Puppy Teeth

By Deb Haines

Tooth Care

It’s very important to point out that a puppy’s teeth are very different than an adult dog’s teeth and that they require quite different care. Don’t just go purchase your young puppy any type of toy or any type of bone or treats!

Instead, look for treats and bones specifically designed for puppies. Read the labels and read if they’re appropriate for your pet’s age.
1)Puppies are born without teeth
2) At 2 to 3 weeks the first teeth start erupting
3) The first 12 incisors appear at approximately 2 to 3 weeks
4) The first 4 canines appear at approximately 4 weeks
5) The premolars appear at approximately 3 to 6 weeks
6) Puppies don’t have molars.
7) By 6 to 8 weeks of age the puppy should have a complete set of 28 teeth.

Timeline: Eruption of Milk Teeth

The puppy’s milk teeth start coming in once the puppy reaches two to three weeks of age.

The first teeth to appear are the incisors, basically the middle teeth that are found on the top and on the bottom of the mouth.

The pup should have six incisors on the top and six incisors on the bottom for a total of 12.

At about 4 weeks, they’ll also get their four canines, the sharp long teeth right next to the incisors both on the top and bottom.

These first sharp teeth start making the nursing mom uncomfortable, which is a natural phase meant to start the weaning process. Basically, when the puppy nurses at this stage, its teeth start irritating the mother’s nipples, which causes her to become more and more reluctant to nurse.

Since she is more reluctant to nurse, the puppies start becoming more and more interested in other food sources. In the wild, they would eat the food her mom regurgitates for them after eating.

In a domestic setting, at this time, the puppies are introduced to puppy “mush,” a slurry mix the breeder prepares for them. This weaning process now begins, and soon the puppies learn to eat more and more solid foods.

Any time between 3 to 6 weeks of age, the puppy will get, premolars basically the remaining teeth that grow behind the canines up to almost the back of the dog’s mouth.

You should see three on the top and three on the bottom of each side. Puppies do not get molars as baby teeth. This is simply because they don’t need them as they don’t need to grind food at this stage.

So by the age of 6 to 8 weeks, a puppy should have a complete set of sharp, milk teeth which are comprised of 28 teeth.

These include: 12 incisors, 4 canines and 12 pre-molars. This means 14 teeth in the upper jaw and 14 teeth in the lower jaw.

At around 8 weeks, the puppy’s first adult teeth will start pushing the milk teeth out of the way. This is when they start falling out.

Consider yourself lucky if you’re capable of finding an occasional baby tooth in your pup’s water bowl or on the ground. In many cases, puppies will just swallow them.

This is a good time too see the vet, just to make sure the teeth are growing normally. Sometimes a baby tooth may fail to fall and the adult tooth may grow abnormally beside it. In this case, the vet will need to remove the baby tooth.

The vet will also check that the bite is normal and closes correctly as per the breed’s standard. Malocclusions (bad bites) can be caused by retained baby teeth. In some breeds, however, this is the standard. The rate at which baby teeth fall out will vary from puppy to puppy, so this is a general guideline.

  • The first baby teeth to fall out are the incisors which start falling out when the puppy is 3 to 4 months of age (12 to 16 weeks).
  • The adult incisors should come in by the time the puppy is 5 months.
  • The canine teeth will then fall out around the fourth month (16 weeks). Finally, the pre-molars will fall out at around 6 months.

At this stage, the puppy will have lost all its 28 teeth, but should have a complete set of 42 adult teeth by the age of 8 months.At this point, the puppy should have 22 teeth in the lower jaw, and 20 teeth in the upper jaw.

The 42 teeth include:

  • 12 incisors
  • 4 canines
  • 16 premolars
  • 10 molars

Respectively, there should be 6 incisors, 2 canines, 8 pre-molars and 4 molars in the upper jaw, and 6 incisors, 2 canines, 8 pre-molars and 6 molars in the lower jaw.

So let’s recap the whole puppy baby teeth falling out phases:

  • Baby teeth remain for only 3 to 7 months.
  • The incisors are the first baby teeth to fall out at approximately 3 to 4 months of age. These should be replaced by the adult incisors by the time the puppy is 5 months old.
  • Next, are the canine teeth which fall out around 4 months.
  • Finally, the pre-molars are the last to fall out at around 6 months.
  • The canines, all the rest of the pre-molars and molars should erupt when the puppy is between 4 to 7 months.
  • When puppies get their adult teeth they gain an extra four premolars and ten molars. This adds up correctly since the puppy baby teeth are 28. So 28 + 4 + 10 = 42.
  • Puppies should have a complete set of 42 adult teeth by the age of 8 months.

This information was provided by …. https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Understanding-Puppy-Teeth-Stages

The Vet Corner Groups are run solely by volunteers. If you would like to support the groups, please feel free to make a donation to the running costs of the groups and websites. We thank you for your kindness!

© 2014-2022 Rural Veterinary Outreach. All Rights Reserved.