A teething dog chews on a toy.

When Do Puppies Stop Teething? Everything You Need to Know

A new puppy can be a handful. That’s especially true during the arduous teething process, when growing and losing teeth can result in destructive chewing and biting. All young dogs go through teething and all puppy owners need to learn to manage the process. Teething can be frustrating (not to mention painful), but dog people shouldn’t let it scare them away from purchasing or adoption a pup of their own.

At What Age Do Puppies Stop Teething?

For pet parents contending with their puppy’s teething process, it can often seem like this frustrating period will never end. Don’t worry, teething is, in fact, just a temporary (and necessary) nuisance for you and your young pet. Dogs typically grow their full set of adult teeth by the time they reach six to eight months of age. The precise timeline may vary based on your dog’s size and breed. PetMD notes that small breed dogs, including dogs from the Toy group, often take longer to grow both sets of teeth. However long it takes, there’s plenty you can do to keep your pup comfortable and safely address behavior concerns.

Puppy Teeth and Adult Dog Teeth

Like humans, puppies lose their initial set of teeth (sometimes called baby teeth) at a young age before growing a new set of permanent teeth.

Your Puppy’s Baby Teeth

Puppies are born without teeth, but grow a set of 28 deciduous teeth during their first several weeks and months. Baby teeth are pointy and sharp, earning them the nickname “needle teeth.”

Your Dog’s Permanent Teeth

Once they’re finished teething, dogs have 42 adult teeth. That’s ten more than humans! One new type of tooth joins incisors, canines, and premolars.

Puppy Teething Timeline

Dogs begin to grow their first baby teeth much more quickly than human babies do. As a result, you might miss on the earliest stages of your puppy’s teething process.

Weeks 2-4

Puppies are still nursing when their first set of baby teeth begin to emerge from their gums. Incisors typically emerge first around three weeks of age. They’re soon followed by additional milk teeth, the canines and premolars.

Weeks 5-8

All of your puppy’s baby teeth will have grown in by the time they’ve reached eight weeks of age. Take a look inside your puppy’s mouth and you’ll see 12 incisors, 12 premolars, and six canines.

Weeks 12-16

Around week 12 is when most breeders will begin to send young puppies home and shelters will begin allowing pet parents to adopt. It’s also around this time that a puppy’s permanent adult teeth begin to grow in and force baby teeth out. Watch out for sharp, rice-sized teeth around the house.

Week 20+

Between the ages of six and eight months, a dog’s full set of 42 permanent teeth will gradually emerge. An adult dog’s teeth include 12 incisors, four canines, 16 premolars, and 10 molars. Permanent teeth typically appear in the same order that baby teeth did, with molars emerging last.

Surviving Your Puppy’s Teething Stage

Living with a teething puppy isn’t always a good time, but this time period doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Check out these tips for avoiding conflict, keeping dogs comfortable, and reducing damage around the house.

Choosing Appropriate Toys for Your Puppy

Not all puppy chew toys are created equal. Read our guide to puppy chew toys before taking a trip out to the pet store.

  1. Safe chew toys should be durable enough to withstand aggressive biting and chewing without breaking apart. Toys that are easily torn apart could present choking risks and leave you with plenty of clean up on your hands. Something like a KONG could be your best option. Unlike plush toys, hard, rubber toys like the KONG will retain their shape and structure for a long time. Even serious chewing from a dog’s permanent adult teeth is no match for truly durable toys.
  2. If your dog has a taste for peanut butter or chicken broth, the best way to redirect their chewing could be with foods like these. Please your pup’s palate with a dog toy filled with peanut butter, broth, or other favorite flavors. They’ll forget all about inappropriate chew toys like shoes!
  3. Teething rings and other toys for human infants are often freezable. Their cool temperature makes these toys especially soothing for sore gums. Many pet toys are freezable too. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid inadvertently irritating your dog’s mouth with an excessively cold chew toy.

When to Call the Vet

It’s normal for the teething process to cause pain and discomfort, as well as occasional swelling and bleeding of the gums, but these issues could point to a serious problem. Consulting your veterinarian throughout the process is always a good idea. It’s a necessity if you notice persistent issues like these:

A Normal Canine Bite

Your dog’s teeth and jaw are among the most crucial parts of their body. They not only use their teeth for chewing and eating, but for grooming as well. An abnormal bite (a condition called malocclusion) can affect a dog’s ability to use its mouth and can lead to additional complications throughout their life.

Here’s what a typical canine bite should look like:

While certain dogs (including brachycephalic pooches like the Bulldog) always have misaligned jaws, most dogs should fit the description outlined above. If your dog’s bite looks unusual (or you notice any warning signs) contact a veterinarian or a veterinary dentist for support.

Keep Your Puppy’s Teeth and Mouth Clean

Congratulations, you’ve made it through the painful process of puppy teething. Keep in mind, however, that the teething phase is just the beginning of you and your dog’s dental health journey. The good news is that there’s plenty you can do to safeguard your pet’s dental health and help them thrive throughout their lives. During your initial veterinary visits, your pup’s doctor will conduct a thorough examination of their teeth, gums, and mouth.

At home, it’s your responsibility to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and offer plaque-fighting foods and treats. A general rule of thumb holds that the sooner you introduce your dog to oral care the easier it will be to administer throughout their life. Start by carefully feeling around your puppy’s baby teeth with your thumb. Putting your hands in and around your puppy’s mouth will help them get used to the sensation and better tolerate both dental examinations and brushing later in life. They may never have a great time at the dentist, but being proactive can keep oral care from becoming a serious hassle for you both.

Make sure to use a toothbrush and toothpaste that are specially designed for a dog’s teeth. Human brushes and pastes are lacking in necessary ingredients and could potentially harm your dog.

What Else Do You Need to Take Care of a Puppy?

Pet owners, do you have everything you need to welcome a puppy home?

Check out our list of essential pet care items to make sure you’re prepared for the responsibilities of pet ownership.

Protect Your Puppy and Pet Care Budget

Just because you’ve checked all those common puppy necessities off your list doesn’t mean you’ve got everything you need to care for a growing pup. Don’t forget to consider enrolling them in a pet insurance policy. Depending on the provider and policy you select, you may be eligible to get money back on dental emergencies and even routine care.