When your puppy is teething, it can be a difficult time for you and your pup. Here, our Santa Barbara vets share some information to help relieve your puppy's discomfort and help get them through the teething process.
Puppy teething can seem like a never-ending battle when your puppy chews on absolutely everything they can find. It is important to recognize that they are not doing it to be bad, they are simply trying to ease discomfort and pain while their adult teeth are growing in. It just so happens that chewing on your possessions may be the perfect thing for making your pup's mouth feel better.
When Puppies Begin to Teethe
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.
By the time your pooch is about 6 - 7 months old, they should have all 42 of their adult teeth, and teething should not last any longer than that.
That said, those 4 - 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, 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 San Roque Pet Hospital.
Helping Your Puppy Through the Process
Store Teething Toys in the Freezer
Much like teething babies, puppies often find that chewing cold or frozen items helps to soothe 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. They can also be flavored to help encourage your puppy away from your valuables and over to a tasty chewy treat. This will 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 puppy'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. Make sure you chose one that is appropriately sized for your puppy so they have the most beneficial experience.
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 frozen food always speak to your vet first to ensure it's a good option for your pup.
Preventing Your Puppy From Biting
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 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 for some quiet time.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet to accurately diagnose your pet's condition.