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The Dabl Survival Guide For Puppy Teething
Although teething can make you and your puppy a bit crazy, these tips, tricks, toys, and treats can make the teething process much easier!
There are few things more adorable than a new puppy! From their curious puppy dog eyes as they explore their new world to ginormous paws they haven’t grown into yet, we can hardly stand the overwhelming cuteness! It’s safe to say that bringing home a new puppy is an extremely exciting time for new pet parents!
But within a few days of bringing home your new pet, you might be starting to wonder if you adopted a sweet puppy or a termite in disguise. Every time you look at him, your puppy is trying to chew on your furniture, the floor, or even you! And those mini piranha teeth can do a surprisingly large amount of damage!
Welcome to the puppy teething stage. Just like with newborn babies, teething can be a painful process for your puppy. Your puppy’s gums will be sore and achy, but chewing can help relieve the pain. As the pet owner, it’s your responsibility to redirect your puppy’s unwanted chewing to safe toys and treats to help provide him with some comfort while he’s teething. Our Dabl puppy teething survival guide will answer commonly asked questions about puppy teething and give you the tools to make sure you and your puppy make it to the other side of teething in one piece!
How long does teething last?
Puppies have 28 deciduous teeth, or baby teeth, that all come in and fall out within the first months of their lives. But well before your dog’s first birthday, he should have all 42 of his permanent adult teeth. Understanding the teething timeline may help you be better prepared to cope with it.
Generally, teething begins at 3-4 weeks when the first of your puppy’s milk teeth, or baby teeth, start to pop through his gums. Between 4 and 6 weeks, your puppy’s baby canines and premolars will appear, signaling the end of the nursing phase and allowing your puppy to start eating solid foods. By 8 weeks, your puppy will have all his baby teeth.
The teething process will briefly pause until your puppy’s baby teeth start to fall out between 12 and 16 weeks. That said, your puppy may still want to chew when he plays or as a source of comfort. Puppies also like to explore the world with their mouths, so you will still need to keep an eye on your pup’s chewing even if he’s not actively teething.
When your puppy is 4-5 months old, his baby teeth will begin falling out and his permanent teeth will start coming in, starting with his adult incisors. By the time your puppy is 6 months old, all of his baby teeth should have fallen out. The rest of your puppy’s adult teeth should come in by the time he reaches 8 months. So when it feels like your puppy will never stop teething, just remember the entire process will be over in a matter of months!
Don’t teach your puppy that biting is okay.
When your puppy was with his littermates, he and his siblings learned to play by nipping at each other. Since the puppies are just learning, they don’t always realize how hard they are chomping on each other or that they can’t bite everything, even if they’re gentle. Let us be clear that puppy biting is rarely out of malice. Usually, the puppy is just trying to play or trying to soothe his gums during teething.
In the dog world, if a puppy bites too hard, the older dog will yelp to tell the puppy that it hurts. The puppy understands the correction and won’t bite so hard next time. Therefore, if your puppy tries to nip you or someone else in your household, you should yelp or yell “ow” to teach your puppy not to bite you, nip you, or nibble on you.
Even if you find your puppy nibbling or chewing on you to be cute and painless, these early formative months are important for teaching your puppy good behavior and manners to take into adulthood. When he grows up, it won’t be so cute if you have an overly mouthy dog. Therefore, it’s important to teach your puppy good habits from the get-go. Whenever your puppy tries to nip, nibble, or chew on you, tell your puppy “ow” or “no” and redirect him to a toy or treat that he can bite or chew.
Freeze away the pain of teething.
It’s no secret that teething is a painful process. Your puppy’s gums likely feel sore and tender. That said, cold things will feel good on your puppy’s gums and can help numb the pain, at least for a little while. Many people will soak an old washcloth or T-shirt and then freeze it in the freezer, before giving it to their puppy to play with. You can also soak and freeze dog toys, such as rope toys or any rubber or hollow toys that can hold water. Alternatively, consider purchasing dog toys that are specifically made to be frozen and used for puppy teething.
Keep your puppy busy.
It’s often said that a tired dog is a happy dog. But if you have ever owned a puppy, then you know a busy puppy is a happy puppy. If your puppy is busy playing with toys and treats that are meant for dogs like him, he can’t be chewing on your furniture, eating your child’s favorite toy, or wreaking havoc elsewhere in your home. Additionally, he will be distracted from the pain and discomfort of teething by doing something fun. There are many brands in the pet industry that make toys specifically for puppies, so you will have a wide variety of teething toys and treats to choose from for your fur baby! For now, check out some of our favorite puppy teething toys!
As a disclaimer, always supervise your puppy while he is playing with toys and treats. Even though the pet toys are made for dogs, no toy is safe for every single dog. Make sure to check toys periodically to ensure they aren’t falling apart or breaking into small pieces that could become choking hazards. We always recommend asking your veterinarian for suggestions for the best teething toys for your puppy.
Get your puppy used to good dental hygiene.
At some point between the ages of two and four months, you should begin introducing your puppy to teeth brushing to begin a lifetime of good dental hygiene. Although dental problems are among the most common and costly health problems dogs face, you can avoid most of them by getting your puppy used to teeth brushing at a young age. Start by purchasing a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste and slowly getting your puppy used to it. Initially, just let your puppy smell the toothbrush. Then, slowly let your puppy get used to having the toothbrush in his mouth and the brushing sensation. In addition to teeth brushing, you’ll also be teaching your puppy to be comfortable with allowing you to have your hand or fingers in his mouth. It’s important that you are able to look in your dog’s mouth or put your fingers inside, such as to remove a choking hazard or toxic piece of food, without your dog trying to bite your hand.
As a disclaimer, only use dog-friendly toothbrushes and pet toothpaste. Human toothpaste may be toxic to pets.
Remember that it won’t last forever.
When your puppy’s teething is at its worst, take a deep breath and try to remember that it won’t last forever. When you get to the other end of the teething tunnel, you’ll have a wonderful, loving companion by your side and a lifetIme of love and happiness waiting for you. You just have to get through approximately 4-6 months of teething pains and chewing. Even then, your puppy won’t be an absolute terror that entire time. You CAN do this!
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