Puppy teething can be a trying time for pet parents. Pain caused by teething often leads our adorable companions to chew on things they shouldn't - like your favorite pair of shoes for example. Here are a few suggestions from our Riverside County vets on how you can help your puppy's teething pain and get you both through this difficult stage.
Why is my puppy biting me and chewing on everything?
If your pet is chewing on anything its jaws can wrap around during teething, it may appear that the process is taking a while. However, try to maintain your composure and keep in mind that your dog is merely trying to alleviate the pain and discomfort they are feeling. It just so happens that your dog might find relief for his mouth by chewing on the leg of your new sofa.
When do puppies start teething?
Although breeds vary, puppies typically develop their first set of teeth between the ages of 5 and 6 weeks. Around 16 weeks of age, your puppy will begin to lose their needle-sharp baby teeth and adult teeth will appear.
How long do puppies teethe?
Your dog should have all 42 of their adult teeth by the time they are about 6 to 7 months old, and teething should be over by then.
However, for many pet parents, the 4 to 5 months of intense teething can be a real challenge. Puppies seeking pain relief will often chew on almost anything they can find, which, due to their small stature, can often include furniture legs, expensive footwear, or even your feet or fingers.
So what can you do to help relieve your furry friend's discomfort and protect your valuable belongings? Here are a few suggestions from our veterinary team at Banning Veterinary Hospital.
What can I do to help us both get through puppy teething?
Store Some Puppy Friendly Teething Toys in the Freezer
Puppies, like teething babies, often find that chewing on cold or frozen items relieves teething pain. While most pet stores carry a variety of teething toys, almost any dog toy can be frozen to provide relief for your pup. Dog-specific soft toys, Kongs, and rubber bones are all excellent choices.
Offer Your Pup Extra Durable Chew Toys
Specific puppy teething bones by brands such as Nylabone are sized appropriately 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 Puppies
Many reputable dog food companies sell edible puppy teething treats and bones to help relieve your pet's mouth pain. Your veterinarian may recommend one specifically for your small dog, or you can visit your local pet store and select from a variety of flavors and sizes. Choose the right size for your pup to get the most benefit from the teething treat you choose.
Healthy Frozen Foods For Puppies to Chew
Many puppies enjoy tasty treats like frozen bagels, frozen carrots, or other healthy vegetables. If you intend to feed your dog frozen food, consult with your veterinarian first to ensure it is a good choice for your dog.
My puppy keeps biting me, what should I do?
Puppies play by naturally nipping and biting. A high-pitched yelp is produced when a puppy bites another too hard.
If your young puppy is nipping and biting at you, you should put a stop to it before it becomes a problem. When your little friend digs their teeth into you, one effective way to stop this behavior is to mimic the yelp of a hurt puppy. A loud, high-pitched 'OW' should startle your puppy and make them back off. When your puppy comes to a halt and backs off, remember to reward them 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.
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.