Puppy teething can be a trying time for pet parents. Pain caused by teething often leads our adorable companions to chew on things they shouldn't - like your fingers or favorite pair of shoes. Today, our Smokey Point vets offer some tips and tricks to help you through this difficult stage.
Why is my puppy biting me and chewing on everything?
Puppy teething can seem like a very long process if your fur baby is chewing on everything they can wrap their jaws around. But it's important to try and stay calm and remember that your pup isn't trying to misbehave, they are trying to relieve the pain and discomfort they are feeling by chewing.
Breeds vary somewhat but puppies typically get their first set of teeth at about 5 - 6 weeks of age. Then, at around 16 weeks of age, your puppy will begin to lose their baby teeth and their adult teeth will start to come in.
How long do puppies teethe?
By the time your pooch is about 6 - 7 months old, they should have all 42 of their adult teeth.
That said, those 4 to 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, footwear, or even your feet or fingers.
So what can you do to help relieve your pup's pain and discomfort? Here are a few suggestions from our Smokey Point veterinary team.
What can I do to help us both get through puppy teething?
Store Some Puppy Friendly Teething Toys in the Freezer
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.
Offer Your Pup Extra Durable Chew Toys
Visit your local pet store and look for products specifically designed as puppy chew toys. There's a good selection of options that are sized appropriately for small, medium and large breeds and even some that come flavored to help encourage your puppy away from boring smelling valuables and over to a tasty chewy treat. These toys encourage both healthy chewing habits and relieve 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
Many puppies enjoy tasty treats such as frozen apples, carrots, or other dog-friendly fruits and vegetables. 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 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 approach you can try to stop this behavior is to mimic the yelp of a hurt puppy when your little friend digs their teeth into you. A loud, high-pitched 'OW' 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.