When puppies begin teething, it can be a stressful and difficult time for both pet and owner. Today, our Fountain Valley vets share some tips on how to deal with a teething puppy.
Much like human babies, puppies will bite and chew on things around them while they are teething to relieve pain and discomfort. So while it may be a stressful time as you try to relieve your pup's pain while also protecting your sofa legs, there are a few things you can do to help them.
When do puppies start teething?
There are variations in timeline depending on your puppy's breed, but typically puppies get their first set of teeth at about 5 - 6 weeks of age. Then, at around 16 weeks old your pup will begin to lose their baby teeth and their adult teeth will begin to appear.
How long do puppies teethe?
By the time your dog is around 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 Brookfield Pet Hospital Plus.
Helping Your Teething Puppy
Keep Puppy-Friendly Teething Toys in the Freezer
Much like teething babies, puppies often find that chewing cold or frozen items help to relieve 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 puppy teething bones by brands such as Nylabone are sized appropriately for small, medium, and large breeds. They also have flavored options, which can encourage your pup to chew on their toy instead of on other items around your house. This helps create good habits and relieves pain at the same time.
Edible Teething Sticks for Puppies
There is a range of reputable edible puppy teething treats and bones on the market that can help relieve your fur baby's mouth pain. Talk to your vet about which brand they'd recommend or pop into your local pet store. 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
Try freezing dog-friendly foods such as small pieces of carrot, blueberries, or apples. Your dog also might enjoy chewing on an ice cube. If you are planning to offer your pup frozen treats, always speak to your vet first to ensure it's a good option for your pup.
What to Do if Your Puppy is Biting
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 '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. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.