Dog Days of Teething: Simple Support for Puppies

Jun 30, 2024

Puppies cutting teeth can be tough for new puppy parents and their furry friends. Maybe you had no idea there was so much chewing and that you’d find little puppy teeth all over the place. Welcome to the world of puppy teething! We’ve got help for you to understand what’s happening and simple support to make it easier on you both!

Understanding Teething in Puppies: Baby Teeth Vs. Adult Teeth

Puppies are born without teeth. Around three weeks old, their baby teeth, which are also called deciduous teeth, start coming in. By eight weeks, most puppies have all 28 baby teeth. These tiny teeth are sharp and help puppies explore and start eating solid food.

Teething begins when adult teeth start moving within the jaw, pushing against the roots of the baby teeth, causing them to loosen and fall out. Just like human children, puppies lose their baby teeth to make way for their adult teeth. You might even find some of these tiny teeth around the house.

The Teething Process: When Do Teething Puppies Start Losing Their Baby Teeth?

The teething process starts pretty early in your puppy’s life. Baby teeth usually begin to fall out around four to five months old. This process can last until the puppy is about six to seven months old, by which time all 42 adult teeth should have emerged.

How Long Does the Teething Process Last for a Teething Puppy?

Teething can last for several months. You may find little puppy teeth all over the place for their first few months with you. The discomfort and behavioral changes are most intense when four to seven months old. During this period, puppies will chew a lot as their new teeth push through the gums. Yes, this is when your favorite shoes and furniture might be at risk, so knowing how to help is important!

Recognizing Teething Symptoms In PuppiesPhoto: A Chocolate Lab nibbles on its humans knee.

The truth is, teething is easy to spot. Common symptoms include:

  • Chewing and gnawing: Puppies chew on various objects to relieve the discomfort of teething. They’ll chew on anything and everything.
  • Sore gums: Gums may appear red and swollen. This is because they’re bringing teeth in, losing them and cutting and scraping in between.
  • Drooling: Increased saliva production is common.
  • Irritability: Puppies may be more irritable due to the pain and discomfort. They have no idea why their mouth hurts, but it really does!

Why Is My Puppy Biting Me and Chewing on Everything?

Puppies chew on everything to relieve the pain and discomfort caused by teething. It’s normal for puppies to chew on furniture, shoes, and other items within reach. They aren’t trying to be naughty; they are just trying to find relief. Chewing helps soothe their gums, and they often don’t understand what is appropriate to chew on. That’s why lots of chew toys and natural options for them to help the pain are great.

Puppies also bite and nip as part of their natural behavior. It’s a way for them to explore the world, play, and interact with their environment and other dogs. When they are teething, the need to chew intensifies. Puppies may also bite and nip when they are feeling playful or excited. It’s important to direct this behavior into acceptable outlets. This will avoid destructive chewing and prevent bad habits.

How Can I Help My Puppy Feel Better During Teething?

There are several natural and holistic ways to soothe your puppy’s teething pain and prevent some poor behaviors. They include:

  • Offer teething toys and chews: Give them a variety of chew toys designed for teething puppies. These toys can help massage the gums and alleviate pain.
  • Massage your puppy’s gums: Gently massaging your puppy’s gums can provide relief.
  • Try frozen goodies: Frozen treats can numb sore gums. KONG or similar toys can be filled with a mix of puppy food and water. Then, they can be frozen. Or, you can use chilled snacks like green beans, blueberries, and carrots. These can be soothing and feel like a treat. Frozen yogurt bites (low/no-sugar) can also help relieve pain and help them bond with you.
  • Herbal remedies: Chamomile and lavender can be calming for puppies. These herbs can be used in teas or essential oils (diluted properly) to help soothe teething pain and reduce anxiety.
  • Aloe vera gel: Applying a small amount of pure aloe vera gel to the gums can provide soothing relief.
  • Homeopathic remedies: Homeopathic teething tablets made specifically for pets can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Coconut oil: Massaging a small amount of coconut oil on the gums can help soothe inflammation and provide relief.

How Can I Manage My Puppy’s Teething Behavior?

Offer Teething Chew Toys to Redirect Chewing

Chew toys are super essential for teething puppies. They help relieve discomfort and provide a healthy outlet for their need to chew. Choose chew toys that are appropriate for your puppy’s size and weight. Always supervise your puppy while they chew to make sure they don’t ingest anything that could cause a blockage.

Practice Soft-Mouth Training to Prevent Destructive Chewing

Teething puppies can be extra mouthy, no doubt about it. Training them to understand what isn’t a chew toy is the key to a happier you and a happier them. When your puppy gets mouthy, offer a toy or chew item. If they don’t calm down, separate yourself quietly. Use positive reinforcement training to teach desired behaviors and help your puppy learn what is acceptable to chew on.

Preventing Destructive Chewing and Protecting Your BelongingsPhoto: A Golden Retriever Puppy nibbles on a dog toy as its teething.

Puppy-proof your home by gating off rooms, hiding wires and cords, and keeping inappropriate objects out of reach. Supervision is key during the teething phase to ensure your puppy’s safety and protect your belongings. Make potentially toxic items inaccessible to your puppy. You’ll be surprised at how good they are at getting into everything. So, you’ll have to be diligent at keeping things out of their path.

Maintaining Good Oral Health In Puppies

Establishing a dental care routine during puppy teething helps your dog become comfortable with tooth brushing. Regular brushing will keep your dog’s adult teeth healthy. Watch for retained deciduous teeth, which can cause tooth crowding, misalignment, and bite issues.

Teething is a natural and sometimes challenging part of a puppy’s development. Knowing the stages, recognizing the symptoms, and using holistic management strategies can help you and your puppy get through this period successfully. Once puppies have brought in all their adult teeth (around 6 months or so), a holistic dental chew like Bernie’s Charming Chompers is a great way to support their oral health and give them something appropriate to chew on. It’s full of ingredients that are good for their puppy gut and their oral microbiome, and they’ll help keep those brand-new teeth nice and pearly white! The most important thing to remember when it comes to teething puppies is to hang in there–this phase of development may feel like it’s forever, but it’s not! With patience and some of the right tools, you can make your puppy’s teething phase as comfortable as possible, and it’ll be over before you know it!

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