When Do Dogs Lose Their Baby Teeth?

There are a few universal questions I get asked almost every day in my veterinary practice. Ithink almost every new owner of a puppy has asked me when those sharp little puppy teeth will be replaced with (less sharp) adult teeth.

At What Ages Do Puppies Lose Their Teeth?

  • 16 weeks of age – Puppies begin to lose their front teeth (incisors) starting with the middle teeth
  • 20 weeks of age – By now, they may have started to lose some of their pre-molars and molars
  • 24 weeks of age – The last teeth to go are the large canine teeth (total of 4) at this time

All the baby teeth should be gone by 7 months of age.

First Adult Teeth Of One Of My Patients

You may notice that your puppy has more teeth than he or she did before when they finish losing their puppy teeth. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), most puppies have twenty eight (28) deciduous teeth and most dogs have forty two (42) adult teeth.

You may find your puppy’s teeth around your home as he or she loses them; they are small and narrow so they can be easy to miss. If you do not find any of your puppy’s teeth do not be alarmed; they often swallow their teeth as they lose them. This is no cause for concern. They just come out in their poop.

What Happens If Your Puppy Doesn’t Lose Their Baby Teeth?

If your puppy does not lose their deciduous teeth, the American Kennel Club (AKC) states that their removal may be necessary. The removal is a surgical procedure, and this can normally be done efficiently while the puppy is being spayed or neutered to reduce time spent under anesthesia.

Permanent adult teeth will still descend if puppy teeth do not fall out and this creates the potential to cause impaction or malocclusion. This would warrant veterinary care, as having puppy teeth and adult teeth both present may cause:

  • A tooth to break off, which is painful and may result in an infection.
  • Food to become stuck between the teeth, which can cause bad breath and may result in cavities and infections developing.

Usually smaller breeds of dogs are the most likely ones to retain some baby teeth. However, any breed can have this happen.

How To Help Your Puppy With Teething

Teething can be uncomfortable and painful for puppies, but there are some things that you can do to help your puppy through this phase of his or her life, such as:

Provide lots of chew toys.

It is very important for puppies to have a variety of chew toys to select from as they are teething. Your puppy will have a strong urge to chew because of the discomfort they feel, which is their body’s way of encouraging teething.

If not supplied with appropriate chew toys, your puppy will find something to chew on that might be unsafe or off limits. Recommended chew toys are listed below.

Offer Frozen Fun

According to Dr. Patricia March, offering a puppy a cold carrot, frozen bananas and strawberries, or a wet and twisted frozen wash cloth, can offer comfort to a sore teething mouth.

Carrots, bananas and strawberries are safe for puppies to eat, making this the bonus of being a yummy snack. The frozen wash cloth can also help wiggle teeth lose as the puppy chews on it.

Start Looking In Their Mouth

It is important that you are able to inspect your puppy’s mouth; you need to see if any teeth are broken or impacted, and you will need to be able to brush your dog’s teeth the rest of his or her life. The best way to get your dog used to having their teeth examined is by beginning to do so when they are puppies.

When your puppy is calm or sleepy, say, “Can I see your teeth?” in a positive tone of voice and lift up their lips and look at their teeth quickly. Praise them for allowing you to do so. Work up to looking longer and rubbing your finger on their teeth.

By getting your puppy used to this, you will reduce their stress at veterinary visits, where a veterinarian will need to see their teeth as part of their examination.

What Can Your Puppy Chew on As A Toy?

Teething puppies actively seek out items to chew on. If not provided with appropriate chew toys they will try to find their own, making it important that they be provided with chew toys. Refer to this list to fill your puppy’s toy box with the right chew toys:

  • The KONG puppy toy can be filled with peanut butter and frozen, which can offer soothing relief to a teething puppy with a sore mouth. Be sure to check the label of peanut butter for xylitol before giving it to your puppy.
  • The Nylabone Teething Pacifier Puppy Chew Toy offers textures that can be soothing to teething puppies.
  • The Nylabone Puppy Teething X Bone Beef Flavored Puppy Chew Toy is ideal because it is easy for paws to hold, has interesting textures and is flavored.
  • Rope toys are also a good choice for teething, as when a puppy’s teeth sink into rope and the puppy chews, the chewing action and the rope can help wiggle their teeth loose.

What Can Your Puppy Not Chew on As A Toy?

Here is a list of things that puppies should NOT be offered as a chew toy, as well as some commonly attractive house hold items that they should be discouraged from chewing on:

  • Human hands. Many puppies will chew on the hands of their humans while teething. Even if this behavior does not bother you it should be discouraged; it teaches your puppy a bad habit. Even though this behavior tends to wane when teething is done and as a puppy grows up, some dogs never outgrow it and may begin to chew or bite roughly which presents the potential for dog bite liability.
  • Antlers. While they have gained popularity as a natural dog chew in the last several years, they are very hard, which poses the hazard of causing a tooth to break.
  • Pillows. Puppies may attempt to teethe on a pillow, but this should be discouraged. If your puppy tears open a pillow, he or she could ingest stuffing which could require surgical removal.
  • Shoes. Not only does chewing on shoes pose a choking hazard due to the small parts a puppy could chew off, but this is a bad behavior that you do not want your puppy to pick up. Additionally, it could cost you quite a bit of money over the course of your puppy’s life if you are constantly replacing your shoes!
  • Pens. Pens are choking hazards and have the potential to make your puppy sick if ink is ingested.
  • Remotes. Not only do remotes pose a choking hazard, but if a puppy ingests a battery from a remote, it could be life threatening.
  • Zippers. If a sharp zipper is chewed off and swallowed, your puppy could require surgical intervention to save his or her life.
  • Buttons. Buttons pose a choking hazard.

Are Broken Puppy Teeth A Problem?

Yes and no. If you see a broken puppy teeth, observe your puppy to see if they are in any pain. If your puppy breaks a tooth, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Your puppy drool more often that usual.
  • Your puppy may paw at his or her face.
  • Your puppy may avoid hard chew toys.
  • Your puppy may pull away if someone touches his or her face.
  • Your puppy may show difficulty eating, such as chewing on one side of their mouth, dropping food while eating or hesitating to take food.

Puppy teeth are hollow and, unlike adult teeth, don’t have a pulp with a blood and nerve supply within the tooth. Most of the time they don’t need to be extracted but, depending on exactly where and how bad the break is, it may warrant early removal. Talk to your veterinarian if you have any worries.


Most puppies begin losing their 28 puppy teeth called deciduous teeth around 16 weeks of age and have all 42 of their adult teeth around 6-7 months of age.

Puppies need lots of appropriate chew toys to help them with teething. Many puppies find frozen toys soothing due to their mouth becoming sore. Most puppies appreciate frozen bananas and strawberries to offer comfort and a delicious dog safe snack.

An important part of training and socializing your puppy is discouraging chewing on human hands and getting him or her used to their teeth being examined and touched. Beginning to do this as soon as possible will help your puppy throughout his or her life.

If your puppy breaks a tooth or has impacted teeth as a result of a puppy teeth not falling out and an adult tooth descending, veterinary care is warranted.