Dealing with puppy teething can be one of the toughest aspects of being a new dog owner, but the process can be made easier if you know when your puppy will start teething and how to help.
What is puppy teething?
Like humans, teething is an important developmental stage for puppies. They get their baby teeth at around three weeks to six weeks old – before most of them go home with their owners. The real challenge comes when puppies start to lose their baby teeth and develop their adult teeth.
When do puppies get their adult teeth?
Most puppies get their adult teeth between three and six months. Usually most puppies will have all their adult teeth in place by six months but the teething period can be hard on all of you – and your furniture.
What effect does teething have on a puppy?
Just like a baby, in order to ease the pain associated with teething, your puppy may start to chew anything and everything, including your hands, furniture or even their own paws. Your puppy’s gums might be red and sore and it’s not unusual to see a small amount of blood.
What can I do to help my puppy at teething time?
There are a few things you can do to help the puppy teething process.
1. Keep your pet active and busy
Some chewing can be down to boredom so it’s important to make sure your puppy has plenty of mental and physical stimulation.
2. Divert attention with puppy-teething toys
Giving your puppy something to distract them will help the process. As well as keeping your puppy occupied with games and walks, offering a safe puppy teething toy, such as a Kong (a non-toxic rubber toy that you can fill with treats) will help to keep them mentally and physically occupied and away from your furniture. Make sure you have a good selection of toys so your puppy has plenty to choose from and doesn’t get bored and move on to something of yours. Keep the toys close at hand so you can offer them quickly.
3. Pop a carrot in the freezer
One way to help your puppy cope with teething, and ensure they have a nutritious snack, is to give them a frozen carrot to chew on. Munching on a frozen carrot will not only ease your puppy’s sore teeth and gums, but help improve your dog’s dental health. Likewise, a Kong can be filled with stock or broth and frozen for a nice, cheap homemade solution.
4. Reward good behaviour
Your puppy doesn’t know that chewing is wrong. So instead of punishing, reward your puppy with praise and treats when they chew on their own toys. If your puppy has a positive association with their own toys, they are more likely to turn to them.
5. Consult your vet
If you think your puppy is really suffering in a way that goes beyond ordinary puppy teething, then you could buy teething gel to help them but this should be done on the advice of your vet. Your vet will be able to advise on the best thing to help your puppy if you’ve tried everything else.
6. Establish good dental hygiene
When your puppy’s adult teeth start coming through, it’s a good time to start introducing them to a tooth-brushing routine. Getting your puppy used to you looking at, and touching, their mouth will help with the bonding process, as well as making it easier to deal with dental problems further down the line.
What are your top tips for helping your puppy through the teething process? Tell us on social media using the tag #PethoodStories.