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The Puppy Teething Journey

Admittedly, I only learnt about puppy teething the hard way…when we got our first puppy! And when talking to friends I discovered I was not alone, others too felt in the dark on this topic. So, for the first time pet parent, here’s some information to help you through your puppy’s teething stage.

The teeth

As in humans, dogs have two sets of teeth in their lifetime. Puppies have 28 deciduous teeth also known as primary, baby, or milk teeth. Adult dogs have 42 permanent teeth, also known as secondary teeth.

The teething timeline

Puppies are born without any visible teeth. The milk teeth start erupting through the gums around three weeks of age and typically by six weeks of age all the milk teeth are present. In puppies, the entire teething process is relatively rapid. Teething begins in puppies at about 3.5 to 4 months of age, when the deciduous incisors begin to be replaced by permanent incisors. By the age of 6 to 7 months, most puppies have all of their adult teeth.

What happens during teething?

Long before adult teeth erupt through the gums, they begin developing from tooth buds located in the upper and lower jaws. As the adult teeth develop, they begin to exert pressure against the roots of the deciduous teeth, stimulating the roots of the deciduous teeth to begin resorbing. Once the roots have resorbed, the crowns of the deciduous teeth fall out. You may even find these hollow shells of baby teeth on the floor or in your puppy's bedding, but very often they are swallowed while your puppy is eating to no ill effect.

During the teething process, your puppy may drool, may be reluctant to eat as robustly as usual, and may be irritable due to a tender mouth. Almost all puppies have the urge to chew when they are teething. It is important that you do what you can to direct your puppy's chewing towards acceptable and safe objects. Do not allow your puppy to chew people's shoes, clothes, or the furniture. Avoid hard toys, nylon chews, cow hooves, and ice cubes as they can damage the teeth. Avoid feeding your puppy bones (cooked or otherwise), as they are also too hard to chew and can result in damaged teeth and intestinal damage if swallowed. You may also notice a characteristic breath odour, known as 'puppy breath', which is associated with teething. This odour is normal and will last as long as the puppy is teething.

What can you do?

The teething process is very uncomfortable for a puppy. Your job as a responsible pet parent is to provide something your pup can chew on to soothe sore gums and help make this process a little more comfortable. By doing so, you’ll be preventing the puppy from finding something on his own to chew, whether it’s your shoes, your couch, or your children’s toys.

The best objects to offer teething puppies depend on your dog’s size and level of activity. They include rubber teething toys that you can put in the freezer, such as a Kong, edible puppy teething rings, and flavoured puppy chew toys.

Comment below and share your puppy teething experiences with us.




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