Just like human babies, puppies are born with no teeth. Often referred to as ‘milk teeth’ or baby teeth, emerge around 4 weeks. Then fast forward to about 4-5 months, these teeth will then fall out to make room for their permanent set of adult chompers. This means that your puppy is going to experience teething.
This is the stage in puppyhood where they tend to chew everything and nip your feet… which can pose some discomfort for both parties.
What is puppy teething?
Most puppies are born without teeth. Puppy teething is when your dog's baby teeth start falling out and their permanent adult teeth begin to grow in. This is a natural stage in a dog's life and extremely important for their development. This is also the reason they become chew maniacs during teething – since the gums become sore and inflamed, chewing relieves the discomfort.
Signs your puppy is teething
Teething is not difficult to identify, and you will most definitely know when that time has come.
A few possible signs of teething in your pup can include:
- Excessive chewing or nipping
- Drooling and bad breath
- Running a low fever
- Small blood spots on your dog’s toys
- Red or swollen gums
- Missing teeth
- Changes in eating habits
- Crying or whining
If your dog’s teeth are crooked or broken, contact your veterinarian for advice and treatment. A professional may need to remove baby teeth that are stuck or otherwise prevent adult teeth from coming in. Note, a fever is also common, but ensure you are monitoring it, so it does not get too high. Also, if you smell a strong odor coming from the mouth, you will want to get that check right away. But when in doubt, get them booked in for a dental checkup should you have any concerns.
What can you do to help manage the puppy teething?
If your puppy is biting, sucking, chewing, or just being an absolute menace, he might feel pain from teething. Most techniques to soothe teething puppies rely on one simple action: chewing.
Here are a few puppy teething tips you can use to help curb bad chewing behaviors:
- Freeze a cold washcloth for them to chew or ice cubes
- Frozen bones
- Keep them busy as a distraction
- Avoid plush toys
- Stock up on teething toys such as a KONG toy and fill it will your puppy's food like the Go! Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey + Duck Puppy Recipe
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Any pet supply store will stock a variety of chew-toy options. From plush toys, rubber, plastic, chew sticks, rawhide bones, etc. It’s not necessary to have everything, but a few on hand should be fine. To cover your bases, get something hard, soft, and edible, like a chew stick or bone. Having different options can also keep your pup entertained by having new things to explore and chew.
It’s also a wonderful time to begin puppy-proofing your home, since your new pup is wanting to chew everything, which will likely include shoes, couches, and anything else they can chomp onto. Be sure to instill the word “no,” gate off specific areas in the home and put away anything out of reach that may entice them (aka good smells or loose objects such as power cables and cords). It’s also crucial to make potentially toxic items inaccessible.
It will take some time, but there are plenty of things you can do to help this transition. By following these tips, we hope this can help with your puppy teething and ensure your favorite shoes do not get turned into your puppy’s new favorite toy. Before long, the memories of your pup being a nipping, chewing little monster will be something you look back on fondly.