How can I cope with my puppy's teething?

During the teething phase, your adorable four-legged friend is likely feeling some pain - and perhaps chewing on things they shouldn't. In this post, our Flat Rock vets offer a few tips on how to relieve your puppy's pain and navigate this challenging stage.

Why is my puppy biting me and chewing on everything?

If your furry best friend is chewing on everything they can get their mouths on, you are likely in the thick of the puppy teething phase. That said, it's important to keep your cool and remember that your pup isn't trying to be naughty, but that their erupting teeth are causing pain and discomfort.

Growing pups will often try to relieve this discomfort by chewing on anything that looks like it will help their mouth feel better, from books and shoes to the leg of that new chair you just put in your living room.

When do puppies start teething?

While the answer to this question will vary somewhat depending on breed, most puppies get their first set of teeth at about 5 to 6 weeks of age. At around 16 weeks, you'll start to notice your pup's adult teeth are replacing their needle-sharp baby teeth. 

How long do puppies teethe?

By the time your pup reaches 6 to 7 months old, they should have all 42 of their adult teeth and they should have passed the teething phase. 

However, both of you will endure 4 to 5 months of intense teething. Many pet parents struggle with this phase as they find their pups will chew on almost anything within their reach - from their humans' fingers or feet to your favorite pair of shoes or furniture. 

Most pet parents will wonder what they can do to relieve their furry companion's discomfort, while protecting valuable belongings. Here are a few tips from our veterinary team at Western Carolina Animal Hospital. 

What can I do to help us both get through puppy teething?

Invest in Extra Durable Chew Toys 

Specific puppy teething bones by brands such as 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.

Keep 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.

Provide Edible Teething Sticks Made for Puppies

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.

Give Puppies Healthy Frozen Foods 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. 

Have Any Injuries or Issues Checked by a Vet

It's important to keep up on dental care for your growing furry friend by bringing them in at least once a year for a dental exam and cleaning. This will keep their teeth healthy. We can also examine their mouth and ensure there are no injuries or issues that need restorative dental care. 

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 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.

Do you have questions about your puppy's developing teeth? Contact Western Carolina Animal Hospital. Our vets can examine your pup's mouth to ensure their teeth are healthy and that everything is developing normally. Book an appointment today.

Black and brown puppy chewing on red toy

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