HomeNewsNov 22, Puppy Teething Symptoms: What You Should Know

    Nov 22, Puppy Teething Symptoms: What You Should Know

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    Chewing is one of the many Puppy Teething SymptomsChewing

    By Janice Jones   | Last Updated February 19, 2019

    Puppy Teething Symptoms are evident,
    but for most of us, they may be misinterpreted as annoying behavioral problems.  Unlike human babies who are teething, puppies
    are not likely to cry, run a temperature or get clingy. 

    Rather, you might just notice that the puppy would rather bite you than love up to

    If your puppy is drooling, biting, chewing, or bleeding from
    the gums, there is a good chance that he is in the throes of teething.

    Puppy Teething Symptoms

    There are some telltale signs your puppy might be teething.

    Bleeding or Swollen Gums

    First of all, don’t panic! 
    Bleeding is minimal and you might not even notice this sign, but a
    telltale sign is there are drops of pinkish blood on favorite toys. 

    Teething can be painful and those drops of
    blood will help us remember that what the puppy is going through is not a bad
    behavior stage.


    Chew ToysPuppy Teething Symptoms can be reduced by giving them good chew toys

    This is
    undoubtedly the most visible outward
    behavior.  Chewing on anything –preferably
    chew toys, but most puppies will find other things to chew on as well. 

    Your shoes, furniture, woodwork, sticks from
    outside, anything within reach is fair game. 
    Chewing helps relieve some of the pain associated with new erupting teeth.


    If you
    notice more saliva than usual, there is a good chance that new teeth are trying
    to erupt. 
    Even if you don’t notice the actual saliva, you will probably feel his
    wet face or see more wetness on his bed
    or wherever he sleeps. 

    Missing Teeth

    Sometimes you will see areas in
    your dog’s mouth where a tooth has fallen out or you might even find the tiny
    baby tooth on the floor. 

    Don’t worry if
    you can’t find these teeth, as many are swallowed without any problems. 

    Poor Appetite

    Puppy Teething Symptoms can include refusal to eat.Puppy Teething Symptoms can include refusal to eat.

    puppies lose their appetite or refuse to eat. 

    You might confuse this behavior with some other health issue, but if they are otherwise healthy, the chances are that eating causes some pain. 

    Other Puppy Teething Symptoms

    Sometimes they
    will run a low-grade temperature,
    cry or whimper.

    If you do take your puppy’s temperature, remember that the normal canine temperature is 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    Anything above that could suggest fever.

    Not all puppies have fever, cry or whimper.

    Quick Anatomy Lesson on Teeth

    Dog Teeth

    It is important to know the sequence
    of teething in dogs so you will be able to determine if a concerning
    behavior is a health issue or misbehavior. 

    Teething is a natural process and should pose any problems. 

    With that said, some issues can pop up, but we will discuss those shortly.

    With rare exceptions, most puppies are born without
    teeth.  By three weeks of age, sooner for
    larger breed puppies, tiny teeth begin to emerge. 

    First come the incisors, then the canine
    teeth and finally the premolars.  There
    are no molars at this point. 

    The last
    premolar erupts between 8 and 12 weeks, usually about the same time that a
    puppy goes to his forever home.  Puppies
    have 28 deciduous or baby teeth.

    Baby teeth remain until about five to eight months of
    age.  After about three or four months,
    the pup begins to lose his baby teeth and
    the permanent teeth erupt in the same order as the baby teeth:  incisors, canine teeth, premolars and
    eventually the molars. 

    By the time the puppy is 8
    months old, the teething process should be complete. 

    The average adult dog has 42 teeth, 22 on the lower jaw and
    20 on the upper jaw.  If you count, on
    each jaw there will be 6 incisors, 2 canines, and 8 premolars.  There will be 6 molars in the lower jaw and 4
    on the upper jaw.  If you ever wondered
    how shelter workers can tell you the approximate
    age of the dog, it is by counting the teeth.

    Help Relieve Your Puppy’s Distress

    Puppy Playing with ToysProvide Toys to Help Relieve Your Puppy’s Teething Symptoms

    There are some things you can
    do if you are aware that your puppy is teething.

    Stock the Toy Box to Reduce those Puppy Teething Symptoms

    • Now is the time to stock up on puppy toys.  Hard plastic toys, rope toys, Kongs, and other
      chews are all necessary at present and
      should be readily available.  You might
      not want to put them all out at once but rather rotate them.  The novelty
      will encourage the puppy to play with and chew on them more frequently. 
    • Some dogs love soft toys such as stuffed animals
      or stuffless toys.  These are also good
      to have around during the teething stage.
    • A lovely
      homemade toy that works well for teething is to braid some old rags together
      into a long rope toy.  These can also be frozen
      for a different tactile sensation.

    Frozen Chews

    • Dip a plastic toy in peanut butter or other
      tasty paste/liquid and freeze.   You can
      even do this with rope toys.  Dip a rope
      toy in a meat broth, water from a can of tuna, or a thin gravy and then place
      in a plastic bag and into the freezer. 
    • A small washcloth can serve the same purpose for
      teething.  Wet the cloth, roll it up and
      freeze.  If you choose to dip the toys in
      broth, you should plan on keeping the puppy confined to a small area while they
      enjoy their treat.  It can get very

    Change Your Tooth-brushing to Gum Massage

    If you have already started to brush your dog’s
    teeth, you might want to use a piece of gauze dipped in a dog toothpaste and
    wrapped around your finger. 

    The finger
    massage will feel good to the dog, but a toothbrush may hurt.  Keep the toothbrush
    in the closet until the process of
    teething is complete. 

    Protect Your Belongings and Yourself

    Puppy Teething Symptoms

    It is never as important to puppy proof a home as during the
    teething phase.  Anything that is within
    reach is a fair target to chew in a puppy’s mind. One of the biggest of all puppy teething symptoms is chewing on everything.

    It is not that they are deliberately naughty, but rather they are exploring and when
    they find an object that relieves some of their pain, they are going to check
    it out. 

    Figure out how tall
    your puppy is when standing on his back to legs.  Any object from that height down to the floor
    is fair game. 

    This means electric cords, chargers, children’s toys, furniture legs, wooden doors, baseboard or molding—wood is generally a favorite, but upholstered items might also be sampled. 

    Don’t forget that everyone in the household must be diligent about leaving things on the floor ~ shoes, boots, cell phones, eye glasses, papers, books, well, the list just goes on and on.

    Don’t allow a puppy to teeth on you or another person.  Some people make the mistake of allowing a
    small puppy to mouth their fingers, hands, or even feet. 

    Often the nibble of a tiny puppy might not
    hurt too much so the thought is, “why
    discipline if he’s not hurting me.” 

    habit might be hard to break later down the road, so it is best to avoid it
    from the beginning. 

    Litter mates learn to inhibit
    their bite through rough and tumble play. 
    If a sibling is bitten too hard, he’s likely to cry out alerting the
    other that he must learn how to play with a softer mouth. 

    If this doesn’t teach the puppy, then the
    mother will.  Once the puppy goes home to
    his forever home, it is up to us, the humans to continue on with these puppy

    There are plenty of chew toys
    on the market that it really isn’t necessary for people to assume the role of
    teething toy.

    Problems That Can Occur

    While most puppies emerge unscathed with a full set of adult
    teeth, some breeds are prone to some problems.

    These are not your normal puppy teething symptoms, but I’ve included them here because they are somewhat common in small breed dogs.

    Retained Baby Teeth

    If you see what appears to be extra teeth, there is a good
    chance that the dog has retained a baby
    tooth.  This is notoriously common in small breed dogs.

    If the baby tooth does not
    fall out, eventually the adult teeth are pushed out of line and cause a bad
    bite or malocclusion. 

    It is important to
    check the puppy’s teeth periodically during the teeth process and alert your
    vet if a tooth does not fall out. 

    vets will routinely pull out any baby teeth at the same time that they spay or neuter
    the puppy.  This saves the dog from
    having to undergo general anesthesia more than once and also saves you money

    Wrong Number of Teeth

    Most breeds have their entire
    42 teeth by the time they reach 8 or 9 months old.  Some small dogs, especially the
    brachycephalic breeds may not have as many molars as their longer palate cousins. 

    You probably won’t see any puppy teething symptoms, but some hairless breeds such as the Chinese Crested may also have missing teeth. 
    Most of these problems are hereditary and do not pose a health risk to
    the dog.  In some breeds, missing teeth
    may be a disqualifying fault in show

    Some breeds even have more teeth
    than they should.  Greyhounds, for example, may have extra teeth that crowd out or
    overlap healthy teeth. 

    Final Words About Puppy Teething Symptoms

    Teething in puppies is just a phase and all dogs do grow out
    of it.  How we handle this pup development stage does have an impact on
    future behaviors. 

    Once this phase is over, chewing should diminish, dogs
    should be less likely to nip on your fingers, and much of the destructive
    behaviors are gone. 

    If they are still present,
    it is time to consider them to be behavioral problems that should be addressed.

    More Puppy Articles To Check Out

    Puppy Dental Care:  Tips to Get Your Puppy on the Right Tract

    Puppy Behaviors:  An Overview

    Puppy Training Tips

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