When do puppies lose their teeth?


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.

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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.

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