Puppy teething can be a trying time for pet parents and puppies alike. Teething pain can cause bad behavior like chewing on your favorite book or nipping fingers. Here are a few suggestions from our Enterprise vets on how you can help relieve your puppy's teething pain.
Why Is My Puppy Biting Me And Chewing On Everything?
Puppy teething can seem like a very long process if your young canine companion is chewing on everything they can wrap their jaws around. Remember to try and stay calm! Your puppy isn't trying to be naughty or make you angry, they are trying to relieve the pain and discomfort they are feeling in their teeth and gums. 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.
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 Do Puppies Teethe?
By the age of 6-7 months, your puppy should have all 42 of their adult teeth, and the pain of teething should be a thing of the past.
Despite this, those 4 - 5 months of intense teething can be a real struggle for many pet parents. Puppies looking to find relief from the pain don't know any better and will often chew on almost anything they can find – and because of their small stature that can 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 Enterprise veterinary team.
How Can I Help My Teething Puppy?
Freeze Some Puppy-Friendly Teething Toys
Much like teething babies, puppies often find that chewing cold or frozen items helps 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.
Invest In Extra-Durable Chew Toys
Teething bones for puppies are sized appropriately for small, medium and large breed dogs and are 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
There are many well-known dog food brands that 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 Healthy Treats For Teething Puppies
Many puppies with sore gums enjoy chewing on 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.
My Puppy Keeps Biting Me! What Should I Do?
Nipping and biting are natural play behaviors in puppies. When one puppy bites another too hard, the hurt pup will let out a high-pitched yelp.
If your young puppy is nipping and biting at you, it's important to stop the behavior before it gets out of hand. One effective approach is by mimicking 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.