Do Puppies Have Soft Spots?

by Elizabeth Muirhead
    The Chihuahua commonly arrives with an open fontanel.

    The Chihuahua commonly arrives with an open fontanel.

    Jupiterimages/ Images

    Puppies -- especially small or teacup pups -- have soft spots in their skulls at birth. The soft regions, called fontanels, exists where the skull bones meet. The soft spots typically close in puppies as they age, although they can be hazards to your critters if they remain open.


    A dog's fontanel typically closes by 4 months of age, although many close much sooner. At the open fontanel, the only protection for Fluffy’s brain is her skin. Minimize risks such as falls to keep her safe. Some puppies with open fontanels have another congenital condition called hydrocephalus, where extra fluid accumulates around the brain. Your veterinarian can check Fluffy for both an open fontanel and hydrocephalus.

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    About the Author

    Elizabeth Muirhead is a practicing veterinarian with an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. She has real-world experience with the husbandry, grooming, training and feeding a variety of household pets.

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