Teething in Puppies: Everything You Need to Know
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Having a puppy at home is a period of total discovery, both for the puppy and for you. A puppy goes through various changes during their early development. This includes losing their teeth; a process which might surprise you if you've never had a puppy before.
This process generally goes unnoticed as long as there are no complications. However, if you learn a little more about teething in puppies, you can help make this change go as smooth as possible for your pet.
A puppy has 28 milk teeth, and as they fall out they will give way to a set of 42 permanent teeth.
From weeks 2 to 4, when your puppy is still with their mother, their baby teeth will start to come in. By week 5 to 6, they should have all their baby teeth. Around this time, you should start the process of weaning the puppies in the litter as they learn to eat moist, soft puppy food.
The change starts at about 4 months and ends between 6 and 9 months, although this period always varies depending on the puppy and its breed. This process goes unnoticed on many occasions, since the dog shows no sign of pain and sometimes even swallows the teeth. Therefore, it may be difficult to see that your pet is teething. One of the main symptoms of teething is the desire to bite, as a result of gum discomfort and some slight pain.
What to do when your puppy loses its teeth
From weeks 12 to 16, around the time you’ll get to take your puppy home with you, you will start to find crumb or rice sized teeth around your home. Their baby teeth are shedding and their adult teeth are emerging. Anyone who has ever cared for a teething baby will know this process is painful! It’s important to offer your puppy safe chew toys at this point in their development. Also, ask your vet to examine your puppy’s mouth to ensure everything is going well.
Generally, you should intervene as little as possible, since it is a physiological and completely natural process. One thing you could do to relieve the teething pain is to give them soft toys.
If the puppy has soft chew toys, they will have more ways to manage the pain and gingivitis. It is important for them to be soft. Hard toys aren't recommended until 10 months old.
Bones are another bad choice because they are too hard and resistant; save these for when the puppy has grown. Similarly, you won't need to brush your dog's teeth during this period of time. This is because there is little accumulation of tartar and plaque in these early stages.
By the time your puppy is about six months old or so, all of their puppy teeth should be replaced with adult teeth. In general, . If you notice any baby teeth remaining, contact your vet as they may need removed.
Be aware of possible complications
There may be occasions where a milk (baby) tooth doesn't fall out, despite the force of the emerging adult tooth. In these cases, there can be some complications.
If you notice that your dog hasn't developed all their new teeth during the expected amount of time, it is important to go to the vet.
Otherwise, your dog's biting abilities may be compromised due to poorly aligned jaws. Furthermore, it is very important to visit the vet in such cases because an increase in pain may be significant.
If you found this useful, you may be interested in: House Training a Puppy Dog and Caring for Puppy Dogs: Guidelines and Tips
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