It can be hard for pet owners when their puppies start teething. The pain our canine companions feel when teething can compel them to chew on everything they see. In this blog, our Walnut Creek vets discuss puppy teething and how you and your pup can endure this trying stage.
Why Your Puppy is Biting You & Chewing Everything
If your puppy is chewing on everything they can fit their jaws around, the puppy teething phase can feel like it's taking forever. However, it's important for you to do your best to stay calm and know that your young pooch isn't doing this to be naughty, they just want to alleviate some of the discomfort and pain they are experiencing. It's just a coincidence that chewing on your new shoes is the thing that soothes your pup's mouth.
When Puppies Start Teething
This varies somewhat by breed, but usually, puppies start getting their first set of teeth when they are approximately 5 - 6 weeks old. When your pup is around 16 weeks old they will start losing their needle-sharp baby teeth and start getting their adult teeth.
How Long 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.
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 Ygnacio Animal Hospital.
How to Get Through Your Puppy's Teething & Help Your Pup
Store Some Puppy Friendly Teething Toys in the Freezer
Similar to teething babies, chewing cold or frozen items can sometimes help relieve your puppy's teething pain. While there are many teething-specific toys available at most pet stores, you can freeze nearly any dog toy to help give your pooch some relief. Rubber bones, kongs, and soft toys made specifically for dogs are all great options.
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
Lots of reputable brands of dog food offer edible treats and bones for teething puppies to help relieve the pain your pup is feeling in their mouth. Your vet might recommend a kind they think may be best for your pooch, or your can visit your local pet shop to select from a variety of sizes and flavors. Although, pick one that is the right size for your puppy so they will get the most benefits from the teething treat you select.
Healthy Frozen Foods For Puppies to Chew
Many puppies enjoy tasty treats such as frozen bagels, frozen carrots, or other healthy veggies. If your plan is to give your pup frozen food always talk to your veterinarian first to make sure it is a good choice for your furry friend.
What To Do If Your Puppy Keeps Biting You
By nature, puppies play by biting and nipping. When one puppy bites another too hard the hurt pup will let out a high-pitched yelp.
If your young pooch is biting and nipping at you it's essential to put an end to this behavior before it gets out of hand. One effective way you can stop this behavior is to mimic the yelp of a hurt puppy when your furry companion 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 from 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.