Puppy's milk teeth and tooth replacement
Although puppies and children are two completely different types of creatures, there are a lot of similarities between the two. One such thing is that the puppy, like the child, is born without teeth. The puppy's tooth development doesn't usually occur until it is around 3 weeks old. The milk teeth will then be replaced by so-called adult teeth. This process can be quite confusing for both puppy and mother/husband.
When does the puppy get its baby teeth? As mentioned in the introduction, puppies are born without teeth. This is precisely so that it does not hurt so much for the mother when the little puppies suckle in the beginning after birth. The toothless teeth are also an advantage for the puppy itself as it will also be easier to suckle without anything in the way. However, as the puppy approaches 3 weeks, this tooth row will go from toothless to non-toothless - it is at this age that a puppy will, in most cases, start to develop its milk teeth.
However, the development of teeth does not happen overnight. How quickly it happens and which teeth emerge first can vary from puppy to puppy. However, it is common for the puppy's canine teeth in the upper jaw, the ones we call fangs, to emerge before the others. All the teeth are usually fully developed by the time the puppy moves to its new owner. When the teeth are fully developed, the puppy should have 28 milk teeth, 14 on top and 14 on the bottom.
When does the puppy lose its milk teeth? The next step after the development of the milk teeth is, as mentioned above, the permanent adult teeth. This means that, like children, the puppy will lose its milk teeth and then develop teeth that will last a lifetime. These adult teeth are both more and bigger than the milk teeth - 28 teeth will be replaced to make 42. This tooth replacement usually starts when the puppy is between 3-5 months old. The teeth will then be naturally pushed out to be replaced by the slightly larger ones. All in all, the road to permanent adult teeth usually takes around 2 months. In other words, you can expect your puppy to have all 42 adult teeth by the time it is 6 months old.
If you find that your puppy has lost one or more baby teeth, but you can't find them, it could be that the puppy has swallowed them. However, this is rarely dangerous, and it is usually the case that the puppy swallows them without even noticing. The teeth then come out naturally.
When puppies change their teeth, it is common for them to smell a little bad from the mouth, this is completely normal and nothing you need to worry about.
Puppy behaviour during the change of teeth When the puppy is going from being a small baby with sharp baby teeth to one step closer to an adult dog with large and strong adult teeth, its behaviour may change slightly. Puppies often bite and chew a lot overall, but it is during this development that chewing can be seen to shift up a notch. This is because the change of teeth is often very itchy. It can also be uncomfortable for the puppy, and in some cases it can even hurt. The mouth may also become a little sore and a little more sensitive. In other words, it's only natural for your puppy to want to bite and chew a little extra.
To prevent biting from becoming a problem in everyday life, i.e. chewing on your furniture, your shoes, various objects or even on you, you should provide your puppy with a generous supply of pleasant and stimulating chew toys. This will hopefully prevent bite marks all over your home while helping your puppy with the scratching.