If you’ve noticed your puppy drooling, naturally you might begin to think that they could be teething. Or could drooling indicate something else, perhaps? How do you know for sure and how can you support your puppy if they are in fact, teething? Well, here’s everything you’ll need to know.
So, do puppies drool when teething? Puppies do commonly drool when teething. This is because they have pain in their mouths and gums as their adult teeth come in. While some breeds do drool more than others, excess drooling can also indicate tartar build-up, tooth decay, oral tumors, or other problems.
Regardless of the cause, something is going on.
While a little bit of drooling is entirely natural and may not even be a cause for concern, excessive drooling is usually a sign that something is up.
So, contacting a vet is never a bad idea.
Nevertheless, let us explore all the potential causes of drooling in greater detail, starting with teething.
We’ll then move onto how you can support your dog during this time.
So keep reading!
Why Do Puppies Drool When Teething?
The main reason puppies drool when teething is because many new teeth are making their way into your puppy’s mouth. Dogs have evolved to require robust strong teeth, and these have to come in.
They’re Getting A Lot Of Teeth
Puppy teeth start making their appearance when your puppy is about three weeks old. He will get quite a lot of teeth rather quickly.
Once your puppy is just over three months old (about three and a half months), his adult teeth will start coming in.
By the time your puppy is approximately seven months old, all of his adult teeth will have come in (usually 42 teeth!)
That’s quite a lot of activity in his mouth!
Here’s a specific timeline around which teeth come in at what times – all of which can cause drooling:
- At three months of age, the incisors begin to fall out. The adult teeth start to come in, absorbing the root of each baby tooth.
- By four months of age, the adult premolars and canine teeth are starting to grow.
- Between six and seven months old, your puppy’s adult molars will grow.
- By the time your puppy is eight months old, he should have all his adult teeth. Teething will subside, and drooling should lessen (unless there are medical issues).
While he’s getting his adult teeth, your puppy’s gums will be sore.
Drooling is nature’s way of protecting the new teeth from decay as well as providing some relief to the gums and mobility for the old teeth to get pushed out.
However, your puppy will want to chew on things to help ease his discomfort (see below).
They’re Getting Ready For Solid Food
There is a theory that babies begin drooling and salivating more to prepare them for being weaned off their mother’s milk and onto solid food.
The same can be said for puppies: they drool at around the same stage of development.
Although a puppy’s baby teeth can still be quite sharp, he needs his adult teeth to eat solid foods and chew on appropriate bones.
Dogs have descended from wolves, who need strong and sharp teeth to tear meat away from the bones of whatever prey they’ve caught for food.
What Are the Symptoms of a Puppy Teething?
Although drooling is the most common symptom of puppy teething, there are several other symptoms for you to be aware of.
Inflamed Or Red Gums
Unfortunately, inflamed gums are a part of the teething process and can last for several months. The gums could be red, swollen, and sore.
If their gums are particularly sensitive, sometimes puppies’ mouths can bleed while they’re teething. Bleeding from the gums could also be because they’ve just lost a baby tooth.
It’s perfectly normal if you notice some blood on a toy or another item just after your puppy has been chewing on it.
There’s no cause for concern unless your puppy’s behavior has suddenly changed or there’s an excessive amount of blood.
If you do notice too much blood and you’re worried, contact your vet for advice.
Unfortunately, your puppy’s inflamed gums can cause him to have bad breath for a while.
Odors can be caused by inflammation, a fractured baby tooth, or an adult tooth that’s causing problems as it’s cutting through the gum.
Puppies can whine a lot when they’re missing their mother or siblings or when they aren’t getting their way.
Sometimes, however, they whine while teething because of the pain they’re experiencing.
You may notice your puppy whining even while eating or chewing on toys. As long as your puppy doesn’t seem to be in a lot of pain and isn’t whining too much, there’s usually nothing to worry about.
If your puppy is eating more slowly, it could be because he’s teething.
If his mouth hurts, it’s only natural that he will take more time to eat his food since chewing can be painful.
Sometimes a puppy who is teething may stop eating for long periods.
Usually, they’ll eventually eat again, but you will need to speak with your vet if it goes on for too long.
Puppies shouldn’t go for more than twelve hours without food, as they don’t have the same fat stores as adult dogs.
Lots Of Chewing
Puppies will chew a lot to help relieve the pain in their gums while they’re teething.
This is a time when you’ll want to ‘puppy proof’ your home to make sure they don’t chew anything that could hurt them.
Some types of bones (like chicken bones) or wood can splinter in your puppy’s mouth and potentially cause disastrous health problems.
Give your puppy appropriate things to chew on (see below).
Other Potential Causes of Drooling in Puppies
Drooling may not be the result of teething, it could be a trait of the breed or another health problem that needs investigating.
Some Breeds Drool More
Certain dog breeds are known for being ‘slobbery.’ Here’s a list of the top ten breeds that tend to drool more than others:
- Black and Tan Coonhound
- Saint Bernard
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- Sussex Spaniel
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Bull Terrier
If you have one of these dog breeds, your puppy will likely continue to drool long after he’s gotten all of his adult teeth.
Some health problems can cause excessive drooling, such as:
- Oral health problems. Tartar buildup, tooth decay, or oral tumors (in the throat or the mouth).
- Stomach problems. A stomachache, an upset stomach, or nausea can cause drooling. If you notice your puppy acting lethargic or vomiting, call your vet – he may have ingested something poisonous.
- Bloat. Bloat is a very serious stomach problem where the stomach fills with fluid or gas, putting pressure on the organs. If your puppy’s stomach is swollen, contact your vet immediately as bloat can be fatal.
- Anxiety. Your vet can prescribe medication for anxiety, where needed.
- Heatstroke. Often accompanied by panting, heatstroke can be fatal, so don’t wait if you suspect your puppy has heatstroke.
- An upper respiratory infection. Look for eye or nose discharge, coughing, or a reduced appetite.
- Having something stuck in their mouths or throats. Sometimes something as small as a woodchip, a piece of string, a splinter of bone, or a piece of plastic can get caught in your dog’s throat or wedged in between his teeth.
How to Support Your Puppy While Teething
Assuming your puppy is teething, you can support them in a number of ways to help reduce the pain and make them feel more comfortable.
The best ones are:
Provide Chew Toys
There are special chew toys that you can purchase to provide relief for your puppy. Some people keep one chew toy in the freezer, as the cold will help soothe swollen gums.
Here are some ideas, some of which you can provide yourself at home:
- A wet washcloth twisted into a rope shape and frozen is another excellent homemade chew toy. Make sure the cloth is appropriate for chewing puppies – you don’t want your puppy to be able to tear off bits that he might swallow.
- A Kong ball filled with peanut butter or another tasty treat can provide mental stimulation as well as a welcome distraction from teething pain.
- Other puppies prefer rawhide bones or plush toys. One dog I looked after recently loved chewing on a dog-friendly teddy bear with a squeaker inside.
- Tug-of-war toys work well, too. Ensure these toys are made for dogs, though, for safety purposes.
Try Simple Foods Ss Pain Relief
Some simple foods are very effective to help teething puppies:
- You can offer a frozen mini bagel to your pup (plain). The cold of the bagel will soothe his gums, and he’ll continue to enjoy munching on it as it softens in his mouth.
- Other people provide ice cubes for their puppies to play with and chew on. You can make ice cubes from chicken or beef broth as a frozen treat for your teething pup.
- You could also give your puppy a frozen carrot to munch on (one per day, as they are high in sugar).
If your puppy is in a lot of pain, check with your vet to see if medication could be appropriate to support your puppy through the teething process.
Check His Teeth Are Growing In Correctly
You may wish to check your puppy’s adult teeth as they come in. Some people take their puppies for a dental checkup at three to four months old and then again at eight months old.
Dental checkups can help you be sure that your puppy’s teeth are growing in correctly and that there are no baby teeth (deciduous teeth) that have remained behind that need removing.
You can check yourself that the teeth are lining up correctly by making sure that the upper premolars fit into the spaces between the lower premolars. If in doubt, consult your vet.
Sometimes a vet may choose to remove baby teeth prematurely if they are causing a bad bite.
If your puppy is drooling a lot, it could very well mean that they are teething.
Of course, how old your puppy is and how they are generally behaving are great ways to identify whether this is indeed the case.
But it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
So I would recommend contacting a vet should your puppy begin drooling. Particularly if you haven’t noticed it before.
It may be something else that needs attention.
At the very least, a vet will be able to advise on what to expect, and how best to approach the process.
Want to continue researching drooling in dogs? Then my other guides may be of interest:
- Why Does My Dog Drool Around Other Dogs? [Top 5 Reasons]
- Why Do Dogs Drool When They See Food? [Can You Stop Them?]
- Why Do Dogs Drool When Excited? [And How To Calm Them]
- Dog Is Drooling Clear Slime [Why & What To Do]
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.