Have you just gotten a new puppy? Congratulations on the newest member of your family!
But maybe you have noticed little nibbles on furniture or corners. These little markings let you know that someone has been there and left their calling card. Your puppy is probably teething.
When do dogs start teething and how does their oral development progress? We answer these questions and more below.
When Dogs Start Teething
If you’re wondering when dogs will begin with teething, the answer is around five weeks. That’s about as early as dogs will begin teething. By nature, they would be drinking their mother’s milk from their very first days. After about five or six weeks, the pup will begin growing their first teeth in anticipation of not having access to mother’s milk anymore.
The Stages of Development
While dogs can start teething as early as five weeks, let’s take a closer look at how dogs grow teeth.
Pretty much as soon as a puppy starts to wean from their mother’s milk, they begin to grow their “baby teeth.” this is sometimes called milk teeth. This process begins at around five or six weeks of age, but some puppies can take as much as eight weeks.
This period is rather painful, and it’s likely that you will find little nibble marks on pretty much anything your puppy can fit in its mouth.
The interesting thing about puppy teeth is that they only keep them for about one month. At about the age of three months, your dog will start losing their puppy teeth.
At about four months of age, your pup will start growing their permanent molars. Your dog should have already or should be in the process of losing all their puppy teeth.
Now is a good time to take your dog to the vet so they can determine how many more puppy teeth your dog has. Or you can just wait and see. You should absolutely be doing a six-month visit, however.
Six Month Appointment
Other than checking on your puppy’s overall well-being and health, a six-month appointment is a great time to check on your dog’s teeth. By now they should have almost all their adult teeth. By checking to make sure all their teeth have grown in correctly, you can save you and your dog a big headache down the road. If your dog does have problems that go unchecked, it can cause difficulty eating later. So, it’s best to check in early.
By about eight months old, you can bet that your dog will have all their adult teeth. In total, adult dogs have forty-two adult teeth.
At this point, you can expect your dog to stop teething. Because teething is a reaction to discomfort, they feel in their mouths, by eight months they should stop feeling that discomfort. Though, if you haven’t been training your dog, they can continue to chew. If you find your dog has been chewing and it’s not because of teething, you can look at some of our tips below.
How to Deal with Mouthy Dogs
- Stop chewing – It’s natural for a teething dog to chew. They are trying to find relief for the pain and soreness in their mouths. But it’s important to have them focus their energy to the proper place. Make sure your dog has the proper toys to chew on or rawhides can be an enticing treat. At the same time, you can use dog safe sprays like bitter apple can help your pup to stop chewing on things around the house.
- Softer bites – Next time your puppy plays a little too hard, let out an exaggerated “ouch.” Playtime should stop for a moment as well. This lets your dog know that they went a little too hard and that humans are a little “sensitive.” Next time when they play, they should try to go easy otherwise playtime stops.
- Reduce play fighting – Once your dog learns that they should play a little softer, you can try to reduce its frequency. If your dog is nipping at your sleeve or at a treat in your hand, say “off.” Once they listen to you for a second, you can say “take it” and give it to them. Start increasing the wait time as they learn. Soon you’ll be able to use the off command even without a treat.
These tips should help you raise a puppy with a good understanding of what is and isn’t appropriate behavior.