There are few things in this world more adorable than puppies. But with anything new (and adorable) comes a steep learning curve. Did you know puppies, like babies, go through a teething stage? Read on if you have questions about puppy teething, what to expect, or how to handle it. A little knowledge can make the whole process easier for you and may even save your favorite shoes from becoming a chew toy.

What is Teething?

To put it simply, teething is how new teeth come in. The first part of your puppy’s teething occurs when the baby teeth (also called deciduous teeth) break through the gums. The second phase of teething occurs when their permanent teeth push out their baby teeth.

Other than the potential destruction of your belongings as they try to soothe their gums and explore the world around them through their mouths, teething shouldn’t be much of an issue for you and your pup. In general, it isn’t a very painful process but can be uncomfortable.

Signs of Puppy Teething

Puppies chew on everything, but that doesn’t always mean they are teething. Look for these signs:

  • Red and inflamed gums
  • Mild discomfort in the jaw
  • Drooling
  • Increased or excessive chewing behavior
  • Bleeding gums
  • Missing teeth
  • Chewing more slowly and carefully

When Does A Puppy Start Teething?

Your puppy’s first baby teeth will start to erupt around 2 weeks old. By about 4 weeks old, most of their 28 tiny, sharp baby teeth are in, and your puppy starts to explore through chewing.

How Long Does Puppy Teething Last?

From the first baby tooth to the last adult tooth, the entire teething process is about 7½ months. It varies slightly by breed.

When Do Puppy Teeth Fall Out?

Puppy teeth generally fall out in a particular order and at certain ages.

  • 12 to 16 weeks — the front teeth (incisors)
  • 16 to 24 weeks — the sharp fang teeth (canines)
  • 24 weeks — the back teeth (premolars)

Puppies do not have any baby molars.

When Do Puppies Get Their Permanent (Or Adult) Teeth?

Knowing when permanent teeth erupt is as important as knowing when your pup will lose their baby teeth, so you can monitor for dental abnormalities, such as missing or crooked teeth.

In general, all 42 permanent teeth should erupt by 8 months of age. The following is an average timeline of when to expect those teeth.

  • 2 to 4 months — 12 incisors
  • 5 to 6 months — 4 canine teeth
  • 4 to 6 months — 16 premolars
  • 4 to 7 months — 10 molars

What Happens When Puppy Teeth Fall Out?

More often than not, puppies end up swallowing most of their baby teeth. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. You may even find some on the floor.

What Do Puppy Teeth Look Like When They Fall Out?

The teeth are typically very white, small, and pointed. You will not notice much of a root because they’re absorbed as the adult teeth develop in the jawbone. This is also why the baby teeth become wiggly and fall out.

Common Dental Problems in Puppies

While teething is a natural process, it still requires monitoring to catch issues that may require a visit to your veterinarian. It’s best to schedule a dental appointment before your puppy is finished teething to be sure all is well. Watch for:

  • High Fever
    Just as human babies can have a mild fever when teething, so can puppies. But if it gets above 102.5 F and they appear lethargic, contact your veterinarian. Your vet can also show you how best to take your puppy’s temperature.
  • Bleeding from the Gums
    This is normal, but only in small amounts. If you notice large amounts of blood, seek immediate veterinary care.
  • Deciduous (Baby) Teeth Do Not Erupt
    There are cases where the pup’s gums are too fibrous, and the baby teeth cannot push through. This may require surgery to correct.
  • Baby Teeth Do Not Fall Out
    This can occur when the permanent teeth grow in the wrong direction. The baby teeth will need to be removed to prevent further dental complications.
  • Permanent Teeth Are Unformed
    When this occurs, the baby teeth remain since there aren’t permanent teeth to push them out.
  • Baby Teeth Get Broken
    This can lead to an infection and potential damage to the permanent teeth.

If your puppy shows any of the following symptoms, it’s also time to talk with your veterinarian:

  • Refusal to eat, even soft food
  • Obvious pain
  • Lethargy
  • Unwilling to play or interact
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How to Help A Teething Puppy

Teething can be a trying time for both you and your puppy. The main goals as a pet parent are to help relieve their discomfort, satisfy their cravings to chew, and, let’s be honest, protect your belongings!

There are a few reasons for increased chewing during teething. Chewing helps ease the discomfort of sore and inflamed gums. That’s why cool or cold objects seem to help. Chewing also acts as a distraction from the discomfort of teething. Lastly, during the teething process, puppies are experiencing some hormonal changes that can cause them to chew more.

Here are a few things you can offer your puppy to help soothe them. Remember, nothing should be offered for chewing without proper supervision. And throughout the teething process, your pup’s chewing preferences may change.

  • A Plain, Frozen Mini Bagel
    The cold bagel will help soothe the inflamed gums and may help loose baby teeth fall out.
  • Frozen Fruits
    These are soothing to sore gums. But be sure that you are only using fruits that are safe for dogs. No grapes or raisins!
  • A Dish Towel or Rag, Soaked in Water, Twisted, and Frozen
    This is soothing yet not too hard. Be sure to use a new towel with no holes or loose threads, with no soap or other cleaning products on it.
  • Teething Toys
    There are a variety of commercially available toys made specifically for puppy teething.


  • Giving Your Puppy Ice Cubes
    They are too hard and a choking hazard.
  • Pulling a Loose Tooth
    They have very long roots that you can break, potentially causing pain, an infection, and/or problems with the developing permanent tooth.

Best Toys for Puppy Teething

Providing your puppy with a safe chewing toy is one of the best things you can do for them. Look for options that are:

  • Specifically made for puppies
  • Soft/flexible
  • High quality, tough rubber
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Different textures and shapes
  • Freezable
  • Appropriately sized for your puppy

Do not give chew toys that are too small or big. If they’re too small, they are a potential choking hazard. Chews that are too big can cause injury to the mouth and jaw. Do not give hard chews because they may break the delicate baby teeth. If you’re unsure about what chew toys are best, consult your veterinarian.


Melody R. Conklin, VMD, MBA

Dr. Melody R. Conklin is originally from Youngsville in northwestern Pennsylvania and earned her BS at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park in 2003, where she majored in Animal BioScience and minored in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. She then attended the University of Pennsylvania, earning her VMD in 2007. Dr. Conklin worked in companion animal general practice until 2015 when she joined Zoetis’ Veterinary Medical Information and Product Support department while finishing her MBA at Penn State Great Valley in 2017. Dr. Conklin currently works full-time in a companion animal practice while working with Zoetis US Petcare Medical Affairs in a consultant role. She lives in Sinking Spring, PA with her 4 cats, Vegeta, Fluffzor, Poof, & Butter, and 3 guinea pigs, Pascha, Elena, & Caroline.