Just like human babies, puppies start with a set of baby teeth that eventually fall out to make room for the adult set. This means that they also experience the discomfort of teething. Here, our Nashville vets talk about when teething starts and some tips to help relieve the teething pain your puppy is feeling.
What can I do to stop my puppy from biting and chewing?
Puppy teething can easily become frustrating when it feels like you are constantly telling your pup to stop chewing on things. 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. Unfortunately, chewing on your new pair of shoes purely serves the purpose of pain relief.
When do puppies normally start teething?
Breeds vary somewhat but puppies typically get their first set of teeth at about 5 - 6 weeks. Once your puppy reaches 16 weeks of age their baby teeth will be making their exit and the new permanent adult teeth will begin to emerge.
How long do puppies typically teeth for?
By the time your puppy is 6 to 7 months old, they should have their full set of adult teeth and there will be no looking back on the time of teething.
That said, those 4 - 5 months of intense teething can be a real struggle for many pet parents. 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.
But what can you do to help your pup and save your things during this time? Here are a few suggestions from our veterinary team at Belle Forest Animal Hospital:
How can I help relieve the pain caused by teething?
Try Freezing Your Puppies Chew Toys
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.
Give Your Puppy Chew Toys That Are Durable
Specific puppy teething bones by brands such as Nylabone are sized appropriately for small, medium and large breeds. These toys can be flavored which may encourage your puppy to chew on the treat instead of your valuables. This is helpful for both encouraging healthy chewing habits and relieving pain at the same time.
Your Puppy May Enjoy Edible Chewing Sticks or Treats
There are a variety of bones and treats on the market that are created specifically to target the pain of puppy teething. 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. When choosing a chew treat for your pup, it is important to make sure that you choose one that is suitable for the size and age of your dog.
Frozen Foods May Be Healthy While Providing Relief
You may be able to offer your puppy frozen snacks such as carrots of bagels to help relieve the pain while giving them something tasty to gnaw on. If you are planning to offer your pup frozen food always speak to your vet first to ensure it's a good option for your pup. They may want to perform an examination of your pup first to ensure that they are one track and healthy before you give them any treats.
What can I do to stop my puppy from biting me?
Whether your puppy is teething or just learning how to play, they may begin to nip or bite. When playing with other puppies you may notice the occasional high-pitched yelp from one of the pups. This is to let the other puppy know that they are being too rough.
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 making sound doesn't work then it may be necessary to place your puppy in a quiet space and leave the area until they are more relaxed.
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.