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The essentials

  • Puppies start teething when they’re around four months old — The teething period usually lasts until they’re about six months old but can last up to 12 months for some.
  • Provide your pup with chews and frozen toys to help with teething pain — By the end of the teething period, dogs will have 42 permanent adult teeth. Chewing is one way they alleviate the discomfort. Distract and comfort them with safe chew toys.
  • Don’t forget the importance of dental hygiene — If you haven’t already, this is a great time to implement a dental routine to keep your pup’s adult teeth healthy and strong.

Puppy teething explained

Puppies experience a whirlwind of changes in the first few months of life. They’ll learn to walk, eat, and possibly adjust to a new home without their mom or siblings. In the span of that first year, they’ll also lose baby teeth and grow adult teeth.

This often causes sore gums as the adult teeth push their way through the gum line. Many pups will chew anything they can get their teeth on — teething soothes and helps relieve the discomfort. Puppy teething usually starts around three to four months old and ends around the six- or 12-month mark, depending on the pup.

In some instances, you may notice that your puppy’s adult teeth push through before the baby teeth have the opportunity to fall out. If these retained deciduous teeth don’t fall out by nine or 12 months, you may need to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to have the baby teeth extracted.

The stages of puppy teething

Like teething with human babies, puppy teething comes on fast. By the time most puppies acclimate to their new homes, around 8-12 weeks, they’ve already started losing some of their baby teeth. An average timeline for puppy teething is:

  • 2-4 weeks. A puppy’s baby teeth start poking through.
  • 5-8 weeks. All 28 of your puppy’s baby teeth should come in by this time.
  • 12-16 weeks. Your puppy’s baby teeth start falling out.
  • 6-12 months. Your pup’s 42 adult teeth start coming in. Although there is no exact puppy teething timeline, many dogs teethe until they are nine to 12 months old.

Veterinary exam fees for your puppy may be covered by pet insurance — find out what is (and isn’t) included in our pet insurance coverage guide.

Symptoms of teething in puppies

While the teething timeline varies, there are common signs that mean your puppy is teething. These include:

  • Excessive chewing or nipping
  • Drooling
  • Small blood spots on your dog’s toys
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Fever
  • Slower-than-normal eating
  • Crying or whining

Best solutions to manage your puppy’s teething

Manage your pup’s teething pain and discomfort, and you’ll save yourself the frayed nerves (and ruined shoes, clothes, or furniture). Keep your dog’s size in mind when you select the best teething toys and other remedies. Some of the most recommended teething treatments include:

Use puppy-safe chew toys — Make sure to offer your pup appropriate chew toys and bones safe for puppies to consume. Consider rotating their chews and toys to keep them entertained.

Work on obedience training — The puppy teething period is also an opportune time to start obedience training with your dog. It’ll be helpful in the long run to institute a no-biting policy with consistent and positive reinforcement.

Puppy-proof your home — Puppies are naturally curious creatures. Add in an excessive need to chew during teething, and you may wonder if you have a monster on your hands. Take some time to make your home a puppy-safe zone by picking up electrical cords and other items from the floor.

Offer a frozen treat — Help relieve your puppy’s discomfort by offering them a frozen Kong filled with a delicious treat that both help their sore mouths and provide entertainment.

Try meds or natural pain relievers — At a certain point, pain medication may be necessary to help your puppy deal with the discomfort that comes with teething. Make sure to talk with your vet to determine your pup’s proper medication and dose.

Give them natural chews Natural chews may provide comfort to your dog, including pig ears, bully sticks, and Yak cheese chews. Our on-staff vet noted it’s important to be careful with these types of cheese, especially depending on the size of your dog, as they can be irritating to smaller breeds when teething. As always, it’s important to supervise your pet while they enjoy these and make sure they’re puppy-safe.

Training tips for teething puppies

Puppy teething is not only a hectic time for your pup but for pet parents, too. Pups desperate to relieve their sore gums see nearly everything as a teething tool, including humans! This is the perfect opportunity to start obedience training to deter dogs from biting and nipping. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  1. Keep a toy or bone nearby to give your puppy a replacement for biting your hand or another object they shouldn’t be chewing.
  2. Use a liquid treat dispenser to encourage your puppy to lick instead of bite.
  3. Never let your puppy chew on your hands or fingers. If they do, say, “Ouch,” to show them it hurts.
  4. Ignore poor puppy behavior. If that doesn’t work, a short timeout may be needed to interrupt the behavior.
  5. Positively reward your puppy for good behavior with a treat or extra attention — training shouldn’t be a negative experience for your pup.
  6. Practice consistency. It’s often difficult for everyone in your household to practice the same training rules, but it’s necessary for long-term success.

How to keep healthy puppy teeth 

Just like you have a dental routine, it’s important to start one for your dog, too. The teething phase is an excellent time to establish regular dental care with your pup to keep their pearly whites shiny and healthy. Regular cleanings improve dogs’ overall health and prevent future dental problems like canine periodontal disease, which can lead to heart disease.

One way to take care of your dog’s teeth is by brushing them with a dog-specific toothpaste and brush. Starting this routine at a young age may make it easier to continue and keep up with as dogs grow older. Dental chews and bones are another great way to keep your dog’s teeth clean. Most veterinary offices also offer annual dental cleanings to remove the build-up of plaque and tartar.

Frequently asked questions

What can I give my puppy for teething?

This will depend on your dog’s size and their toy and food preferences, but some of the most common items include frozen Kongs filled with treats like peanut butter or yogurt, puppy-specific toys, and other chews.

How long do puppies teethe?

Teething timelines vary depending on your dog’s breed, size, and health, but most puppies stop teething and have a mouth full of adult teeth by the time they’re between six to 12 months old.

What are the symptoms of a teething puppy?

The most common signs that your puppy is teething include drooling, small spots of blood on their toys, decreased interest in eating, whining, increased or excessive chewing, swollen or red gums, and fever.

What months are puppies teething?

Puppies start teething around three or four months old. On average, most puppies stop teething between six and 12 months old.

How does one stop a teething pup from biting you?

While it may not happen overnight, now is the perfect opportunity to start obedience training with your pup to stop biting and nipping early on. Teach your puppy that biting hurts by exclaiming, “Ouch,” when they nip and praise them when they stop. Thwart biting with plenty of appropriate items they can chew on (not your fingers!) such as puppy-safe bones, frozen treats, and other toys.