Just like human babies, puppies start to get their first set of teeth when they are very young, before losing them to grow in the adult set that they will retain for the remainder of their lives. Knowing what to expect when you get a new French bulldog puppy in terms of their dental development can help you to anticipate and plan for teething, the loss of that first set of teeth, and the final descent of your dog’s adult teeth themselves.
Getting off on the right foot when caring for your French bulldog’s health means knowing what is normal and what is potentially problematic in terms of their conformation and wellness, and dental health is an important part of this. When you first get a new French bulldog puppy, it is wise to start cleaning their teeth a few times a week with a special dog toothpaste and brush, which will ensure that as your pup gets older, they will accept the process and allow you to check and clean their teeth without incident. This in turn will help to support lifelong dental health in your dog, and avoid potential problems along the way.
It will also mean that you will quickly get to know the normal conformation of your dog’s teeth, be able to spot lost baby teeth and new adult teeth, and be alert to signs of issues.
If you own a French bulldog puppy or are considering buying one, this article will explain what you can expect from their dental development during their first year of life. Read on to learn more.
Pups don’t have teeth when they are born, but those baby teeth arrive quickly afterwards, beginning to descend from the gums at around the same time your puppy’s eyes open when they are two to three weeks old. These are known as the pup’s milk teeth.
During this time, you are likely to start seeing the young pups gnawing and biting on anything and everything, from toys and blankets to the fingers of their unwitting handlers!
Your Frenchie’s first baby teeth are likely to be their front teeth – the incisors. Next will come their canine teeth, and when the canines descend, the puppies’ dam will begin weaning them onto solid food for the first time. Premolars begin to develop between the ages of three and six weeks old.
A full set of milk teeth in the mouth of a dog with normal dentition comprises of 28 teeth, as molars – the large, flat back teeth in the upper and lower jaws – don’t make up part of the pup’s milk teeth, instead coming later within their adult set.
Most pups will have all of their milk teeth by the time they reach around eight weeks old, or even earlier. This means that by the time you buy your new Frenchie puppy and bring them home, they’ll already have their full set of sharp, shiny new baby pearly whites.
Frenchies and other dogs don’t keep these baby teeth for long – they begin to lose them from around twelve weeks of age onwards, which means that your pup may begin losing their milk teeth from as soon as you get them, or even earlier if your pup is a little older when you collect them.
The milk teeth are pushed out by the pup’s adult teeth that are growing in the jawline above them, and a loose rule of thumb is that the baby teeth are lost and the adult teeth grow in following the same type of order as that for the milk teeth as outlined above.
However, your pup’s adult teeth come into place rather more slowly than their milk teeth, and they won’t develop their molars for several more months. Generally, by the time your Frenchie is about eight months old, they’ll have all of their adult teeth including their molars – for a total of 42 teeth in the average adult dog with normal dentition.
When your pup is losing their milk teeth, these are commonly shed in food and often swallowed, so don’t be surprised if you don’t find tiny stray teeth around the home – although check chew toys carefully if you’re keen to find some!
When your pup is growing in either their milk teeth or adult teeth, they need to be provided with lots of safe, dog-friendly chew toys to aid with the process. Chew toys help your pup to ease the pressure and discomfort that the growing teeth can cause, offering some relief as well as helping the incoming teeth to break through the gumline to descend into place.
You should also check on the progress of your teething dog’s dentition regularly too, in order to keep an eye out for anything that might be amiss. Teeth that grow in at strange angles, crooked, or that don’t appear to be fully descended, instead seeming stuck partially revealed for some time might indicate a complication, which is more common in flat-faced dog breeds like the French bulldog.
Keeping an eye on teething and the development of your dog’s teeth will allow you to spot if anything is wrong, so that you can ask your vet to have a look and recommend the best course of action.