When will my dog’s baby teeth fall out?
Puppies begin teething at around 3 weeks, and by approximately 6 weeks, all of their deciduous teeth will have erupted. The incisors (at the front of the mouth) and the canine teeth (the fangs) erupt first, followed by the premolars. Dogs do not have any baby molars. At around 12 weeks, the deciduous teeth begin to fall out, and the permanent teeth begin to erupt. Normally by 6 months of age, all permanent teeth have erupted, and all deciduous teeth have fallen out.
My puppy has started biting my hands, my legs, my children’s legs – pretty much any object he can get his mouth on. What is going on?
Your puppy is teething, the same way that human babies and children grow new teeth during their development. Like a human, your pup first grows a set of baby teeth (also called primary or deciduous, meaning they fall out). These teeth are pointed and sharp, which is why they are sometimes referred to as needle teeth.
Dogs have 28 deciduous teeth and end up with 42 permanent teeth. You may find deciduous on the floor, but more likely, your puppy will harmlessly swallow the teeth while he is eating. It is not unusual for some bleeding to occur when the teeth fall or are falling out, but the amount is minuscule and owners usually notice it only if there is some mild red staining on a chew toy.
Puppies will chew on people, furniture, and other objects (including ones you value) that are within their reach; this is part of normal puppy behavior. Dogs learn much about the world around them through how things feel, and a dogs main means of touching and grabbing things is with its mouth.
This tendency is particularly pronounced in breeds known to be “mouthy,” such as retrievers. Chewing also seems to alleviate what is assumed to be discomfort associated with the teething process.
How to Care for a Teething Puppy
Dr. Reiter says that the discomfort of puppy teething is often overdramatized.
If your puppy is still engaging in normal activities like eating, drinking, socializing, grooming and exploring, then there isn’t really a problem.
If they aren’t doing some of these things, he says, and the pain or discomfort is affecting his quality of life, then your puppy may need to see the vet.
“There is not much for the owners to do during the transition,” Dr. Bannon says. “The best thing is for the owners to supply good, safe chews so that the dog can teethe on appropriate items.”
Look for puppy teething toys that are soft and flexible and bend easily in your hand. “If it is too hard to bend, flex or break, it is too hard to give to the puppy,” Dr. Bannon says.