Much like humans, puppies go through a teething stage, which often accounts for the relentless biting that occurs. From furniture to feet – or in our case slippers – nothing around the house is safe.
Your Cavapoo will start to lose their first puppy teeth at around 12 weeks of age, and at 4-6 months, will lose their canine teeth too. Within the first 6-8 months of life, all 28 puppy teeth will be replaced with 42 adult teeth, including the molars.
The teething stage does not last forever, which is a relief to both you and your Cavapoo. But there are things that you can do to relieve the pain for your puppy that will also set them up with good mouth manners moving forwards.
Below we explain the process of teething, provide top tips for easing your puppy’s pain and look at the most common dental problems that Cavapoos can experience.
At what age do dogs lose their puppy teeth?
Puppies first teeth start to break through at around 2-3 weeks of age, and during this crucial development stage, your dog will also be opening their eyes and ears to the world. As your Cavapoo becomes even more dependant it relies on its razor-sharp teeth to chew, feed and discover what is going on around them.
From 12 weeks onwards, all of their 28 deciduous teeth start to fall out, only to be replaced by a set of 42 adult teeth that are impatiently lurking behind. During this time, the pain and angst that your puppy experiences is intense, so gnawing and biting is a good way for them to relieve some of the pressure.
Consider yourself lucky if you get to see a discarded puppy tooth lying around your home as most puppies will just swallow them!
Just this weekend, our Cavapoo Rosie, during an energetic game of tug of war with our daughter, popped a tooth in the garden. We placed it under her blanket – just in case the dog tooth fairy came by for a visit!
Puppy teething stages
The order in which your dog’s first teeth appear generally dictates the order in which they fall out. Therefore the first teeth to break through and fall out are the incisors. These are the tiny teeth located at the front of your puppy’s mouth. Your dog will have 6 incisors on the upper jaw and 6 on the lower jaw.
Next to cut are the canine teeth (also known as the fangs), which fall out to make way for the permeant ones to appear. These are closely followed by the premolars.
Dogs do not have any baby molars, as puppies do not eat a lot of hard food when they are young. Instead, they rely on their mother’s milk for all the nutrition they need.
How long will your Cavapoo teeth for?
You can relax knowing that the puppy teething stage will not last forever. Normally by 6-8 months of age, mother nature will have worked her magic and all of your dog’s permanent teeth will have erupted. Do not despair, however, if it takes a little longer as there is no hard and fast rule to when they should all appear.
For the first year of your Cavapoos life, it is a good idea to have plenty of chew toys available. This will help to alleviate the pressure of teething and persuade your puppy’s baby teeth to make their way out. Luckily for you, we have a long list of the best toys for Cavapoos, to help you with this testing phase.
The act of chewing may be frustrating for you but for your puppy it helps to release those happy endorphins which enable the brain to relax. And, as puppies will chew anything, we strongly recommend wearing long trousers and socks to stop any frustrating ankle biting from occurring. You should also make sure that wires, cables and favourite items of furniture are covered or placed out of sight.
The good news is this that when all 42 teeth are through the chewing generally stops. The bad news is that if you have not been working with your pup on their mouth manners, then he or she may continue to chew on things just for the fun of it.
What happens if your dog retains its puppy teeth?
Sometimes a baby tooth may fail to fall out, despite your best attempts to free them with your finger or with a good game of ball. This means that the adult teeth then start to grow abnormally beside it.
If your dog does retain some of its puppy teeth, then your vet will most likely recommend removing them under anaesthesia. This is to prevent the shifting of adult teeth and tartar buildup later in life.
Left completely untreated, then these puppy teeth could make it difficult for your dog to eat, chew and play.
Certain breeds of dogs are predisposed to retaining baby teeth, but luckily Cavapoos are not one of them. It tends to breed such as pugs, and bulldogs that are renowned for their flattened faces (brachycephalic).
How to look after your Cavapoos teeth
There are plenty of things that you can do as a responsible Cavapoo owner to help your puppy through the teething process. These include:-
- Providing toys or acceptable objects for your puppy to chew on. This can include items such as a stuffed Kong, rope toy, a Nylabone or age-appropriate chews from your pet store.
- Playing plenty of games that your dog can get their teeth stuck into. Tug of war is a firm favourite in our house, but fetch goes down just as well.
- Making sure that you begin handling your puppy’s mouth while they are little, and their jaw is not as strong. This will allow you to check for any potential tooth problems. Make sure to look out for any changes in your dog’s facial appearance such as swelling or changes in behavior. This can include eating habits, unexpected night awakenings, or rubbing of the face as these are all signs of possible oral discomfort.
- Asking at all routine visits with your veterinarian to give your puppy a quick dental exam. They can examine the mouth and check that the teeth and gums are healthy.
- Remembering to brush your dog’s teeth regularly with dog-friendly toothpaste. Getting your puppy used to the feel of toothbrushing as early as possible will make it easier when their adult teeth come in. Routine brushing will help to prevent plaque, stinky breath, peri-dental disease, and other medical problems from occurring. If you can, try to brush your puppy’s teeth daily, but at least once or twice a week as a minimum. For a list of the best toothbrushes for Cavapoo, check out our buyers review.
- Teaching your Cavapoo some good mouth manners such as employing a super-special sound as an interrupter. Whenever your puppy hears this sound (such as a ‘kissy’ noise) or command (such as ‘yippee’) they drop whatever they are chewing on in order to get a reward. Try to resist using negative interrupters such as ‘no’ or ‘stop it’ as it is a dog’s basic instinct to chew and one they should never be chastised for. Thanks to enough repetition you can train your dog to find good alternatives to chew. If you would like more information on how to stop your Cavapoo biting, check out our top tips here!
Common dental problems for Cavapoos
Many diseases and health conditions are genetic, meaning they are related to your dog’s breed. And as a Cavapoo is a crossbreed between a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel and a Poodle, then, unfortunately, they are at a higher risk of having a dental disease.
Toy Poodles and King Charles Cavaliers both have small mouths and so are prone to chronic bad breath. This is caused by plaque and tartar which builds up quickly in smaller mouths. Over time, dental decay can progress into something much more serious for your Cavapoo such as an infection of the gums or roots of the teeth.
This is why it is so important that you look after your Cavapoo’s teeth with regular brushing, chews and professional health checks.
To find out more about the traits and characteristics of this breed, read our blog what is a Cavapoo?
As your puppy approaches 12 weeks of age you may notice that the play biting increases in strength and your hands, feet and ankles start to take a bit of a battering. This is because, from 3 months of age, your puppy will start to lose their puppy teeth – a process that can last up to 8 months of age!
Teething is often confused for bad behavior! Puppies will bite to relieve pressure and to enjoy the happy endorphins that chewing releases. As your Cavapoo will have to cut twice as many teeth as a baby will (42 to be precise), we should give them a little slack when they are going through this unpleasant teething experience.
Providing your puppy with plenty of outlets to release their frustration and by showing them some simple techniques to control their biting behavior, will ensure good mouth manners for the future.