Are Puppies Supposed to Lose Teeth?

Adopting a puppy means taking on an awful lot of responsibility. Like an infant, a puppy can’t defend itself, can’t get its own food, and definitely can’t clean up after itself. If your puppy gets sick, you’ll be the person they can rely on to get medical help. Without human assistance, many puppies would surely perish.

Like infants, your puppy will go through certain rites of passage. Learning how to go potty outside is a big one, of course, and many other skills like leash walking, fetching things, and so forth. Puppies will, like babies, eventually lose their baby fat too and fill out in different ways subtle and more noticeable.

One of those changes is just like a human child; the changes your puppy’s teeth go through as they make their way toward adulthood. I was thinking about this the other day after a friend of mine told me how her pup was going through intense teething pain. Watching as her pup played with a cold Kong toy, I was reminded of a question I frequently hear from readers like yourself; are puppies supposed to lose teeth?

The answer is that, yes, like a human child, your puppy is supposed to lose its baby teeth. Like humans, they do this so that new, bigger and stronger adult teeth can come through, especially their powerful and sharp canine teeth. Their 28 so-called ‘puppy teeth’ will be replaced by 42 adult teeth.

Now that you know that, yes, your puppy is supposed to lose its teeth, I’m sure you have more questions on this toothy subject. For example, is losing teeth painful for puppies, and when do they start losing their teeth? If so, please continue reading. I’ve got the answers to those questions and several more below to help you and your pup through this slightly painful and annoying process.

When Do Puppies Start Losing Their Baby Teeth?

One interesting fact about puppies and their baby teeth is that they usually lose them faster than they come in. Also, most puppy baby teeth will fall out within 4 to 5 weeks after erupting (i.e., coming in). In other words, puppies won’t have their baby teeth for a long time.

Typically, a puppy will start losing their baby teeth at around 2 months of age. The incisor teeth are usually the first to go, but that’s not always a hard fact. By about 4 months, most of their baby teeth will have fallen out, and their adult molars will start erupting.

Most of their adult teeth should have come in once your pup reaches about 6 months of age. At this point, if any of those teeth are crooked, it might be time to bring your puppy to a doggy dentist. That way, they can make dental corrections to things like over and underbites before the teething process ends.

Is Losing Teeth Painful for Puppies?

Unfortunately, losing their teeth and going through the teething process is a painful affair for most puppies. Many will suffer from increased salivation, irritability, and a loss of appetite when their baby teeth erupt and go through the same thing again when their adult teeth are coming in. 

You might also notice a few other signs that your puppy is going through teething pain. For example, they tend to bite their lips and pretty much any other object they can fit in their mouth. They also become quite irritable and restless and, at night, tend to cry and whine quite a bit. They can also have bouts of diarrhea, rashes, and even fever, although these are typically associated with other health situations and not teething problems.

Do I Need to Do Anything when my Puppy Loses a Tooth? 

If your puppy is losing their baby teeth naturally, there really isn’t much you need to do when they lose a tooth. That being said, if they lose a tooth, or several teeth, due to chewing too forcefully or some other problem, a visit to your veterinarian might be necessary.

Of course, just like when a child is going through teething, there are certain things you can do to relieve your puppy’s teething pain, at least temporarily. Below are several methods you can use to help your puppy get through teething and reduce their pain and discomfort, including:

  • Providing them with a cold toy of some kind, like a Kong toy. 
  • Give your puppy a piece of frozen fruit or vegetables to suck and chew on.
  • Taking them for a walk to distract them from the pain and discomfort.
  • Training them to play a game or learn a new skill.
  • Playing fetch or some other game also distracts them from their teething pain.
  • Massaging their gums with your finger to relieve their discomfort. (This has the added advantage of introducing them to your finger being in their mouth, which can help when it comes time to start brushing their teeth.)

What Are the Best Toys for a Teething Puppy?

Choosing a suitable toy to give your puppy as they go through teething is essential. Not only will it help to relieve your pup’s pain, but it also won’t make the problem worse. I recommend purchasing them chew toys with soft rubber spikes as they will massage their gums and provide relief while they chew.

Several different types of rope toys also work well for relieving teething pain in puppies. Not only are rope toys delicate on their irritated gums, but they also give your pup an easy method to chew their discomfort away.  Lastly, you can also try relieving their teething pain with a durable plush toy. I recommend trying different toys and, once you find one that seems to work best, sticking with it. 

At What Age Do Puppies Get Their Permanent Teeth?

As I mentioned earlier, your puppies’ permanent teeth will start coming in as soon as their tiny baby teeth start falling out. Typically, that’s about 2 months of age, but don’t worry if your puppy is a little early or late to the party. By the time they reach seven or eight months of age, your pup should have 42 beautiful, permanent teeth in their mouth, strong, healthy, and ready to chew! Below is a little bit more information about when the specific types of dog teeth will erupt, including:

  • Incisors, which come in between 2 to 4 months of age.
  • Canine teeth, which you’ll start seeing at about 5 or 6 months of age.
  • Premolars, which erupt at about 4 to 6 months.
  • Molars, the last teeth usually to be seen, which erupt at about 4 to 7 months of age.

Final Thoughts

Are puppies supposed to lose teeth? Yes, indeed they are, and they will go through teething pain because of it, much like a human child. They lose their baby teeth so that new, bigger and stronger adult teeth can take their place. That includes their powerful canine teeth and molars, premolars, and incisors. Once finished, the 28 puppy teeth your puppy initially had will be replaced by 42 more prominent, stronger adult teeth.

Did you enjoy today’s blog about puppies and their teeth? I certainly hope you did and that it answered all of your specific questions about the subject. If you have more or would like to learn more about being the perfect puppy parent, please see my other blogs on the subject. They’re packed with real-world, actionable information you can use to raise your precious puppy into a healthy, happy, and well-adjusted adult dog.