Without a doubt, one of the most challenging periods of time a new dog owner will face is the puppy teething phase. No matter how much you love your puppy or how well behaved he might be you should expect to deal with an almost insatiable amount of chewing as their adult teeth begin to form.
Luckily, this stage doesn’t last forever but you will need to know what to be aware of with that mouth of theirs, how to handle it and how long it might last so that you can keep your cool and remember that your puppy really can’t help it.
How Can I Tell If My Puppy Is Teething?
Every puppy is a little different but there are a few things that you can look out for to determine if your puppy is showing signs of teething. Some of these things teething symptoms include:
- More chewing than normal. From the first day that you get your puppy it’s likely that he will already be chewing but when the teething process begins his chewing behavior will likely move to an entirely new level. Rather than the occasional distracted chewing incident your pooch will likely begin to gnaw on puppy toys with fierce intensity. It’s not uncommon for a puppy in this mode to chew on something until it is completely destroyed.
- A change in personality. Keep in mind that the teething process is painful and irritating. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for a puppy that is teething to get in a bad mood occasionally. However, if the grumpiness begins to turn into focused aggression in the form of biting or nipping you might want to consider puppy obedience training to correct the behavior.
- Occasional bleeding. While this can be alarming if you don’t expect it, you are likely to see your puppy bleeding at the gum line and certain teeth may become dislodged.
As your puppy’s adult teeth begin emerging, many of these symptoms will improve or subside altogether. In the meantime, however, you’ll just have to manage them as best you can.
How Old Is a Puppy When They Start Teething?
A puppy’s first set of baby teeth are often referred to as “milk teeth” and will usually begin to fall out when a puppy reaches the age of four to six months.
Typically, the lower incisors will fall out first and these are followed by the upper incisors and finally the premolars. As they fall out they are replaced by new canines and then quickly by adult molars in the final phase.
At this stage your puppy’s permanent teeth should have all come in properly. A complete set of usually consists of 42 adult dog teeth.
What Can I Give to a Teething Puppy?
Unfortunately, there is no simple remedy to ease the pain and irritation that your puppy will experience while it is teething. However, listed below are a few home remedies for puppy teething pain. While this list is not extensive it will hopefully provide your friend some puppy teething relief.
- Give your puppy things that they can chew. You need to provide your puppy with as many acceptable items as you can so that they aren’t tempted to chew on whatever is accessible to them.
If you don’t give them chew toys, teething rings or something similar you can almost bet that they are going to be devouring your favorite pair of sneakers before you know it. By the same token, you’ll want to limit your puppy’s access to things of value or hazardous items. Remember that your puppy is still learning and therefore you need to do his thinking for him.
- Offer your puppy ice cubes as treats. This can work on occasion to help soothe your puppy’s irritated gums. The easiest way to do this is to slip some of it into his food bowl. For smaller dogs it’s a good idea to use crushed ice since it will be easier for them to get through.
- As an alternative to ice cubes, try freezing a small clean rag. All you need to do is rinse out and twist dry a rag into a form resembling a rope. After you’ve done that, just throw it in the freezer. After its frozen, remove it and give it to your puppy when they are beginning to chew. Similar to the ice cube strategy it will help your puppy by cooling down his irritated gums.
- And finally, plenty of TLC! Remember that your puppy is experiencing considerable pain while teething so it’s a good idea to gently massage his gums occasionally to help soothe the discomfort.
How Do You Know When a Puppy Is Done Teething?
The length of time that a puppy will be teething varies from dog to dog. However, the teething process can last for many weeks so the key is to be educated and prepared well ahead of time so that you and your puppy survive the process and keep your loving relationship intact.
Although the puppy teething process can be a painful one for both your dog and you remember that it is only temporary and the more that you can do as an educated and patient pet owner the easier the entire process will be.