The German Shepherd’s teeth are one of its most important assets. These teeth need attention from the time they appear, right through to their adult and senior years.
You should therefore have a concise plan for how to take care of your German Shepherd’s teeth from a young age. German Shepherds can suffer from dental hygiene problems just as much as any other mammal.
You can simplify the dental cleaning process when you have the right knowledge and tools to keep your dog’s teeth in good condition.
When you create a dental routine for teeth cleaning, you can avoid costly dental expenses and maintain your pet’s overall health.
- 1 Overview Of The German Shepherd Teeth
- 2 At What Age Do German Shepherd Dogs Stop Teething
- 3 German Shepherd Teeth Issues
- 4 How To Keep German Shephard’s Teeth Clean And Healthy
- 5 How To Brush German Shepherds Teeth
- 6 When Should You Consult A Vet?
- 7 Conclusion
Overview Of The German Shepherd Teeth
A German Shepherd puppy’s teeth are not present at birth. Their first baby teeth start to appear within two to four weeks of age, at which time they can be weaned off their mother and be given soft dog food.
Their baby teeth develop gradually over two to three weeks, and they eventually have 28 small teeth that are exceptionally sharp.
During this period, they are prone to biting everything they can find to relieve their discomfort. This discomfort continues as their adult teeth slowly come out. As their adult teeth develop, their discomfort will worsen.
You will recognize that your puppy is teething in several ways:
- Your puppy may leave blood smears around the home or on its chew toys.
- You may find milk teeth that have dropped from your dog’s mouth.
- Behavioral changes such as irritation, some whining, or what seems to be excessive sleeping may be present.
- The puppy may avoid eating dry food at times due to pain.
- It can develop an infection or temperature.
- Puppies salivate (drool) more than usual when teething to reduce their discomfort.
- Biting during the teething phase will be ongoing.
You will need to discourage your puppy from biting throughout these growth transitions. Be patient with your young pup as their physical development consists of many changes.
They must learn to be away from their mother, adapt to a new family, learn potty training, other socialization skills, and still deal with a sore mouth.
Your small puppy must also adapt to two complete changes of teeth in a short period, so be sure to accommodate its needs as these are many.
Once the puppy teething period is over, the adult teeth start to appear. Usually, the adult teeth develop from about six to eight weeks. This teething period can last for anything from between four and five months.
The process is painful as their incisors and canine teeth are the first to develop. These important teeth typically appear within the first three months after birth.
Thereafter, the other teeth will develop. The other teeth in your German Shepherd‘s mouth include the premolars and molars.
Likewise, the carnassial teeth will grow within six months after birth but only after the incisors and canine teeth have grown.
At What Age Do German Shepherd Dogs Stop Teething
Your young German Shepherd’s teething process is like that of a young child.
Due to their different lifespans, though, your puppy’s transition from its small teeth to its adult teeth takes place over weeks and months rather than months and years.
Your GSD puppy also experiences pain just as children do during these difficult stages.
The German Shepherd’s puppy and adult teeth also grow quicker because it is quickly separated from its mother and must learn to survive at a young age.
Your pet needs its teeth to survive and protect itself quickly, especially if no human guardian is present. A puppy loses its milk teeth by the time it is 12 to 13 weeks old.
In these first three months, you may notice smears or blood on your hand when your puppy tries to bite you, or you may notice baby teeth anywhere in the home where your puppy has been chewing on something.
As the puppy grows, its head and jaw size also increase to make space for the adult teeth. They need a lot more space in their mouth to go from 28 milk teeth to 42 bigger, permanent teeth.
The theoretical transition phase from temporary to permanent German Shepherd teeth is around six months.
Some German Shepherds may only complete their teething transition by the time they reach seven months or longer, though, as each animal is individual.
The best ways to help your German Shepherd through its teething phase is to:
- Purchase special teething toys such as Kongs, Nylabones or rawhide.
- Freeze appropriate human foods for them to chew on, such as blueberries, pears, or apples.
- Make chamomile tea without sugar or milk and allow the tea to cool before placing the liquid in a separate bowl. The chamomile will help to soothe irritated, sore gums.
- Freeze a cloth and let them chew on it to cool swollen gums.
- Avoid providing your puppy with too many chew toys as they can become easily confused.
- Also, avoid giving your puppy items that are too hard to chew, as this can add to its pain.
During the adult teething stage, it is necessary to buy your puppy appropriate toys to chew on to ease their pain.
Consult your vet about medication such as gum ointments to reduce your pup’s discomfort.
Keep a watchful eye on your German Shepherd’s teeth as they appear. Check your puppy’s mouth regularly for signs of infection.
If there is excess redness, bleeding, or swelling in the mouth, or you notice a foul odor coming from the pup’s mouth, get immediate attention. Your puppy may have an infection and need expert help from a vet.
German Shepherd Teeth Issues
The reason that it is so important to care for your German Shepherds teeth is that it is vulnerable during the teething phase. Up to 80% of dogs experience dental hygiene issues in their first two years of life.
German Shepherd teeth are particularly vulnerable to dental issues and disease – the first signs of oral health problems present as plaque build-up on their teeth.
Plaque build-up can rapidly cause disease that spreads to the gums and then the root of the teeth. This vulnerability is the reason why German Shepherd dog owners should check their mouths at least once a week.
Once an infection has set in, germs can spread throughout the body, creating even more serious health problems. Your pet can develop heart problems, liver or kidney infections, and joint issues.
Dental care for your pet is so important because if an infection goes unnoticed, its teeth may need to be removed. Resulting health problems can shorten its lifespan by up to 2 years or more.
Signs of dental problems include:
- Your pet avoiding eating.
- It refuses to let you touch its head or becomes nervous (or even aggressive) if you try to open its mouth.
- Its mouth is bleeding more than is normal when teething.
- The gums are bright red and swollen due to infection.
- Your pet’s breath is foul.
- They usually have a high temperature, and their behavior is not typical of the loving pet that you know.
While the loss of baby teeth is normal, if your German Shepherd starts losing its adult teeth, this is a sure sign of a problem that needs urgent intervention.
How To Keep German Shephard’s Teeth Clean And Healthy
Take your pet for regular vet checkups every three months from birth to six months. Thereafter take your pet to the vet for professional teeth cleaning every six months up to the age of two years.
If you cannot afford regular vet visits for your German Shepherd’s teeth, then you should develop a good dental hygiene plan.
In between visits for professional cleaning, you can learn how to keep your German Shepherd’s teeth clean at home.
Your plan can include chew toys and dental sticks. As your dog chews on these, the toys and sticks rub against the teeth.
The natural abrasive motion of chewing helps prevent plaque from building up on their teeth and helps prevent dental problems.
Chew toys are especially valuable to support your pet while teething, but the dental sticks are more important once the permanent teeth have erupted.
A vital part of any dental hygiene routine is to brush your German Shepherd’s teeth. This process may seem time-consuming and frustrating, but it is the best way to prevent further problems.
How To Brush German Shepherds Teeth
Cleaning your German Shepherd’s teeth at home will take some time. Your patience and efforts will, however, be richly rewarded as you avoid expensive vet bills for teeth and other health problems.
Keeping your pet’s teeth sparkly white will also help to extend its healthy lifespan.
Here’s what you need to do to brush your German Shepherd’s teeth at home.
1. Get your puppy used to having its mouth handled
Start teeth brushing training by handling your pet’s muzzle.
Touch its face and mouth area gently and repeatedly throughout the day. Giving it treats will help simplify this process.
Once your dog is used to your hands around its face, you can begin lifting its lips to expose the puppy teeth and gums.
2. Teeth and gum training
Now you can start to stick your finger into its mouth. At first, your pet will resist your efforts as the sensation will feel unfamiliar. With repetition, it will, however, allow you to insert your finger in its mouth.
Once your pet has overcome its initial discomfort, you can start running your finger along the teeth and gums. Keep doing this a few times each day until you can see that your pet is comfortable.
Don’t try to rush the process as your puppy is dealing with multiple changes and learning new things daily. The adult GSD is a dog breed with a powerful bite, so get them used to this as a puppy if possible.
3. Introduce your pet to Dog toothpaste
Purchase doggy toothpaste to clean its teeth. Avoid using toothpaste made for humans as this can negatively affect their health.
Squeeze a small globule of toothpaste onto the tip of your finger or dog toothbrush and allow your German Shepherd to smell and taste this strange new substance.
Once it is familiar with the smell and taste of the toothpaste, you can use the tip of your finger to start brushing its teeth.
You can continue using your finger or get a finger toothbrush made for dogs or purchase a long-handled brush.
Start brushing the front teeth and gradually work your way around your pet’s upper and lower teeth, front and back.
Be persistent with your efforts and brush your pet’s teeth quickly, especially when they are young. Regular brushing twice a week should be enough to keep your pet’s teeth clean.
When Should You Consult A Vet?
German Shepherds suffer from several dental problems. These include plaque and tartar build-up, which can become severe, causing your pet to lose teeth.
German Shepherds are also at risk of developing gingivitis, periodontitis, and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can impact the jawbone and spread further, possibly causing loss of life.
Signs that your German Shepherd’s teeth are at risk include bleeding gums, loose teeth, missing teeth, swollen gums, and fever.
Your dog needs an urgent visit to the vet if they have lost interest in eating. Halitosis is a sign of a dental problem but can also be a sign of digestive or other health problems.
Gum health is often a good indicator of when it is time for medical intervention. Pale gums can indicate that your dog is anemic or is suffering other health issues.
Red gum tissue is an indication of inflammation which means that your pet may have gingivitis or other serious problems.
If your pet’s gums are yellow, they may have jaundice which is a liver disease. Alternatively, yellow gums can be a sign of leptospirosis, which is a bacterial infection that is transferable to people.
Take your German Shepherd to the vet if they show signs of dental problems or any other health-related issues. Dental problems are serious, so please do not delay treatment.
German Shepherd teeth health remains important throughout your pet’s life stages.
Attention to dental hygiene can prevent many other health problems, so it is vital to pay attention to your dog’s dental health. Regular brushing and trips to the vet should keep your German Shepherd’s health at a premium.