Puppy teething can be a difficult time for parents; the pain caused by teething often leads puppies to chew on anything and everything in an effort to relieve their discomfort. Here are a few tips from our Tracy vets on how to help your puppy through this difficult stage.
Why is my puppy biting me and chewing on everything?
Just like human babies, puppies will bite and chew on items while teething to try and relieve the discomfort they are feeling in their mouths. Puppy teething can seem like a very long process when you are constantly trying to protect your furniture (and fingers) from little chompers, but it's important to remain calm and remember they are just trying to make themselves 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. Around 4 months of age, 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 puppy reaches 6-7 months of age they should have their full set of adult teeth and teething should be a thing of the past. In the meantime, our Tracy vets offer some puppy teething advice to help you and your pup get through this rough stage:
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
Specific puppy teething bones by brands such as Nylabone are sized appropriately for small, medium, and large breeds and come flavored. This helps to encourage your puppy to chew on a tasty treat rather than your boring smelling valuables—instilling 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.
Healthy Frozen Foods For Puppies to Chew
Along with chewing on frozen toys, many puppies enjoy frozen treats they can actually eat. Frozen carrots or apple slices are a good option. Be sure to always speak to your vet before introducing new "human" food to your pup.
My puppy keeps biting me, what should I do?
Nipping and biting are how puppies naturally play. When one puppy bites another too hard, the hurt pup will let out a high-pitched yelp.
If your puppy 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.