The Puppy Teething Process: Remedies, Complications, and More

Updated on August 9, 2019
Scotties-Rock profile image

Clairissa is a proud doggy-mom who remembers the trials and tribulations of her pets' puppy phases all too well.

The teething process can be a pain to puppies and owners alike. Learn what you can do to keep your puppy happy and your hands and furniture safe.
The teething process can be a pain to puppies and owners alike. Learn what you can do to keep your puppy happy and your hands and furniture safe. | Source

Awww! Puppies are such sweet little angels . . . until teething begins, that is.

Yes, your innocent little cherub is going to turn into a wild monster, and you will become their human chew toy. Don't worry, that sweet little pup is still in there somewhere—you just have to make it through the teething process to find them again.

Why Do Puppies Bite so Much When They Are Teething?

When those new teeth emerge, it hurts! When your puppy bites you and everything else in their vicinity, they are really just trying desperately to find something that feels good on their aching gums. Luckily, there are many things you can do to help your poor little pet.

How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have?

 
Baby Teeth
Adult Teeth
Top Teeth
14
20
Bottom Teeth
14
22
Total Teeth
28
42
Be sure to take your pup to the vet once their permanent teeth come in to check on their dental health.
Be sure to take your pup to the vet once their permanent teeth come in to check on their dental health. | Source

When Do Puppies Lose Their Baby Teeth?

All puppies have 28 teeth—4 on the top and 14 on the bottom. These teeth usually emerge between three and four weeks of age and tend to be very sharp and thin. They begin to fall out about three months later when the pup is approximately four months old. Just like in humans, puppies' adult teeth push out their baby teeth.

When it is all said and done, your puppy will end up with a whopping 42 permanent teeth—20 on the top and 22 on the bottom. It is hard to imagine all those teeth fitting into their tiny mouths, but somehow they do.

You may never see any of your puppy's baby teeth, as they are usually swallowed after they fall out. However, if you are lucky enough to find a shiny, white puppy tooth on your carpet, feel free to save it. It sounds funny, but I saved the tooth I found to put in my dog's scrapbook.

Don't Rub Whiskey on Your Dog's Gums!

Whiskey and other alcohols are extremely toxic to canines. Attempting to treat teething pain with whiskey or other "folk remedies" is dangerous and cruel.

Puppy Teething Remedies

  • Roll a washcloth, run it under cool water, and tie knots at each end. Place it in a plastic bag and put it in your freezer. The frozen washcloth will provide some temporary relief for the puppy's sore gums. Feel free to use chicken or beef broth instead of water as a special treat.
  • Ice cubes are great for relieving teething pain, and the coolness feels really good on your puppy's gums. Best of all, they are free! As with the washcloth remedy, feel free to substitute chicken or beef broth for water occasionally as a treat.
  • Sometimes, a gentle massage can help relieve some of the pain in your puppy's aching gums and teeth. Use your finger like you would a toothbrush and rub your pet's upper and lower gums with a circular motion.
  • Vet-approved topical analgesics can reduce your pup's pain as well. Using your finger, rub a small amount gently onto their upper and lower gums.
  • Chamomile is a safe herb that can provide some relief. Add some dried chamomile to boiling water then let it cool. Pour it into a bowl and let your puppy enjoy a nice, relaxing drink.
  • Puppy teething toys are available online and at many pet stores. Look for toys with nubs and ridges, as these textures feel good on teething dogs' gums.
  • Kongs are an all-around great toy, and they can also aid teething puppies. Stuff them with a little peanut butter and freeze them to create a therapeutic treat. A kong is a good investment because adult dogs enjoy them too.
  • Some teething puppies seem to enjoy chewing on bully sticks. Dogs should always be supervised when using a bully stick, as pieces that break off can become lodged in their throats or intestines and cause medical issues. These can be purchased at most pet stores.

Why Do Some Puppies Develop Extra Teeth?

Some breeds are more likely than others to develop extra teeth as puppies. All terrier breeds are particularly prone to this. If extra adult teeth emerge, bite problems can occur due to the tight spacing in the mouth. Extra teeth may grow out of the sides of dogs' gums or even out of a hole in another tooth.

It is very important to have your puppy's teeth checked for by a vet to determine if they have any extra teeth. If extra teeth are found, your vet will likely extract them. If left untreated, this dental anomaly can cause serious bite problems.

How Can I Keep My Puppy Safe When I Am Not Around?

You can't monitor your pet 24 hours a day. When you're not around, your teething puppy is likely to chew on anything they can get their paws on in an effort to find some relief. When my puppy was teething, I used this eight-panel portable playpen to keep him from getting into trouble when I couldn't supervise him.

The eight panels can be removed so the playpen can be configured in any shape or size to fit your space. The pen is made of plastic which makes it easy to clean, and the panels can lay flat for easy storage. By keeping your teething pup in a spacious pen with plenty of appropriate treats and chews, you can save your clothes, furniture, and windowsills from chewing damage.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

    Do you have any funny puppy teething stories to share?

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      • profile image

        zeeDogWhisperer 

        5 years ago

        Great lens. Thanks for the info. Puppy teething is such a mess. Yeah I also provided toys but sometimes they really want to mess around with other stuffs. I just found out that if you established your role as a leader, your dog will actually listen and will respect you. Being a dog trainer, this is a good achievement.

      • Scotties-Rock profile imageAUTHOR

        Clairissa 

        6 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

        @BowWowBear: Great idea for the BIG dogs and for the little ones who think there BIG. :)

      • BowWowBear profile image

        BowWowBear 

        6 years ago

        Just thought I would add to the teething remedies. For larger dogs, ice cubes made with muffin tins usually provide a longer-lasting aid. Great lens! I had a Scottie when I was a young boy.

      • Scotties-Rock profile imageAUTHOR

        Clairissa 

        6 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

        @Lady Lorelei: LOL... Our puppy pulled out all of the bubble wrap filling the holes in our pool (where the ladders etc go) It took me a while to figure out what the remnants actually were.

      • Lady Lorelei profile image

        Lorelei Cohen 

        6 years ago from Canada

        When I was young I experienced puppy teething first hand. Stereo wires, blue jeans, furniture, and anything else my little pet chose to gnaw on was indeed chewed up beyond recognition. Wow.

      • imagelist lm profile image

        imagelist lm 

        6 years ago

        This was helpful and gave me a lift... Thanks!

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