What to Expect and Do When Your Puppy is Teething
Just like human babies…
- Puppies are born without teeth
- First they get a mouthful (28) of “puppy” teeth (often called “milk” teeth)
- this usually begins at about 2-3 weeks and ends at about 6-8 weeks
- Those teeth fall out
- Permanent teeth grow in (42)
- this begins at about 8 weeks, when the “puppy” teeth have grown in and are ready to be pushed out
- Teething can bring some pain and discomfort
- gums become irritated – red & swollen
How can you offer teething relief?
Once your puppy begins the teething process, you’ll notice that everything in his/her reach is fair game for “gumming”, chewing and gnawing…
First of all, let’s just say that chewing is what puppies do, it’s how they explore, learn and get relief from new teeth, so they are not being bad, they are being puppies. Getting angry is not the answer to their constant chewing. Rather, understanding what is at the root of their chewing, which is a natural characteristic, and recognizing that now is the time to teach them what they can or should chew on.
Understand your puppy needs to chew, and be prepared with plenty of “legal” things to chew on:
- Provide plenty of good chew toys for Fido to chew on as well as get relief from teething discomfort. Don’t offer them all at once to him, one or two at a time is best. Too many choices might confuse him into thinking that if it’s on the floor it’s ok.
- One kind of chew toy that is great is the kind that is designed to be frozen…it won’t be frozen solid, but will be cold to soothe his sore gums.
- A rope toy is a great teething device…it can not only be used for teething, but for playing fetch and for cleaning teeth and strengthening gums. They come in different sizes and can grow as your pup does. These are also great for throwing into the freezer to help soothe gums.
- Avoid giving him toys or items that resemble things you don’t want chewed on, such as old shoes or tennis balls. If you do you’re sending mixed signals that will confuse him.
One of the best things you can do to keep safe the things you don’t want chewed up, is to keep things cleared from off the floor. Another thing you can do when you need to leave your pup for a longer period of time is to confine him to a room that is “undecorated” just for him. A little prevention goes a long way.
Now is a great time to start getting your puppy used to the idea of you touching his mouth and teeth so you can safely remove foreign objects, check the condition of the teeth and perform regular teeth brushing.
It’s also a good time to begin what I call, Puppy Charm School, where your new little friend can start learning social skills….
I’m Gayle Ballinger and I am fiercely committed to guiding family pet owners everywhere to achieve a fun, trusting relationship with your pets so you can enjoy the type of unique relationship you originally dreamed of when you first considered adopting a companion animal.
My training techniques are based around one simple question:
What do you want and expect from your dog?
We believe that the most effective method of dog training revolves around teaching your dog what you want them to do, how to behave, how to act in their environment, and what appropriate behaviors are, under given circumstances and situations.