Pet parents might find puppy teething a trying stage. The pain our adorable pups feel while teething can lead them to chew on things they shouldn't - like the legs of your new table or a favourite book. Today, our New York vets share a few suggestions on how you can help relieve your puppy's pain - and not pull your hair out doing it.
Why is my puppy biting me and chewing on everything?
If your fur baby is wrapping their jaws around anything they can find, puppy teething can seem like a very long process. That said, it's important to try and remain calm and keep in mind that your pup isn't trying to be naughty. Their instinct is to relieve the discomfort and pain they are feeling. It just happens that chewing on that new chair or table leg might seem like it will make your pup's mouth feel better.
When do puppies start teething?
While breeds vary somewhat when it comes to when they start teething, puppies usually get their first set of teeth at about 5 to 6 weeks of age. They start to lost their needle-sharp baby teeth at around 16 weeks, making way for adult teeth to emerge. Your vet will likely make note of this during one of your puppy's early routine exams.
How long do puppies teethe?
By the time your puppy reaches 6 to 7 months old, all 42 of their adult teeth should be in and teething should be in their past. That said, they will go through 4 to 5 months of intense teething. This can be a real struggle for pup parents, since puppies looking for pain relief will frequently chew on almost anything they come across. Because of their small stature, this can often mean they gnaw on expensive footwear, furniture legs - and even their humans' fingers and feet.
So, you're probably wondering what you can do to help relieve your furry friend's discomfort while protecting your valuable possessions. Here are our vet team's recommendations:
What can I do to help us both get through puppy teething?
Have Extra Durable Chew Toys Ready
Brands such as Nylabone make teething bones especially for puppy teething. These are appropriately sized for small, medium and large breeds and are flavored to help discourage your puppy from sniffing your boring smelling valuables in favor of this tasty new, chewy treat - encouraging both healthy chewing habits and providing the pain relief they seek.
Edible Teething Sticks Puppies Will Love
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.
Store Some 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.
Healthy Frozen Foods For Puppies 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.
My puppy keeps biting me, what should I do?
Nipping and biting is 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.