One thing every pet parent deals with when they have a new puppy is teething! Suddenly, every time you turn around your puppy will have found something else to chew on, maybe even your favorite slippers. Our Westfield vets talk about why puppies teethe, what you can expect during this time and some tips for helping your puppy while they are teething.
Help! My Puppy is Chewing on Everything!
Puppy teething can seem like a very long process if your fur baby is chewing on everything they can wrap their jaws around. But it's important to try and stay calm and remember that your pup isn't trying to be naughty, they are trying to relieve the pain and discomfort they are feeling. It just so happens that chewing on your new sofa's leg may be the perfect thing for making your pup's mouth feel better.
At what age will my puppy start teething?
Breeds vary somewhat but puppies typically 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 needle-sharp baby teeth and their adult teeth will begin to appear.
How long can I expect my puppy to be teething?
You can expect your puppy to have all of their adult teeth by the time they are 6 - 7 months old and teething should be a thing of the past.
That said, those 4 - 5 months of intense teething can be a real struggle for many pet parents. As puppies looking to find relief from the pain 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 furry friend's discomfort and protect your valuable belongings? Here are a few suggestions from our veterinary team at Westfield Animal Hospital
What are some ways I can help relieve teething pain for my puppy?
Give your puppy frozen toys
Offering your puppy frozen chew toys is a great way to help relieve the pain associated with teething. 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.
Strong chew toys that will last
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.
Teething sticks made for puppies
Many reputable dog food brands offer edible puppy teething treats and bones to help relieve your fur baby's mouth pain. Your vet may recommend one specifically for your little dog or you can pop 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.
Frozen foods to chew on
Many puppies enjoy tasty treats such as frozen bagels, frozen carrots or other healthy veggies. If you are planning to offer your pup frozen food always speak to your vet first to ensure it's a good option for your pup.
How can I stop my puppy from biting while teething?
If you have a puppy then you should know that gently biting is one of the ways that puppies play. When one puppy bites another too hard the hurt pup will let out a high-pitched yelp.
If your young pup is nipping and biting at you it's important to put a stop to 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 little '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.
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.