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Published: Jun 21, 2012

You may notice your puppy growing and changing rapidly in many ways, but it is important to pay particular attention to your pup's teeth. Dogs have two sets of teeth in the course of their lives - their primary teeth, then their permanent teeth.

Puppies are born without teeth, but by the time you take yours home from the shelter, it will likely have its primary set, since these develop around six weeks of age. However, puppy owners should be prepared to deal with the teething stage, when the primary set falls out and the adult teeth, or permanent set, grow in.

Teething can be a difficult stage for puppies and owners. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, puppies who are teething may drool or be reluctant to eat at times because of the pain. It is also normal for puppies to be irritable as they deal with the tender gums that come with teething.

As the adult teeth grow in, it is important for owners to check for retained dog teeth. Retained teeth occur when a primary tooth does not fall out but a permanent tooth still grows, and usually causes the adult tooth to grow in sideways. Veterinarians will usually recommend getting the baby tooth surgically removed if it is causing problems for the dog's jaw or is growing into the roof of the dog's mouth.