Teething Puppies – Pet tip 191
Just like with human babies, little puppies have 2 sets of teeth. When their first set of teeth start to come in between 3 and 6 weeks of age, they will begin teething which is uncomfortable for puppies. In order to relieve the discomfort they will often chew on anything that is available which soothes their teething pain. Usually we don’t encounter puppies at this age because they should still be with their mother and litter-mates at this time. They are too young to be adopted and need to be with their litter-mates to learn proper socialization skills.
Normally people get their puppies when they are between 8-12 weeks of age. At this time the puppy usually has all of its baby teeth but they will begin to fall out at around 4 months of age. As the baby teeth fall out and are being replaced by permanent teeth, teething discomfort begins again and you are likely to see an increase in your puppy’s tendency to chew everything. Your puppy won’t care what it is chewing so it’s up to you to guide your puppy to chew the right things during teething time. If you don’t, your puppy could easily try to soothe its teething pain with something dangerous like an electrical wire.
It’s important to remember, that at this crucial time in a puppy’s life, it is learning all kinds of things that will transform its future behaviour. If your puppy tries to teethe on something that you find inappropriate like shoes or socks, it’s up to you to substitute those items for objects that the puppy will still be allowed to chew on when it becomes a dog. Dogs also love to chew. It’s part of their normal behaviour and should not be discouraged as long as the dog is chewing on safe and appropriate objects.
Cold is known to soothe the discomfort of teething, so freezing things and then allowing your puppy to chew on them is a great idea. Good puppy toys like breed appropriate Kongs and Nylabones can easily be placed in the freezer and then given to your puppy as a soothing chew toy. You can get very creative with this though and the only limit is your imagination paired with common sense. Many dogs will like the soothing feel of chewing on ice-cubes but they will LOVE to chew on ice cubes made from beef or chicken broth. Frozen carrots are also an excellent food for puppies to chew on when teething. You can even freeze a small plastic bottle of water and give it to your puppy to chew on. Just make sure you take it away as it starts to melt so your puppy won’t chew through the plastic.
Teething is a part of life for all puppies and the previous suggestions are meant to soothe your puppy. If these suggestions prove ineffective for your particular puppy, please seek veterinary advice. Your vet may also be able to prescribe medication that can help your pup with its teething pain.