What You Need to Know About Puppy Teething

sharpei mix puppy lying in grass and chewing on a giraffe toy

Puppies teeth just like human babies do; it’s just a part of growing up. As a puppy parent, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for puppy teething when it happens. Here’s what you need to know about puppy teething:

When Will My Puppy Start Teething?

Although a puppy can physically be separated from its mother at 6 weeks, it’s not a good idea to do so until at least 8 weeks. When a puppy’s baby teeth start to come in, it happens when they are 2-4 weeks old, so they will still be with their mother at that point. They will also still be nursing and their eyes will have just opened.

All of a puppy’s 28 baby teeth should come in by the time they are 5-6 weeks old. At this point, a puppy will have already started the weaning process or will be starting it shortly. Depending on the breed and breeder, puppies will start to be available to take home when they are 8-12 weeks old.

A puppy will generally start teething when they are 12-16 weeks old. Between weeks 12-16, you may start to find tiny puppy teeth around your home as they start to shed and adult teeth start coming in.

This process is painful for a puppy to go through, so it’s important to stop by the vet to make sure everything is going as it should and to do what you can to help your young pup through the process. When your puppy is about 6-8 months old, they should have no more puppy teeth left and should have all of their adult teeth.

How do You Know if Your Puppy is Teething?

If your puppy is 12-16 weeks old, it’s likely they have started teething or will start teething soon. The biggest sign your puppy is teething is if you find tiny, rice-sized puppy teeth around your home.

Finding a little bit of blood on your puppy’s favorite chew toy can be scary, but, as long as it is due to teething, the blood will be minimal and will stop on its own. You may even find some puppy teeth stuck in the toy itself!

A few other signs that your puppy is teething can include an increase in chewing behaviors, drooling, or a hesitation to eat. A puppy that is suddenly eating every slowly is another sign that they could be teething.

Some puppies may fuss and whine a little. They may even run a low fever and their gums may be red and swollen in certain places as their adult teeth push through.

How Long Does Puppy Teething Last?

Puppy teething can last anywhere from 3-5 months. Puppy teething generally starts when puppies are 3-4 months old and they will usually have all of their adult teeth by the time they are 6-8 months old.

The exact length of the teething process will vary from puppy to puppy. But, knowing what to expect and being prepared can help you both get through the process.

What Helps a Teething Puppy?

Teething is a painful process for your puppy. As they lose baby teeth, their gums may bleed a little. As adult teeth continue to push through, their gums can become sore, red, and swollen. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help a teething puppy.

Puppies generally chew more when they are teething, so having some safe chew toys around can help. This is also useful for any time they may try to start mouthing on your hand. You do want to start touching their mouth and teeth, so it’s easier to brush their teeth when their adult teeth come in; however, you do not want them to develop a habit of mouthing or chewing on your hand.

Some good choices are soft plastic and rubber dental rings or chews or leather toys. You will want to supervise any chewing time to ensure your puppy is not ripping off pieces and swallowing them. You don’t want anything too hard or completely frozen, as these can crack a tooth.

A great cold option is to soak a small washcloth with water and then freeze it. The cold helps reduce inflamed gums, eases a puppy’s pain, and the frozen washcloth will not crack any of their teeth. Ice cream for dogs and other frozen dog treats are more good options.

Don’t Forget to Protect Your Home!

Your puppy will be in pain while they are teething and may find any way they can to relieve it. This could result in them finding their own chew items and things in your house getting destroyed. When your puppy is about to start teething, make sure all electric cords are securely covered or taped up far out of reach.

Table legs and cloth furniture can easily become your puppy’s next targets when they are teething. Not only could this crack or break some of their teeth, but it also destroys your furniture and sets the foundation for a bad chewing habit as they grow. You can use a safe, bitter-tasting spray to discourage chewing on furniture.

It’s also a good idea to supervise any time your puppy spends around furniture, so you can redirect them to appropriate chew toys. This protects your home, helps your puppy as they deal with teething, and allows you to continue setting boundaries on what they can and can’t chew on inside the home. Hopefully, these lessons will follow them into adulthood.

Puppy teething can be a difficult time for you and for your pup, but it’s a necessary part of growing up. Now that you know what to look for and what to expect when your puppy is teething, you can help ease them through it.