One of the most challenging aspects of raising a Boston Terrier puppy is the teething process. When your puppy begins to lose his baby teeth, be prepared to deal with a rather mouthy puppy. Teething can be painful for puppies, but there are steps you can take to minimize his discomfort.
Understanding the stages of teething will help you to understand better what your puppy is going through and how you can help him. Teething is also an essential first step in your dog’s lifelong dental care journey, so keep a close eye on his teeth throughout the process and be prepared to mention any problems to your veterinarian.
The Begining Stages
Once your Boston Terrier has begun teething, you may notice tiny teeth laying around the house. Your puppy has 28 baby teeth, also known as deciduous teeth, so you’ll probably be finding them around your home for the next few months. The canine teeth and premolars will be easily recognized, but the incisors can have the appearance of small, white crumbs.
Puppies have six incisors, two canines, and six premolars on the top and bottom. From the time your Boston Terrier loses his first tooth to the time that all of his adult teeth have come in, you’re looking at a period of about three months.
If teething goes smoothly, the process should be over by the time your puppy reaches six months of age. Once all of your puppy’s teeth have come in, he should have 42 adult teeth in total.
You may also notice small amounts of blood in your puppy’s mouth or on his toys or treats. Although it can be alarming, this is a normal part of the process, and you shouldn’t be concerned unless you notice a significant amount. Just be prepared to wash your puppy’s toys and other belongings frequently.
The Biting and Chewing Begins
Your puppy will also begin biting and chewing more in an attempt to relieve the discomfort in his mouth. He may chew on household items, furniture, or even your hands or feet. Tiny puppy teeth can be incredibly sharp, so firm and consistent training will be necessary to discourage him from biting.
This is an important stage in his training, and you must be prepared to provide him with appropriate outlets for his chewing to discourage him from destroying your personal items. Products such as sour apple sprays are available to help deter puppies from chewing on inappropriate things, but you may need to reapply several times before your puppy takes the hint. Boston Terriers are intelligent dogs, and your puppy will learn quickly what items he can and cannot chew on.
Stages of Teething
2-4 Weeks Old
Your Boston Terrier will likely still be with his littermates at his breeder’s home at this time. Your puppy and his siblings will be getting their first teeth somewhere between two and four weeks of age. The canine teeth will be first to appear. Your puppy’s first set of teeth will be sharp!
4-6 Weeks Old
At this age, your puppy’s incisors will be the next to appear. After the incisors, the premolars appear at around five to six weeks of age. Puppies do not have molars, so the premolars are the last of the deciduous teeth to come in.
Around this time, your puppy’s breeder will also begin to wean the puppies off their mother’s milk by introducing soft food. Many breeders choose to add water to their puppies’ food until they have all of their baby teeth.
3-4 Months Old
You will probably have brought your new family member home by this time. Your new puppy will want to explore his new world with his mouth, even before teething starts, so be prepared to provide him with chew toys and safe treats. Your puppy will start losing his teeth at around three to four months of age. The canines will come out first, followed by the incisors. The premolars will be the last to go, usually around four to five months of age.
During this stage, you may find tiny teeth around your house. You may also see small amounts of blood in your puppy’s mouth or on his toys or bedding. Don’t be alarmed, though, this is a normal part of the teething process.
5-6 Months Old
By this age, most of your puppy’s deciduous teeth will have fallen out, and the last of his adult teeth will come in. The arrival of the molars marks the final stage of teething. Most puppies will have finished teething by six months of age. This is a necessary time to keep an eye on your puppy’s teeth.
Some puppies end up retaining baby teeth that must be extracted by a veterinarian, so if you notice your puppy still has a few baby teeth by the time he’s six months old, you may want to discuss it with your vet. Some teeth just need a little extra time, but it’s essential to make sure your vet is aware of the situation to make the best decision for your puppy’s dental health.
Chewing and Biting
Puppies are naturally curious and explore the world with their mouth. This means they do a lot of chewing and biting, often on inappropriate items such as shoes and their owner’s hands. You may notice an increase in your puppy’s chewing or biting behaviors during the teething process. Teething can be painful, and your puppy will chew on things in an attempt to relieve the discomfort. Although there’s nothing you can do to ease the pain completely, you can make the process a little easier on your puppy.
Find Chew Toys For Your Boston
Your local pet store or favorite online retailer likely has a massive selection of toys to provide your puppy with an appropriate outlet for his chewing habits. By offering him appropriate options, you can help discourage him from chewing on your furniture or your children’s toys.
Be sure to find a toy that is small enough for a Boston Terrier puppy. Many puppy toys are made of soft rubbery materials to help soothe sore teeth and gums. Some can even be frozen to provide cooling relief when chewed on. It’s necessary to keep a close eye on your puppy’s toys during this time, as they can easily chew pieces off that can become a choking hazard or potential intestinal blockage.
Great Opportunity to Train
The teething process is also an excellent opportunity to teach your dog manners and proper behavior around the house. You’ll need to be consistent in your corrections when your puppy nips or bites at your hands, feet, or clothing. Firm, regular training at this time will teach your dog boundaries and respect. It’s also a perfect opportunity to get your puppy used to having his mouth handled.
You can start brushing his teeth regularly or simply lifting his lips and running your fingers along his gums. This also allows you to keep an eye on his teeth, which means you can mention any problems to your vet as soon as you notice them.
If you want to learn how to brush your Boston Terriers teeth check out my article on, How to Brush You Boston’s Teeth.
Long-term Dental Care
The teething process is just the beginning of your Boston Terrier’s dental care journey. Even if teething goes smoothly, your puppy will still need regular dental checkups throughout his life. Daily brushing can make a big difference in your dog’s dental health, so the sooner you start this habit, the better.
Boston Terriers are prone to developing periodontal disease, which is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar. Up to 80% of adult dogs suffer from some form of dental disease. Dogs suffering from periodontal disease are at risk of having dangerous bacteria infecting their vital organs.
Luckily, this potentially life-threatening condition is entirely preventable with proper dental care. Your veterinarian will likely want to see your dog once or twice per year for professional dental cleanings. This procedure, in addition to regular at-home care, can help prevent periodontal disease, gingivitis, bad breath, and tooth loss.
Teething can be a frustrating and uncomfortable time in your puppy’s life, but it is an integral part of growing up. Taking the appropriate steps to minimize your puppy’s discomfort and provide him with chew toys and treats will help make teething go as smoothly as possible.
Remember, this is also a crucial period to practice good manners and make sure your puppy knows what he can and cannot chew on. Firm and consistent leadership will help him learn quickly and will strengthen the bond between you and your furry family member. Most importantly, remember to keep an eye on your puppy’s teeth throughout all stages of teething and be prepared to discuss any potential problems with your veterinarian.
Puppyhood is the ideal time to begin practicing regular dental care, so get out that toothbrush and doggy toothpaste and get your puppy used to having his mouth handled. Good oral health is a result of regular at-home care and professional dental cleanings, so be sure to mention your puppy’s teeth at your next vet visit.