Puppy teething can be a difficult phase for pup parents, since the pain caused by erupting teeth often causes puppies to chew on almost anything in an effort to relieve their discomfort. In this post, our Hattiesburg and Petal vets share a few tips on how to help your puppy through this difficult stage.
Why is my puppy biting me and chewing on everything?
Similar to human babies, puppies will bite and chew on objects while teething in an attempt to relieve the discomfort they feel in their mouths.
Puppy teething can feel like a very long process for both pups and pooch parents, especially as you constantly try to protect your furniture and belongings (as well as your fingers) from their growing teeth. That said, it's important to stay calm and keep in mind that they are just trying to make themselves feel better.
When do puppies start teething?
While your dog's teething phases will vary somewhat depending on their breed, the first set of puppies' teeth typically start to emerge around 5 to 6 weeks of age. At around 4 months of age, your pup will start to lose their needle-sharp baby teeth and their adult teeth will start to erupt.
Don't forget to book your puppy's first professional dental exam and cleaning, and note any concerns you'd like to bring to their veterinarian to their appointment.
How long do puppies teethe?
Now that you know what to expect as your puppy begins to teeth, one of your next questions is likely, "How long does puppy teething last?"
Your puppy should have their full set of adult teeth and teething should be a thing of the past by the time they reach 6 to 7 months of age. In the meantime, our Hattiesburg and Petal vets offer some puppy teething advice to help you and your pup navigate this trying stage.
Store some Puppy-Friendly Teething Toys in the Freezer
In another similarity to teething babies, puppies often find that chewing on cold or frozen objects helps to relieve teething pain. Most pet stores offer many teething-specific toys, but almost any dog toy can be frozen to help your pup get some relief. Other great options include rubber bones, kongs and dog-specific soft toys.
Offer Your Pup 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. This helps to encourage your puppy to chew on a tasty treat rather than your boring-smelling valuables—instilling healthy chewing habits and relieving pain at the same time.
Edible Teething Sticks 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.
Healthy Frozen Foods For Puppies to Chew
Along with chewing on frozen toys, many puppies enjoy frozen treats they can actually eat. Frozen carrots or apple slices are a good option. Be sure to always speak to your vet before introducing new "human" food to your pup.
My puppy keeps biting me, what should I do?
Nipping and biting are how puppies naturally play. When one puppy bites another too hard, the hurt pup will let out a high-pitched yelp.
If your puppy 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 from some quiet time. And, if you've tried the advice here with your teething puppy but could still use more help or have ongoing concerns, don't hesitate to contact our veterinarians.
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.