Help! My Puppy is Teething! What Should I Do?
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Puppies are like babies. They also go through the process of teething which can be very painful and uncomfortable for them. Mouthing will be more evident, with them chewing just about anything to soothe their sprouting fangs. Their baby teeth will fall off and will be replaced by sharper and longer ones. And if you’re currently at the same phase, it’s imperative that you know what the best thing for teething puppy is. Here are two of those:
It’s important that you practice patience during the teething stage. Your pup will chew a lot not because he has a behavioral problem, but because he’s under a lot of oral distress. They will go after your shoes, carpet, bedding, and whatever is handy including your clothes. With that, you should be prepared with the gnawing and grumpiness.
Is my pup teething or I’m just tasty?
Puppies will usually chew on your toes and fingers when they are starting to teeth. These parts of your body are “chewy” for them and easily fit their tiny mouths. Their 28 little daggers will start to fall off and become irritable. This is the reason they would bite you, not because you are tasty or something.
One sign of teething among puppies is drooling. There would also be tiny spots of blood to the things they chew. This is completely normal as their teeth fall off, but excessive bleeding should send you and the dog to the vet. And even though there’s nothing wrong with your pooch, it’s best to seek the opinion of the vet during the teething stage.
Another telltale sign that your pup is starting to grow adult teeth is the constant chewing. Some dog owners dismiss the behavior as something that’s innate to their breed. This deprives the pooch proper treatment and the best teething toys for puppies during this crucial time.
It’s important that you monitor your little bud every day. Check if his toys are already torn to bits. Don’t let them ingest any part of it unless it’s safe to do so as indicated in the product.
The teething timeline
A lot of puppy owners second guess if their pets are already teething or just becoming playful. Take note that pups start teething way early than human babies. Their tiny fangs will start to grow when they are two weeks old which is probably a time when they are still at the breeder’s care. Since you’ll usually get a pup that’s about two to three months old, another teething phase is about to take place. Here, we will discuss the teething timeline in general so you’ll know what to expect:
First two weeks
Your pup won’t be born with teeth. The first two weeks of their lives are unstable and they will usually spend their time nursing and sleeping. No teeth will be seen yet, but it’s important to consult the vet to check your new pooch’s overall health.
At this point, the incisors of the puppy will start growing. The molars and premolars will grow between the span of 4 to six weeks.
5-8 weeks old
By the 5th or 6th week, the puppy teeth are all set. But this won’t last long since the adult daggers will start pushing it out of their mouths. And this is where all hell will break loose with the mouthing and chewing. Anyway, this is also the time when puppies can be weaned and introduced to soft and moist food. The best thing for teething puppy is chewy food that they won’t choke on.
3-4 months old
This is the same time when pups are sold to pet owners. Three to four months is also the period when their puppy teeth will start to shed to give way on adult teeth. Like how it feels for babies, teething is painful, uncomfortable, and unsettling. At this point, you have to carefully inspect their mouths and monitor their progress. You can also introduce brushing in a way that will soothe their revolting gums. Also, socialize them and put out some chewy toys (below, we reviewed some awesome options).
6 months and up
By this time, the pup should have shed all the puppy teeth and the adult daggers have spurted. In case there are pup teeth left, bring your pet to the vet to have it removed. From 28 little biters, your pup should have 42 permanent daggers by the time he turns 7 months old.
Don’t worry, this is just a phase. Your dog will get through it after six months and will have full adult teeth. Make sure to give them the best teething toys for puppies.
Soothing the pain of teething
Teething is an important phase of your puppy’s life. All you need to do is find ways to soothe their discomfort and make sure that their new diggers will grow properly.
Provide chew toys. You’re dealing with lots of chewing here and to spare your couch and carpet, might as well provide the pup with chew toys. However, don’t give out too many toys at once. One or two pieces are enough to train them to chew only on the allowed stuff. If possible, fill the dog toy with treats and biscuits to divert their attention from surfaces they aren’t supposed to be chewing.
Give ice cubes. Giving ice cubes to your pup has the same logic as when you go to the dentist and you’re encouraged to drink something cold. It will stop the bleeding gums plus the chewing will soothe the discomfort. This works on most pups, but if yours find it unappealing, freeze a piece of meat instead and let them chew it.
Cold chew toys. There are dog toys designed to be frozen before chewing. This will take the place of ice cubes and the best teething toys for puppies in one.
Herbal drinks. Lavender and chamomile are known to have soothing effects on both dog and humans. You can boil it and make some tea. Let it cool and then pour it into your doggos’ dry food. It’s excellent if the pooch will drink it voluntarily when served plainly on his dish. Another trick is to freeze the tea and give it out in cubes.
Vet visits. Even if your pup seems to do well on the teething phase, it’s best to pay the vet regular visits to monitor the teeth growth. Some teeth may grow impacted and a few baby teeth may fail to fall off in the proper time.
On this video, professional dog trainer Robert Haussmann gives additional tips to help a teething puppy:
Things to watch out for
As much as teething is normal and won’t last long, you should watch out for some things that may result in complications. Touch and handle your pup’s mouth while they are still young so they will get used to it. If there are some signs of swelling, bleeding, and difficulty in eating, consider it as red flags. You should consult your vet for the proper medication to ease the symptoms. Here are more aspects to keep an eye on:
Crooked teeth. Yes, dogs can have crooked too. But unlike humans, they can’t wear braces. It’s likely that the vet will suggest having it pulled out. Crooked teeth could be painful especially if the nerve is exposed. Although each breed has unique bites, crooked teeth may cause chewing problems. The best thing for teething puppy with this condition is the vet’s treatment.
Blood spots. Blood spots are common to teething dogs suffering from periodontal disease. The gums get infected and since the baby teeth are falling off, bacteria can penetrate the gums.
Two teeth in one spot. When two teeth occupy one spot, one tooth will become crooked which will be the cause of a number of problems.
Loose adult teeth. If your puppy has periodontal disease, watch for loose adult teeth. This may fall off, and since this is more likely to be the last set, you have to prevent it right away.
Cracked teeth. When a tooth is broken, it can expose the nerve and cause too much pain.
Taking good care of their new daggers
Your responsibility as a pet owner doesn’t stop once the adult teeth grow perfectly. You have to maintain it to ensure that it will last longer. It has to stay pearly white to prevent plaque from causing tooth decay.
Always have a dog toothbrush and toothpaste handy. This is the reason why you should get your dog used to having their mouths handled and checked. Never use human toothpaste. Your dog will get sick if he swallows it – which happens all the time.
It’s still advisable to schedule a visit to the vet so a professional can take a look on their daggers. The vet can also recommend an enzymatic toothpaste that works in removing plaque without the risk of pissing the pup’s stomach. It’s important that the vet checks if your dog has the proper bite for its breed. The vet will take corrective measures if some teeth are out of place.
Daily brushing is excellent, but if you can’t handle it, twice a week should keep the stink and plaque away.
Things to look for chew toys
Even if your pup is a constant chewer, they lack the force that adult canines have. Make sure to get toys that are soft enough to provide relief to their gums. Still, it shouldn’t shred right away. It has to be durable to last a few weeks or days, to say the least. Toys that break or shatter easily are no-nos. Your pup may swallow and choke on it which will cause more problems.
Also, check what your dog finds appealing. If some pups go mad on chewy balls, yours may not. It’s best to have a variety of toys, but don’t give the pup everything. Just rotate it so the pooch won’t get tired of a toy piece.
Lastly, the best thing for teething puppy should be a toy of proper size and good tasting!
Best teething toys for puppies
KONG Puppy Chew Toy
One of KONG’s popular designs, this puppy chew toy is excellent in encouraging pups to stop chewing on other stuff. It has a hollow center that you can fill with goodies. This toy is designed to help clean the pup’s teeth and to soothe their aching gums. It’s available in three sizes so you can choose one that suits your pup’s mouth.
KONG doesn’t need further justification why they are one of the leading dog toy brands. Their pup toys are specially made with a teething formula so your dog won’t just have fun, but also comfort in the process of gnarling on it. Just make sure that you get the right size. I have poor estimation skills which left my dog with a large one.
Anyway, this isn’t a flavored toy which is good since you can experiment on different stuffing from time to time.
Nylabone Puppy Chew Rings
If your dog loves rattling toys, the Nylabone Puppy Chew Rings are the best. It’s not just a chewable stuff, it’s also flavored and textured for the best soothing effect. Nylabone has many variations for this toy so make sure to get the Teething Puppy Chew. This one is designed for gentle chewing of pups and to ease their oral discomfort.
In case you have a fierce puppy that can tear teething toys apart, you can up the ante by choosing from moderate, strong or power chew. This best teething toys for puppies has a chicken flavor that your pup will find hard to stop munching.
But before getting the teething toy, make sure that you check the sizing. If you have a larger pup, get a bigger size. Some doggos choke on it because the size is too small for their bite. This toy is an excellent choice but I suggest that you monitor your pup while on it. I do the same with my doggo and we haven’t experienced any issues yet.
Knowing the best thing for teething puppy is the only way to soothe their suffering. This is a very uncomfortable phase for your pet and you should exhaust all means to ease their pain.
What started out as a way of documenting what I have learned about caring for my dogs has now turned into my passion and mission to share what I discover with as many people as possible. While each dog has their own personality, increasing your knowledge can help create both a happy dog and owner!