Just like human babies, teething can also be painful and frustrating for puppies. Luckily there are a number of ways you can help make them more comfortable. Our Citrus Heights vets talk about teething in puppies, how long it lasts and some tips for relieving puppy teething pain.
Help! My Puppy is 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 does teething start for puppies?
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.
How long should I expect my puppy to be teething?
Your puppy should have all 42 adult teeth by the time they are 6 to 7 months old. Once this happens you, and your puppy, will have some relief.
This teething process typically lasts 4 to 5 months on average which can seem like a very long time. 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 Family Friends Veterinary Hospital.
Is there anything I can do to help relieve my puppy's pain from teething?
Frozen Puppy Toys
Much like teething babies, puppies often find that chewing cold or frozen items help to relieve teething pain. Most pet stores have a wide variety of teething toys specific for freezing but nearly any toy you have for your pet can be placed in the freezer, just be sure to read all packaging carefully for warnings. Kongs, rubber bones, and dog-specific soft toys are all great options.
Tough 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.
Edible Teething Sticks
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.
Healthy Frozen Foods
Many puppies enjoy tasty treats such as frozen bagels, frozen carrots or other healthy veggies. You should contact your vet for a consultation if you are considering this option for pain relief.
What can I do if my puppy keeps biting me?
When your puppy is learning how to play they will likely bite or nip occasionally. While this is normal behavior it is important to let your puppy know when it's too much. When puppies play with each other you will commonly hear a yelp when they become too rough.
A common method of signaling to your pup that they are causing pain is to make a sound familiar to how your puppy would if they were in pain. 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, stop playing immediately, quietly and gently stand up and walk away while leaving your puppy to play on their own.
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.