How to Help My Teething PuppySarah O'Dwyer
Raising a puppy is an exciting and joyous experience, but can come with its share of challenges, such as the dreaded puppy ‘teething’ stage.
Like human babies, puppies develop an urge to chew anything and everything once they grow new teeth. Puppies’ teeth tend to be pointed and sharp, which is why they are sometimes referred to as ‘needle teeth.’
To prevent your furniture getting destroyed or little mouths nipping at your toes, it’s essential you find alternative ways to satisfy their chewing impulses. Although this behaviour can be irritating, it is totally normal for teething puppies and something you can stop from happening with some training.
Why is My Puppy Chewing On Everything?
Puppies can develop baby teeth as early as two weeks old. As they grow older, they begin to explore the world with their mouths, as it is their main way of touching and grabbing everything.
Once your puppy is about 12-16 weeks old, you may start to find small crumb-sized teeth around your home as your puppy’s baby teeth start to fall out and permanent adult teeth begin to appear. This can be a painful process for your puppy, and his gums may be sore. He will be looking to relieve this pain through chewing anything within his reach. This can be particularly prominent in breeds known to be “mouthy,” like retrievers.
Ways to Help Puppy Teething
To save your furniture, socks, or anything you don’t want your puppy chewing on, it is best to help your puppy with his chewing urges in any way you can, such as:
- Puppy proofing your home. Remove any potential choking hazards and keep anything you don’t want your pup to chew on out of reach- this will also help break the habit of your puppy chewing on things he’s not supposed to eat!
- Provide puppy teething chews and toys that have been specially developed for puppy’s young mouth and gums and to provide relief to sore gums, such as Kong toys or M-Pets toys.
Make sure his toys are easily accessible and in a place where you can easily reach them so you can quickly offer an alternative when the puppy feels the urge to chew.
- Chill your puppy’s favourite chew toy or edible chew – the cold will have a numbing effect on puppy’s sore gums and offer some pain relief.
- If you puppy is nipping or biting you, react with a high pitched yelp to imitate the sound that your puppy would make if he was hurt. This will help him to understand that it’s not OK to bite. Then you can give him a treat or praise for ending the biting. If you find your puppy is getting worked up when you yelp, just quietly turn around and walk away or put him in his crate for a few minutes to help him calm down (never use a crate for punishment).
- Start looking after puppy’s adult teeth by introducing a dental care routine and brushing your puppy’s teeth regularly.
Keeping Your Puppy’s Teeth Healthy
Once your pup has developed all his adult teeth, it is important to keep them healthy and white to prevent issues such as gingivitis (an inflammation of the gums) and periodontal disease which can lead to heart, liver and kidney issues, as well as tooth loss.
Thankfully, there are many ways to guarantee your doggie’s teeth are kept healthy.
Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly with a toothbrush and dog friendly toothpaste is the most efficient method of keeping their mouth clean and removing any leftover food between the teeth. For a step-by-step guide on brushing your dog’s teeth, check out our blog post.
You should bear in mind that adult dogs still love to chew long after their puppy days are over. So continue to give your dog chew toys and chew treats that will please this natural instinct and can help keep his teeth clean and healthy too.