24 February 2021
Your puppy’s teeth may be cute, but they sure are sharp! Did you know those puppy teeth are actually sharper than adult teeth? These 28 temporary teeth that your puppy has will eventually fall out to make room for their adult teeth. This process is uncomfortable, resulting in what we call teething. Your puppy’s teething is unavoidable which is why it is important to make your puppy feel as comfortable as possible during this time to diminish any discomfort or destructive behaviour.
Depending on your puppy’s breed, they may start teething as early as 3 weeks old. By around 3-4 months old, their baby teeth will begin to fall out and be replaced by 42 adult teeth. By 6 months, all their baby teeth should have fallen out. Your puppy will often swallow their teeth or lose them without you ever seeing them, so no need to worry. However, if you realize that some of their teeth have not fallen out after 6 months, you may want to pay a visit to your veterinarian just to make sure all is ok. This means that pet parents should prepare for teething up until this age and try to make this uncomfortable period as pleasant as possible for their furbabies. Here are some tips on how you can soothe your puppy’s teething:
Your puppy will have sore gums and will look for something to chew on to soothe the pain. To avoid any damaged furniture or shoes, it is best to give your puppy some toys or bones to chew on. Make sure you supervise your puppy and ensure that the toys or bones are the right size as they can easily become choking hazards. It is great to have options so that your puppy can choose which toy he or she finds the most soothing while teething.
You may want to try a Nutrience Cabin Chews elk antler, which is splinter-free and great for teething puppies.
We’re not just referring to keeping calm during this uncomfortable time, we mean literally, keep your puppy’s mouth cool! Sometimes the best remedy for a teething puppy is a frozen towel or some ice cubes. Wet a clean washcloth, twist it or tie it and put it in the freezer. Your puppy will love chewing on this as it thaws and becomes crunchy. Not only will it be fun for your pup, but it also numbs their gums.
Another trick is to fill a Kong toy with some canned food and freeze it to prolong the chewing. Remember that if they are thinking about their food, they are not thinking about their uncomfortable gums!
Your puppy may have an urge to chew on absolutely everything to ease their discomfort. Make sure that you teach your puppy the difference between appropriate chewing toys and items that are not for them. The best way to do this is to positively reinforce them with praise or treats when they chew on their toys. If your puppy chews on something that is not theirs, simply tell them ‘no’ and replace the item with a chew toy. If you receive a nip from your pup, you will want to do the same and walk away. They will eventually get the hint that you will not give them attention if they nip you. Do not punish them, they are learning. Punishments do not correct behaviours and can lead them to be afraid of you. Don’t forget that this period is extremely important for their social development and they look to you to teach them the right ways to behave!
Teething time can quickly become a nightmare if you do not puppy-proof your home. Puppy proofing is not only about protecting your furniture and new shoes, its also about keeping your puppy safe. For the legs of your furniture, you may want to purchase a chewing deterrent spray, which you can find at your local pet store, to keep your pup from chewing on them. You will also want to supervise your pup around your furniture and hide anything that they can possibly get their teeth on. This means that all shoes and kid’s toys should be out of reach. Cords and cables should also be hidden or taped as this is also a safety hazard for them. If you are unable to supervise your puppy, it is highly recommended that you keep them in a puppy-proofed room, a cage, or a playpen until you can.
Once your puppy has stopped teething and their adult teeth have grown it, you will want to start thinking about proper dental care. Oral health is a critical part of your dog’s health and you will want to make sure to start them young to prevent any problems in the future. Did you know that nearly 80% of dogs have some form of periodontal disease by the time they reach the age of 3? Find out here how you can begin a good oral health routine for your puppy to keep them smiling!