Just like people, dogs have two sets of teeth in their lifetimes: their baby teeth and adult teeth. Baby teeth are called “milk” teeth, or deciduous teeth, meaning they fall out. Golden Retrievers are born without teeth. For the first 3 weeks of their lives, Golden Retrievers don’t need teeth because they’re nursed by their mothers. Around 3 weeks old, these puppies start developing their baby teeth, which grow in fully by the time that the pups reach 6 weeks old.
The next process is known as teething in puppies, and it occurs when the baby teeth fall out and are replaced by adult teeth. This doesn’t start until the puppies are 3–4 months old. Read on to learn more about the teething process of Golden Retrievers.
Teething in Golden Retrievers
Once the baby teeth have been fully in place for a few months, teething will begin. This process starts when the adult teeth begin developing in the tooth buds inside the jaws. These teeth cause the roots of the baby teeth to resorb, which leads to the baby teeth eventually falling out. Dogs start life with 28 baby teeth. By the time teething is over, they have 42 adult teeth.
Teething lasts from 3–4 months of age to 6–7 months of age. As the Golden Retriever’s baby teeth fall out, their adult teeth will start to grow in. Teething is an uncomfortable process for dogs. Here, we will examine teething in more detail.
|Golden Retriever Age||Teething Stage|
|0–2 Weeks Old||No teeth. Puppies are nursing and no teeth are present.|
|2–4 Weeks Old||The first baby teeth start to appear, with the incisors coming in first.|
|3–5 Weeks Old||Fangs begin to emerge.|
|4–6 Weeks Old||Premolars, located in the back of the mouth, come in.|
|5–8 Weeks Old||The rest of the molars appear.|
|12–28 Weeks Old||Teething occurs when the baby teeth are replaced by adult teeth.|
Since teething can hurt, you may notice symptoms in your Golden Retriever while they are experiencing this stage. The first symptom is usually a loss of appetite because chewing is painful for them. You may notice blood on chew toys or swollen, red gums in your dog’s mouth. This is normal, but it doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable for your dog.
Tips to Help a Teething Golden Retriever
One of the biggest signs that a dog is teething is chewing. They seem to chew everything in sight! Doing this helps relieve their pain.
Having a mix of soft and hard toys for your dog to chew on can help their gums feel better during teething. Toys with ridges and nubs can help massage the gums that are irritated, itchy, and painful. Frozen toys are also great options. The cold will help relieve the pain as your puppy chews. Even ice cubes can be a welcome chew treat during teething.
The different textures of the toys can soothe a Golden Retriever puppy’s mouth. Of course, this also means your dog may start chewing on things that you don’t want them to, like table legs or shoes. Remember that this is a natural process for them, and they are trying to find relief. By providing a variety of toys and redirecting them when they start to chew other things, you can keep them occupied and entertained.
What If the Baby Teeth Don’t Fall Out?
Sometimes, a dog’s baby teeth won’t fall out as they should. These are called “retained deciduous teeth.” You’ll see the small baby tooth right next to the adult tooth in these cases. Once the tooth has passed the point where it should’ve fallen out on its own, it should be professionally removed by your veterinarian.
Since the baby tooth is so close to the adult tooth, it creates a small space for bacteria to start growing. This can lead to a nasty infection, and the tooth would have to be removed, anyway. Before that happens, it’s best to prevent the issue and remove the tooth.
A surgical dental procedure will be performed to extract the tooth, and the hole in the gum line may be stitched up with dissolvable sutures. This will keep any food or debris out of it.
Do Golden Retrievers Swallow Their Baby Teeth?
Usually, baby teeth fall out while a dog is chewing something. If the teeth fall out while a dog is eating, they may then swallow the teeth without even realizing it. You may come across a lone baby dog tooth on your floor sometimes, but the teeth are typically swallowed and you may never see them at all. This is nothing to worry about. Dogs can swallow their baby teeth and it’s perfectly harmless. The teeth will eventually pass right through their digestive systems without causing any damage.
Teething can be a frustrating time because of your dog’s incessant chewing, but it’s a natural part of their development. Golden Retrievers lose their baby teeth between 3 and 4 months old, and the teething process begins. It will last until the dog is around 7 months old.
If you notice that your dog has remaining baby teeth after their adult teeth have completely grown in, take them to see your vet for an assessment. The baby teeth may have to be surgically removed to prevent infections and dental issues down the road.