Teething in Dogs This article is verified by a vet

Teething in dogs

Teething occurs with dogs from the age of four months.

Puppies are as sweet as sugar and keep their new home nice and busy – especially when their first milk teeth are coming through. We will explain what you as a new dog owner should know about teething in dogs and how you can make this painful phase for your puppy as pleasant as possible.

Symptoms: How does teething manifest itself in dogs?

Dogs show similar symptoms to humans when teething. Many puppies feel pain or sense pressure or itching in the tooth area. 

In order to alleviate these disruptive factors, they regularly chew on hard or cool objects (e.g. iron bars, roots or branches). It’s not uncommon for puppies to destroy numerous pieces of furniture or skirting boards during this stressful period. 

Along with increased chewing, puppies also get worse sleep or are reluctant to eat dry food. If their gums are inflamed, their general behaviour can also worsen. In rare cases, puppies suffer from complaints such as diarrhoea or severe complications.

Tips and tricks: How to help your dog through teething

Milk teeth falling out can be very irritating. Hence, dogs try to accelerate the process by biting on the affected tooth area for a long time. 

You can use the following helpful ruses so that your furniture doesn’t suffer from your puppy teething and to get it through this phase as painlessly as possible: 

  • Soften dry food in water or provide extra-soft puppy food. 
  • Offer your dog something to chew (e.g. special chew toy for dogs) 
  • Freeze food or a chew toy or put it in the fridge for some time. 
  • Ensure a balanced supply of nutrients (e.g. calcium). 

Caution: Don’t give your dog any remedies approved for teething in humans. They can be toxic for your dog and an overdose can even prove fatal. 

Get your young dog examined by a vet after teething. This is important to rule out tooth and jaw misalignment. This is not uncommon with small breeds. If the vet recognises the problem early on, it can usually be treated well.

Teething puppies © karoshi / stock.adobe.com
Puppies enjoying chewing sticks during teething.

When does teething start with dogs?

The first milk teeth fall out from the age of around four to six months. This makes space for the permanent teeth, which the dog will keep for its entire life – as long as they don’t fall out in old age. Teething is finished after around three months and plenty of chewing.

Dog dentition: When do which teeth break through?

Like us humans, dogs first get milk teeth before their permanent dentition develops: 

Milk teeth

In young canine years, the dentition is made up of non-permanent milk teeth. The dog loses them during teething. You can recognise milk teeth by their typical blue-white colour. Compared to permanent teeth, they are also narrower, pointier and have a lily-shaped crown. 

The milk teeth develop between the age of three weeks and six months: 

3-4 weeks of age  Emergence of the primary incisors 
1-2 months of age  Growth of the primary incisors 
2-3 months of age  Outgrowth of the primary incisors 
3-4 months of age  Erosion of the primary incisor lobes 
4-5 months of age  Change of the primary incisors 
5-6 months of age  Change of the primary molars 

A dog's baby teeth © Todorean Gabriel / stock.adobe.com
Milk teeth are small, blue-white and very pointy.

Permanent dog teeth

On average, adult dogs have around 42 permanent teeth. They only fall out on an individual basis in old age or due to accidents. 

Shortly after teething, the permanent teeth are covered by what are known as lobes, which disappear over the course of time due to erosion. By the way, these signs of wear and tear can help you to estimate your dog’s age.

Franziska G., Veterinarian
Profilbild von Tierärztin Franziska Gütgeman mit Hund

At the Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen I was extensively trained as a veterinarian and was able to gain experience in various fields such as small animal, large animal and exotic animal medicine as well as pharmacology, pathology and food hygiene. Since then, I have been working not only as a veterinary author, but also on my scientifically driven dissertation. My goal is to better protect animals from pathogenic bacterial organisms in the future. Besides my veterinary knowledge, I also share my own experiences as a happy dog owner and can thus understand and enlighten fears and problems as well as other important questions about animal health.

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