It can be frustrating for pet owners when their puppy starts teething. Young pups often experience pain during this time in their lives and typically respond by biting almost everything they can fit in their mouth. Below our team of Bedford vets lists some ways you can help your teething puppy and what you can expect from this time in your furry friend's life.
Why is my puppy chewing and biting everything?
When your puppy begins to teethe it can feel like the process is taking forever, because they will chew on everything that can fit in their mouth. But it's essential for you to keep calm and remind yourself that this isn't your puppy being naughty on purpose, they are just trying to stop the pain and discomfort that they are experiencing. It could just be a coincidence that the corner of your favorite coffee table is the thing that makes your puppy's mouth feel a little less sore.
When do puppies start teething?
The age a puppy starts teething varies somewhat by breed but dogs usually get their first set of teeth between the ages of 5 and 6 weeks old. At around 16 weeks of age is when your pup will start losing their needle-sharp baby teeth and their adult teeth start to appear.
How long does puppy teething last?
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 Fine Animal Hospital.
How do I help my teething puppy?
Keep a Few Puppy Friendly Teething Toys in the Freezer
Similar to teething babies, puppies typically notice that some of the pain be can be alleviated by chewing on things that are cold or frozen. 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.
Give Your Pup Extra Durable Chew Toys
Specific bones for teething puppies by brands such as Nylabone are sized appropriately for small, medium, and large breeds and come in different flavors to help keep your young pooch away from boring smelling valuables and over to a tasty chewy treat - encouraging both healthy chewing habits and relieving pain at the same time.
Give Your Pup Some Edible Teething Sticks for Puppies
Many reputable dog food brands offer edible puppy teething treats and bones to help relieve your furry friend's mouth pain. Your vet might be able to recommend one specifically for your pup or you can visit your local pet store and choose from a range of flavors and sizes. Remember to select the right size for your pooch so they will get the most benefit from the teething treat you choose.
Offer Your Puppy Healthy Frozen Foods to Chew
Many puppies enjoy tasty treats such as frozen bagels, frozen carrots, or other healthy veggies. If you are planning to offer your pup a 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 me?
Nipping and biting are naturally how 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 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.