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Understanding the Puppy Teething Process

February 15, 2021

Aside from protecting the sofa legs from your puppy’s incessant chewing, there’s not a whole lot to do while your new pet is going through the teething process. Knowing the details of teething is a good idea, though. That way, you’ll understand what your puppy is going through and when, and you can let your Hudson Valley vet know right away if something seems amiss.

Newborn Puppies

Just like human babies, puppies are born without teeth. They don’t need them at this stage, after all—your puppy will suckle milk from their mother if the mother is around, or they’ll need to be hand-fed from a bottle if she isn’t available.

2-3 Weeks of Age

At around two or three weeks of age, your puppy’s first baby teeth will begin to emerge from the gums. The smaller front teeth, called the incisors, are usually the first to appear. The canine teeth will follow—these are the four long fangs. Your puppy’s premolars are typically the last to appear, and they come in behind the canines toward the back of the mouth. When it’s all said and done, your puppy will have 28 baby teeth, which are known medically as the deciduous teeth and are also often referred to as the “milk teeth.”

6 Weeks of Age

By the time your puppy is about six weeks old, all 28 baby teeth will likely have come in. Around this time, your pup will be in the process of getting weaned off of his or her mother’s milk or formula, and they’ll begin eating solid puppy food.

3-4 Months of Age

Around the 12- to 16-week mark, your puppy’s baby teeth will start to fall out. This happens because the adult teeth come in and simply push the deciduous teeth out of the way. As a result, you may occasionally see a baby tooth on the floor or by your puppy’s water or food bowls. Most often, though, your pup simply swallows the baby teeth as they come out, which is perfectly normal.

6 Months and Older

By the time your dog is six months old, all 28 baby teeth will probably be gone, replaced by 42 adult teeth. Your puppy will now have molars in addition to premolars, which are the largest teeth at the back of the mouth that help with chewing and mashing food.

Our Advice on Understanding the Puppy Teething Process in 2024

At what age do puppies start to get their first baby teeth?

Puppies begin to get their first deciduous baby teeth around two to three weeks of age. The process starts with the smaller front teeth, called incisors, followed by the canine teeth and premolars. This early dental development is crucial for puppies transitioning from nursing to starting on solid foods. By understanding this timing, pet owners can better support their puppy’s nutritional needs and overall health during these formative weeks.

How many baby teeth do puppies usually have, and what are they medically called?

Puppies typically have 28 baby teeth, medically known as deciduous teeth. These teeth are also often referred to as “milk teeth” due to their presence during the nursing phase of a puppy’s life. The set comprises incisors, canines, and premolars, essential for the puppy’s initial stages of food processing and exploration of their environment. These deciduous teeth play a crucial role in developing a healthy adult dentition, paving the way for their eventual replacement by a complete set of 42 adult teeth.

At what age do puppies begin the transition from milk to solid food?

Puppies typically begin the transition from milk to solid food around the age of six weeks. This weaning process is a crucial developmental stage, where puppies gradually shift from their mother’s milk or formula to specially formulated puppy food. The transition is essential for their growth, providing the nutrients for healthy development. During this period, it’s necessary to introduce solid food slowly, ensuring it’s easily digestible and appropriate for their age, to support their overall health and well-being as they grow.

By what age should adult teeth replace all of a puppy’s baby teeth?

By six months, all of a puppy’s baby teeth should have been replaced by adult teeth. This process involves shedding the initial 28 deciduous teeth, which are then succeeded by a complete set of 42 adult teeth, including incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. This dental transition is a natural part of a puppy’s development, enabling them to handle various foods and chew more effectively. Monitoring this process can help ensure the transition occurs smoothly and without complications.

How many adult teeth do dogs have, and which new types of teeth do they get?

Dogs have 42 adult teeth, which include incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. In addition to retaining the types of teeth they had as puppies—incisors, canines, and premolars—dogs gain molars, which are new to their adult dentition. Molars are the most prominent teeth at the back of the mouth, crucial for grinding and mashing food. This comprehensive set supports various dietary needs, allowing dogs to chew a wide range of foods effectively, from kibble to tougher meat and bones, facilitating digestion and overall health.

Do you have questions about your puppy’s teething? We’re here to help. Call your Hudson Valley vet clinic today.