Everybody knows that puppies like to chew, but not everybody is familiar with the teething process of puppies. Learn what happens and how to help sore gums.
When puppies are born they do not have any teeth. Then, at around four weeks of age, the puppy’s first set of incisive teeth come in. Around this time, puppies are starting to be weaned because mother dog starts resenting nursing. Those small, sharp teeth indeed can sure start hurting when nursing!
The Puppy’s Teething Process
Puppies will be equipped with most of their baby teeth by the time the puppy is six weeks old. There will be 14 teeth in the upper jaw and 14 teeth in the lower jaw for a total of 28 teeth. The molars, essential for grinding hard foods, will be absent since they are of little use in puppies at this stage.
Do not be fooled by the term ”baby teeth”. Indeed, they are quite sharp and you can feel them quite a bit if your puppy takes a liking to nip your hands or ankles. Thankfully, the baby teeth will eventually start falling off when the puppy is around four months old.
Then, at around four months of age, depending on the breed, the 28 puppy baby teeth will be replaced by 42 permanent teeth which will include the molars. You may happen to see some baby teeth on the floor or in the water bowl. However, at times, you may never see them as the puppy may simply swallow them.
It is a good idea to take a look every now and then at the puppy’s mouth since, at times, a puppy tooth may be reluctant to fall out and the permanent tooth may be growing right behind it. This may cause complications and a veterinarian may have to extract the baby tooth causing problems.
How to Help Teething Puppies
The teething process may take some time, and during this time, puppies often deal with sore gums due to the new teeth penetrating the gums. Puppies may seek out items to chew on during this time, favorite ones are shoes, blankets, drapes, and curtains. It is important therefore to provide the puppy with acceptable items to chew on and direct the puppy to these items when the puppy is chewing the wrong stuff.
It may help to give a puppy a knotted washcloth soaked with water and then frozen to sooth the gums, according to the Grove Veterinary Clinic located in the Central Oregon Coast. Another great option is to stuff a Kong toy with broth (with no onion or garlic among the ingredients) and then freeze it and offer it to the puppy to play with.