If you just recently got your puppy or kitten, you might notice a tooth or two lying around in your living room. Do not panic! This is completely normal for young pets and it is a process called teething. Here's what to expect with teething puppies and kittens and some signs that indicate your pet is receiving a new set of teeth.
Introduction to kitten teething
Birth - 2 weeks: During the early weeks of a kitten's life it is completely toothless. Otherwise, suckling would be painful to their mother.
2 - 4 weeks: Within two to three weeks they slowly grow their first set of teeth starting with the incisors and then the fangs followed by the molars.
5 - 8 weeks: At about eight weeks the milk teeth are usually completed. This is the time to switch to solid cat food.
11 weeks: After about eleven weeks their baby teeth will start to fall out again. Don't worry if you can't find any teeth on the ground as it is common and harmless for kittens to swallow their teeth.
3 - 4 months: Now the adult teeth start growing - again, starting off with the incisors, the fangs, and then their premolars and molars.
6 months: This is the perfect time for you to check in with your vet to see if your cats' teeth are fine or need any corrections.
7 months: As your kitten grows their skull and jaw proportions change from a rounded head to a more pronounced head shape. By now, your cat should have all its' 30 adult teeth.
Signs your kitten is teething:
- Pawing at the mouth and shaking their heads: This is an indicator that your kitten may be trying to dislodge a loose tooth.
- Kitten is more sensitive: They may be grumpy because of their sore mouth and gums. Try not to touch their face too often as they might feel discomfort.
- Missing teeth: This one is an obvious sign that your kitten is teething. You may come across lost teeth but it's also common for kittens to swallow their baby teeth which is not a health concern.
- Increased chewing: This eases some of the pressure from the teeth emerging.
- Gum bleeding: You may see specks of blood in their food or water bowls.
Introduction to teething puppies
Birth - 2 weeks: Your puppy will not have any teeth after birth. During this time he is still nursing and should be with his mother.
5 - 6 weeks: At this time all of your puppy's milk teeth should emerge. Dogs usually have about 28 total baby teeth. Consider switching to moist and soft foods.
2 - 3 months: Now your puppy is slowly losing his milk teeth and his adult teeth start to come in. You may find little teeth here and there but do not worry if you can't because puppies sometimes swallow their teeth which is harmless.
It is also recommended to give your dog soft chewing toys (for example a Kong) during this time as teething can be painful.
6 months: All of your puppy's baby teeth should have fallen out by now and his 42 adult teeth should have grown in. Check in with your veterinarian if you notice any baby teeth remaining that may need to be removed.
Signs your puppy is teething:
- Consistently licking one part of their mouth: Puppies usually do this when one of their teeth is loose and they're trying to get them out by using their tongue.
- Being sleepy: Puppy teething can be a painful process. You might notice your pup being tired and not as energized. To soothe the pain give him a soft chew toy that he can nibble on.
- Whining: If your puppy starts to whine while chewing on a toy or eating this may be a sign of teething. Their teeth are very sensitive during this time and they will most likely experience discomfort. Just make sure he doesn't whine excessively as this can be a sign of severe pain.
- Increased chewing: As they start growing their adult teeth they will go out of their way to find items to chew on to ease the pressure in their gums.
- Gum bleeding: You might notice some red and swollen gums on your puppy as well as bleeding. If you feel like he's bleeding too much, be sure to see a vet.