If you’re wondering how to tell how old a puppy is by looking at its teeth, this article will be helpful to you.
It is easy to tell how old a puppy is if you purchase it from an authentic breeder or a pet store.
On the contrary, how would you come to know the age of a rescued or adopted puppy from a shelter?
A dog’s teeth growth status and health help for age determination.
Before you read this article, you need to know that there are no reliable methods of precisely measuring the age of a dog by looking only at his teeth.
With that being said, let’s get started.
How to tell how old a puppy is?
How to tell how old a puppy is? The easiest way to determine the age of a puppy is by checking their teeth. Puppies should have all of their baby teeth when they are between 3 and 6 weeks old, and adult teeth should be in place between 12 and 24 weeks.
The approximate age of a dog is best determined by teeth examination. Moreover, the suitable method to have an age estimation of a puppy is by looking at the degree of teeth growth; however, the degree of teeth wearing helps determine the age of the adult dog.
On the other hand, you must be aware of certain things that may throw off your age judgments.
Firstly, keep in mind that dogs receiving regular brushing and dental care will have healthy-looking teeth compared to those who lack such treatments.
Secondly, two individuals from the same litter may possess variations; therefore, don’t forget to chew over things before declaring results. Just consider you can only have a rough indicator by determining puppies’ age by teeth.
Let’s have some discussion on puppy teeth stages and how to tell a puppy age by teeth.
Puppy teeth stages
1. Baby Teeth
Baby teeth start to erupt after 3-4 weeks of the puppy’s birth. These are further categorized into incisors, canines, and premolars.
Deciduous Incisors in puppies
Deciduous incisors are smaller teeth that are present between canine teeth and make up the front boundary. These teeth erupt when your puppy is of age between 3-4 weeks. They are 12 in number and present as 3 pairs in the upper jaw and 3 pairs in the lower one.
Deciduous Canines in puppies
Deciduous canines are much larger and pointy structures teeth present just behind the incisors in pair form. One pair is on the top while the other one is on the bottom. These teeth erupt at the age of 3-5 weeks.
Deciduous Premolars in puppies
Deciduous premolars are comparatively broader teeth that are present right behind the canines. They start to erupt at the age of 4-6 weeks and are 12 in number – three on top and three on bottom of both sides.
2. Adult Teeth
When your puppy advances in age, baby teeth gradually fall and are replaced by adult or permanent teeth. Unlike baby teeth, there is an addition of molars.
Permanent Incisors in adult dogs
Typically, permanent incisors start to come when your puppy turns three months old. Moreover, they are present in pairs from – three pairs per jaw, and in this way, the total number of permanent incisors in your puppy mouth will be 12.
Permanent Canines in adult dogs
Just like deciduous canines, permanent canines are also pointy teeth and start to erupt after 4 to 6 months of your puppy’s age. Their total number is four that means each jaw contains two permanent canines.
Permanent Premolars in adult dogs
Permanent premolars start to erupt between 4-6 months of your furry fellow’s age and are present just before permanent molars. Moreover, two pairs on the right upper and two pairs on the right lower jaw and the same pattern on the left side of a puppy are evident.
Permanent Molars in adult dogs
A puppy of age between 4-7 months will experience the eruption of permanent molars. However, molars don’t belong to baby teeth or temporary teeth of a puppy.
There are a total of 10 molars in an adult dog, with two molars on the maxilla and three on the mandible on both sides.
Puppy teeth age table and chart
If you want to know how old a puppy is by just looking at the teeth, the following puppy teeth age table will help you make a rough estimation.
|Estimated Dog’s Age||Teeth Status|
|2-4 weeks||Toothless puppy|
|3-4 weeks||Eruption of deciduous canines|
|4-6 weeks||Eruption of deciduous incisors and premolars|
|8 weeks||All baby teeth are visible|
|3-4 months||Permanent teeth are not notified yet|
|4-5 months||Eruption of permanent incisors along with slight growth of premolars and molars|
|5-7 months||Fully grown permanent teeth including canines, premolars, and molars up to 7 months|
|1 year||Clean and white teeth|
|1-2 years||Dull appearing teeth with tartar in certain cases|
|3-5 years||More evidence of tartar formation, along with some wearing|
|5-10 years||Increased wearing and dental issues are common|
|10-15 years||Some teeth may be missing, heavy tartar, worn teeth|
This puppy teeth chart will help you out to make an exact estimate.
Age estimation of a dog
Puppies age by teeth up to 2 weeks old
You can estimate the age of a newborn puppy up to 2 weeks by observing the absence of any teeth with eyes closed. These demarcations must make you think that the puppy is under two weeks of age. At this stage, puppies mostly spend their time suckling, rooting, and sleeping.
Puppies age by teeth from 2-5 weeks
The period between 2-3 weeks is still the period with no teeth in most cases, but there is one distinguishable feature, i.e., open eyes. However, the vision is still poor, and baby teeth start to erupt with the addition of weeks.
Puppies age by teeth from 5-8 weeks
The characteristic feature of this period is the eruption of baby teeth (deciduous teeth). Like humans, dogs also possess two sets of teeth – one of them comes by 5-6 weeks, while completion is done by eight weeks of age.
These deciduous teeth are sharp compared to permanent teeth, and you can easily differentiate them.
Pet parents who have gone through the duration of nursing a puppy with baby teeth can easily recall painful bites and scratches.
The 8-week old puppy exhibits its puppy mood by actively playing, chewing, exploring, and long sleep.
Puppies age by teeth from 8-16 weeks
The duration between 8-16 weeks of a puppy age is known for the period of extensive growth – face and jaw growth. Therefore, you can easily observe space between the baby teeth as the jaw grows with the overall face growth. However, the baby teeth remain the same size.
Moreover, you can also remember some other outstanding features of this age duration as the period of intense activity, exploration, and learning of your puppy.
Puppies age by teeth from 16 weeks – 8 months
This is the period in a puppy’s life that awards him an adult status. During which, the baby teeth are replaced by permanent teeth gradually starting from the front side.
The replacement of permanent teeth occurs in a symmetrical fashion that progresses gradually backward.
Moreover, you may notice mouth bleeding along with a bloody smell from your best friend as the temporary teeth fall out.
In most cases, temporary teeth go by five months, and permanent teeth grow fully by 8-12 months.
Puppies age by teeth from 8 months – 2 years
The teeth may be duller, while the back teeth may have some yellowing. Generally, dogs get their maximum height during the age between 8-18 months, except for some giant breeds. These breeds tend to gain their height up to 2 years. Dogs at that age go through puberty and are known as adolescents.
Other ways to tell your new puppy’s age
Besides teeth, several other parameters also prove helpful to estimate the age of a puppy. Moreover, a dog’s age dramatically affects the level of activity, general health, breed, and size.
Therefore, keeping in mind these factors, you can estimate the longevity of your fido.
Here are some ways that will assist you in evaluating the age of your furry friend.
As the dog advances in years, several signs of aging are starting to prevail that assure their seniority. Moreover, according to experts, the appearance of a little grey fur is a clear indication of aging in dogs.
Moreover, whitening or graying of muzzle, chest, and haunches is also an important indication of aging. However, stress and anxiety in the early stage of life may bring about a gray appearance – don’t be confused.
Therefore, observing such aging signs confirm that your dog is above seven years and needs special caring regarding joints.
Closely observing the behavioral patterns of your best friend may help you to have a rough age estimation. Younger dogs are likely to eagerly and keenly move about just because of their strong joints and muscles.
Moreover, a puppy between 3-5 weeks starts developing interactions with her mother and littermates. You can encourage your puppy between the ages of 3-7 weeks as he starts wagging, walking, barking, and growling with a pretty active nature.
Furthermore, on turning 16 weeks old or above, you may notice stubbornness and independence in your puppy’s behavior. This phenomenon is quite ordinary, and he may start ignoring you.
First of all, try to know that your puppy can see your gestures or not. If not, it will confirm that he is less than two weeks of age.
The major reason behind this fact is the tightly closing of canine eyes at birth, and they are still in the developing stage that needs protection.
After two weeks, the puppy gradually gains vision powder to explore his surroundings. Likewise, the hearing of a puppy becomes functional at the age of 2-4 weeks. Before this stage, ear canals were closed.
Therefore, you can quickly evaluate the age of your new puppy using his natural responses.
4. Level of activity and mobility
A young dog will exhibit more enthusiasm by moving around and chasing eagerly with active participation in plays.
On the other hand, old dogs may manifest a lack of interest while going up or downstairs, running, or jumping.
Sometimes, people may get confused over their dog’s size due to a lack of knowledge. They think a dog with a small size is a young one while the other with a larger and bulky physique is a senior one.
On the contrary, things are quite the opposite as there are certain breeds whose senior dogs still look baby ones (like toy breeds), while others with giant size are still juvenile (like Germans).
5. Don’t forget to consider Genetics before dog’s age estimation
All the above methods are useful to know about the age of your puppy. However, always keep in mind that all dogs do not necessarily show the same aging signs as there are variations even between the individuals of the same litter.
Factors like breed, genetics, diet, medical history, and activity level directly influence how your doggy ages.
Therefore, make sure to talk to your veterinarian to figure out precisely the physical condition of your best friend and how you can ensure their graceful aging.
Moreover, the dog years calculator may lend a helping hand to satisfy you about your puppy’s age in human years.
How do vets determine a puppy’s age?
A veterinarian is someone who better knows your puppy’s biological functioning and physical health status than you. Therefore, you can take your new puppy to a vet to narrow down age estimation.
I’ve mentioned some important steps with which a vet determine a puppy’s age.
1. Looking for any teeth
First of all, the vet opens the puppy’s mouth of interest to look for the presence of any teeth.
2. Looking for deciduous teeth
If there are some teeth, he will try to know whether they are deciduous or permanent.
3. Looking for permanent teeth
In the next step, the vet will try to figure out the exact number of permanent teeth or any missing deciduous.
4. Observing dental wearing
If your dog is senior, then the extent of wearing permanent teeth and dental tartar build-up will help to judge his age.
When will my dog’s baby teeth fall out?
By the age of 12 weeks, your puppy’s baby teeth will start to come out gradually in a symmetrical fashion. After that, permanent teeth make their way out and begin to erupt.
At what age do puppies start teething?
Puppies start teething at the age of about three weeks. This is the period when the baby teeth start to erupt, and by 6 weeks of age, all the baby teeth have erupted.
How many teeth do puppies have?
The total number of teeth in puppies is 28, and these teeth are known as baby teeth, primary teeth, deciduous teeth, or milk teeth. However, an adult dog will have 42 teeth in his oral cavity.
At what age do puppies get their permanent teeth?
Generally, when a puppy hits 6 months of age, he loses all his baby teeth and gains permanent teeth that last throughout the remaining life unless ensuring proper dental care.
How to tell if a puppy is 8 weeks old?
You can easily declare your puppy as eight weeks old by ensuring the presence of all deciduous or temporary teeth in his mouth cavity. Moreover, this is the stage of full-puppy mode exhibited by long hours of sleep, active paying, and exploring.
How many teeth should a 3-month-old puppy have?
A 3-month-old puppy must have a total set of temporary or deciduous teeth that are 28 in counting. Moreover, these include 12 deciduous incisors, 4 deciduous canines, and 12 deciduous premolars.
Determining the exact age of your new puppy could be quite confusing as it is one of the mysterious things in dogs. However, determining your puppy’s age based on his teeth is something that can narrow down your estimates.
Now you know that a puppy with a complete set of 28 deciduous or temporary teeth will be of 8 weeks old approximately.
Moreover, permanent teeth start to replace temporary teeth after your puppy is of months 5 or above. On the other hand, a puppy with all permanent teeth will be declared as more than 7 months old.
The senior dogs are best judged by the extent of their teeth wearing and dental tartar.
That being said, there is nothing left but to thank you for your attention up to this point.
I hope I have been helpful, and I wish you many moments of joy and satisfaction in the company of your beloved puppy.
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns along the way don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thank you for reading and have a great day!
Until next time!
A big hug.