Help! My Puppy is Teething
Teething can feel like torture, not just for your puppy but also for you. It’s a long, drawn out process which will have you feeling sorry for your poor pup and his painful gums, as well as tearing your hair out over the fact that he is a chewing freak and you can’t have nice things anymore.
Like humans, dogs have a first set of baby teeth which fall out to make way for their adult teeth. Most dogs start losing their puppy teeth at around four months of age; they will often swallow them which is completely natural and harmless, but you can expect to find a few around the house now and again. By the time your puppy is 8 months old they should have a full set of adult teeth.
To alleviate gum pain and help the new teeth to erupt, your puppy will take those razor sharp teeth and chew on anything that feels good. If you don’t take control of the situation your puppy might find his favourite teething aid to be a chair leg, the corner of the rug, or your favourite pair of shoes. Needless to say, when it comes to the torture of teething, you need to be prepared. These are my top teething puppy tips.
Know the Signs
Keep an eye on your puppy’s body language. If there are signs of discomfort such as pawing at the muzzle, then they could well be teething. This is the time to grab some teething aids like the ones below, to help your dog get some relief from those teething aches and pains.
Hands down, ice cubes were the best thing to help Bruce with his teething. He adored crunching on an ice cube! Not only was the hard texture perfect for bringing teeth to the surface, the fact that they are freezing cold soothed his gums at the same time.
Carrots are a great healthy treat for your dog – Bruce still has them on a regular basis. They not only contain lots of dog friendly vitamins but they keep your dog’s teeth clean too. During teething, carrots soothe the gums brilliantly and they’re also fun to chew up which can prevent them from chewing things like furniture or footwear.
A good rope toy should be practically indestructible. They strengthen your dogs gums, clean their teeth and provide sweet relief from teething, as well as being fun to chuck around, fetch and play tug with.
You won’t be able to get through your dog’s teething phase with your sanity intact if you don’t exercise some basic obedience training. It’s time to train ‘leave it‘ and ‘drop it‘ because you can bet your life on the fact that your pup will be grabbing anything he can for some chew time. If your dog does start chewing something he shouldn’t then make sure every time you take something away from him you replace it with something that he is allowed to chew, like a rope toy or carrot. That way, your pup knows what he is and isn’t allowed to chew on, and you will also prevent him from becoming possessive over toys and food.
Not everyone agrees with crate training, but I am a huge supporter of the practice. If you need to go out then you need to make sure that your puppy is, above all else, safe. By training him to relax in a crate when he is home alone then you put him out of harms way so that he can’t chew through wires, hurt himself, or damage your home.
What are your tips for taking care of a teething puppy?