The time in a pet parent's life when their puppy starts teething can be frustrating. The pain caused by teething can often cause our young pets to chew on things they really shouldn't. Here are a few suggestions from our Gilbert veterinary team on how you can assist your puppy in managing their discomfort and help get you both through this difficult time.
Why is my puppy biting me and chewing on everything?
The teething process in our puppies may seem excessively long, especially if your companion is chewing on anything they can wrap their mouth around.
It's important during this process to remember that you dog isn't trying to be naughty. They are trying to relieve their pain and discomfort. It is, unfortunately, the case that chewing on the leg of your sofa is something that helps their sore mouth feel a bit better.
When do puppies 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 does puppy teething last?
By the time your pup is about 6 or 7 months old, they should have all 42 of their adult teeth, leaving their teeth behind.
That said, those 4 - 5 months is about how long puppies teeth intensely. 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 actually do about your pup's discomfort (and to protect your valuable belongings)? Here, our Crossroads Veterinary Hospital veterinary team offers up a few suggestions.
What can I do to help us both get through puppy teething?
Store Some Puppy Friendly Teething Toys in the Freezer
Just like a teething baby, puppies will often find that chewing on cold or frozen things will help them relieve their 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.
Offer Your Pup Extra Durable Chew Toys
Specific teething bones by brands like Nylabone are appropriately sized for small, medium and large dogs. They also come in flavors that will encourage your puppy away from boring-smelling items and over to a chew treat that tastes excellent. This encourages both healthy chewing habits and relieving pain at the same time.
Edible Teething Sticks 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.
Healthy Frozen Foods For Puppies to Chew
Puppies will often enjoy a tasty treat like a frozen carrot or bagel as a healthy snack.
If you're planning on giving your pup any frozen food, make sure you ask your vet if they thing that is a good idea first.
My puppy keeps biting me, what should I do?
Nipping and biting is naturally how puppies play. When one puppy bites another too hard the hurt pup will let out a high-pitched yelp.
If your young dog is nipping or biting at you, it's critical that you put a stop to their behavior as soon as possible before you let it get out of hand. One approach that may often be effective is trying to mimic the sound of a hurt puppy when your young companion bites you. This may startle the puppy and cause them to back off. When they do, make sure you reward their response with a treat.
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.