When do puppies lose their teeth?

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Like humans, dogs have two sets of teeth during their lifetime. The first ‘milk’ teeth are very small and white and razor sharp and needle-like...

Puppies have fewer milk than adult teeth as they don’t have any molars. At around four months old the baby teeth begin to fall out, to be replaced with a permanent adult set. The roots are dissolved and reabsorbed into the jaws freeing the teeth from the gums so they become loose and drop out; they are usually swallowed.

The first teeth to be shed are the incisors with the molars being the last to erupt. Most adult dogs have 42 teeth: 20 in the upper jaw and 22 in the lower jaw due to the presence of two extra molars.

These comprise:

Twelve incisors — used for nibbling.

Four canines — used for grabbing and puncturing.

Sixteen premolars — used for tearing.

Ten molars — used for crushing.

Puppy teething timetable

The onset and end of teething can vary; for example in giant breeds it often begins and finishes earlier than in smaller ones. As a rough guide you can expect:

Two to four weeks: first milk teeth erupt.

Three to six weeks: pups begin to learn not to bite each other (or mum) too hard in play.

Eight weeks: complete set of milk teeth.

Four to six months: adult teeth begin to erupt.

Six to eight months: adult canine teeth all present.

Seven to 12 months: second chewing phase.