Teething can be a trying time for puppy owners. Pain caused by teething often leads our four-legged babies to chew on things they shouldn't - including favorite shoes or accessible toes. Today, our O’Fallon vets share advice on how to help relieve your puppy's teething pain and survive 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 be naughty, they are trying to relieve the pain and discomfort they are feeling. 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 will my dog's teeth fall out?
Although breeds vary, puppies typically develop their first set of teeth between the ages of 5 and 6 weeks. Around 16 weeks of age, your puppy's baby teeth (deciduous teeth) will start to fall out and adult teeth will appear.
Are there any common dental problems in puppies that I should watch for?
Problems with puppies' first teeth are rare since they don't have them for long. However, some smaller breeds and brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds, have an increased risk of not losing some of their deciduous teeth. This most often occurs with the upper canine teeth, but it can happen to any of your puppy's teeth.
Retained deciduous teeth can cause tooth crowding, misalignment, bite issues, and general discomfort. They are also thought to increase your dog's chances of developing dental problems and gum disease in the future. Most veterinarians recommend that any remaining deciduous teeth be extracted while your pet is under general anesthesia for the spay or neuter procedure.
How long do puppies teethe?
So, how long does puppy teething last? By the time your pooch is about 6 - 7 months old, they should have all 42 of their adult teeth, and teething should be a thing of the past.
However, the 4 to 5 months of intense teething can be a real challenge for many pet parents. Puppies seeking pain relief will often chew on almost anything they can find, which, due to their small stature, can include 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 Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital.
What can I do to help relieve my puppy's teething pain?
Store Some Puppy Friendly Teething Toys in the Freezer
Puppies, like teething babies, often find that chewing on cold or frozen items relieves teething pain. While most pet stores carry a variety of teething toys, almost any dog toy can be frozen to provide relief for your pup. Dog-specific soft toys, Kongs, and rubber bones are all excellent choices.
Offer Your Pup Extra Durable Chew Toys
Puppies teething bones from brands like Nylabone are sized appropriately for small, medium, and large breeds and come 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
Many reputable dog food companies sell edible puppy teething treats and bones to help relieve your pet's mouth pain. Your veterinarian may recommend one specifically for your small dog, or you can visit your local pet store and select from a variety of flavors and sizes. Choose the right size for your pup to get the most benefit from the teething treat you choose.
Healthy Frozen Foods For Puppies to Chew
Many puppies enjoy tasty treats like frozen bagels, frozen carrots, or other nutritious vegetables. If you intend to feed your dog frozen food, consult with your veterinarian first to ensure that it is a good choice 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 puppy is nipping and biting at you, you should put a stop to it before it gets out of hand. When your little friend digs their teeth into you, one effective way to stop this behavior is to mimic the yelp of a distressed puppy. A loud, high-pitched 'OW' should startle your puppy and cause them to back off. When your puppy comes to a halt and backs off, be sure to reward them 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.
For more tips on caring for your young puppy, contact Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital. Our vets take pride in improving the health of O’Fallon pets.