Puppy teething can be a challenging time - for pet parents and their canine companions alike. Today, our Tracy share ways to relieve your puppy's discomfort while they're teething.
Why is my puppy biting me and chewing on everything?
If your puppy seems to be chewing on just about everything (including you sometimes), the teething process can seem to take forever. But it's important to try and stay calm and remember that your pup isn't trying to be mean or violent; they are trying to relieve the pain and discomfort they are feeling. It just so happens that chewing on your new leather shoes may be the perfect thing for making your pup's mouth feel better.
When do puppies start teething?
Although it varies by breed, puppies generally get their first set of teeth at about 5 - 6 weeks of age. At around 16 weeks old your pup will begin to lose their sharp little baby teeth and their adult teeth will begin to appear.
How long do puppies teethe?
By the time your pooch is about 6 - 7 months old, they should have all 42 of their adult teeth, and teething should be a thing of the past.
However, those 4 to 5 months of intense teething can be a real struggle for many pet parents. Puppies trying to relieve their aching teeth and gums will often chew on almost anything they can find, and because of their small stature that can often mean furniture legs, expensive footwear or even your feet or fingers.
So what can you do to help relieve your pup's discomfort and protect your valuable belongings?
Keep puppy-friendly teething/chewing toys in the freezer
Like their human infant counterparts, puppies often find that chewing cold or frozen items helps to relieve teething pain. While there is a range of teething-specific toys available from most pet stores, almost any dog toy can be frozen to help provide relief for your pup. Kongs, rubber bones, and dog-specific soft toys are all great options.
Healthy frozen foods for puppies
Many puppies love tasty treats such as frozen bagels, frozen carrots, or other healthy veggies. If you are planning to offer your pup frozen food always check with your veterinarian to make sure it's a good option for your pup.
Get extra-durable chew toys
Specific puppy teething bones by brands such as Nylabone have different sizes for small, medium and large breeds and come flavored to help encourage your puppy away from boring smelling valuables and over to a tasty chewy treat - encouraging both healthy chewing habits and relieving pain at the same time.
Edible teething sticks for dogs
Many reputable dog food brands offer edible puppy teething treats and bones to help relieve your dog's teething pain. Your vet may recommend one specifically, or you can stop by your local pet store and choose from a range of flavors and sizes. Be sure to choose the right size for your pup so they will gain the most benefit from the teething treat you choose.
My puppy keeps biting me, what should I do?
Puppies play by nipping and biting; when one puppy bites another too hard the hurt pup will let out a high-pitched yelp. This teaches the puppy that certain behaviors are unwanted.
If your puppy is nipping and biting you, you must deter this behavior before it gets out of hand. One effective approach for stopping this behavior is to mimic the yelp of a hurt puppy when your little friend digs their teeth into you. A loud 'OW!' in a high-pitched voice should startle your puppy and cause them to back off. When your puppy stops and backs off be sure to offer a reward for their good behavior.
If this approach leads your puppy to nip at you more aggressively, quietly stop playing with your puppy and walk away or gently put your pup in their crate for some quiet time. This will teach them that nipping and biting means time-out or the end of playtime and will encourage them to curb these behaviors.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.