the chewing need should keep them happy whilst you get on with other jobs.
Encouragement and Redirection
If you don’t want to crate or confine your puppy, then looking after them at this stage is a full time occupation. If a puppy looks like they are going to chew the corner of a sofa or something, encourage them to chew a chew toy by making a game with it. Terriers, in particular, will enjoy a game of tug.
Just like with human babies, it is possible to buy special dog chews that are filled with water that you freeze to give added soothing to teething puppies. You can also freeze rubber rings to make them cold and soothing.
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