A Puppy Teething Timeline For New Pet Parents
If you have recently added a puppy to your family, congratulations! Welcome to a world of sweetness, love, and companionship that is hard to compare! You may already be asking yourself at the sight of chewed up socks, furniture legs and arms, cords, and more thinking - what did I get myself into? Will this ever end?
We're here to give you a definitive time line for how your new puppy's teeth grow, fall-out, and develop fully. This will help you realize when chewing is appropriate and when it isn't, what materials are good to chew, and how long they will likely be doing it for. Having a time line for healthy oral growth is one thing but reinforcing positive behavior and proper training is another vital component to addressing your little furry baby's teething habits.
Age: 2 to 4 Weeks
At this time, most puppies are still located with their mother, being taken care of by a breeder. During this time their baby teeth are beginning to come in, their eyes will have opened and they will have begun nursing.
Age: 5 to 6 Weeks
By now, all 28 little baby teeth that most breeds have are all grown in. During this period the breeder is likely beginning to wean the puppies and integrating soft, moist puppy food into their diet.
Age: 12 to 16 Weeks
It's likely you're breeder has allowed you to take home your new puppy now, or a month before at 8 weeks. Between the ages of 12 to 16 weeks, your puppy has probably had a ton of time chewing on various chew toys, bones, and treats and has begun shedding his original baby teeth. you may find them scattered about, and a lot of the time they're swallowed by accident.
The process of teething and losing their teeth can sometimes be painful so we recommend investing in puppy safe chew toys and treats made out of a material that won't damage their teeth and gums.
This is also a good time to begin training to your dog to be familiar with you and other people such as their vet, touching their mouth area. This will not only socialize them to you but will also prepare them for brushing their teeth and the minor discomfort that comes with it, in the future.
Age: 6 Months & Older
You've made it to the half-year mark, congratulations! Your doggy is likely in their prime and feeling very active and energetic. By this time your dog has lost all of, or most of their puppy teeth and they've been replaced by their fully grown adult teeth. Usually dogs have about 42 adult teeth (about 10 more than us humans)! If you notice any baby teeth sticking around, be sure to tell your vet.
Do's & Don't s For Puppy Chews
So what is okay for a puppy to chew on exactly, to promote healthy oral hygiene and appropriate adult tooth development? I'm sure you know things you don't want them to chew and you shouldn't let them get away with chewing even though they're adorable. Things like your shoes, TV controllers, underwear and socks, furniture, and so on. When you see them chewing on one of these items, it's best to simply replace it with a good chew.
So what about sticks? Pine cones? Outside stuff? It may be okay for a few seconds of quick chewing but it's more likely to get lodged within their mouth or throat which can lead to bad breath, discomfort or further harm if left unaddressed so it's best to stay away from those too.
Safe and durable materials are highly recommended when choosing chews and toys for your pet. For example, rope toys with non-toxic cotton fibers, or bully sticks with all-natural ingredients that help clean your pet's teeth.
Maintaining Healthy Oral Hygiene
By providing your pet with healthy, durable treats and chew toys - you will help prevent food from remaining lodged between their teeth and gums, and promote regular cleaning. It is important to note that you should brush your puppy's teeth, as periodontal disease is one of the major ailments affecting pets today. Once they're old enough we recommend using a hassle-free breath spray.
Either apply a breath spray along your pet's gum lines or by spritzing it into their water dish, you can ensure they're receiving beneficial nutrients to maintain a healthy mouth, which in turn helps promote healthy digestion and internal flora as well.
Learn more about periodontal disease and what you can to avoid it with both your cats and dogs, here! Or feel free to reach out to us with your story! We love hearing from our Waggles fam.