Puppy teething can be a stressful time for you and your pup. Your canine friend will try to relieve the pain by chewing on anything he can find including your furniture, toys and you.
Once your puppy has its canine baby teeth it will really start hurting when he is trying to chew on your hands, arms, legs, feet and anything he can reach.
Is My Puppy Teething?
You can generally tell if your puppy is teething by checking the timeline and seeing where your pup fits in but you can also do a hands-on exam to check as well as watch your dog’s behavior.
If your pup’s gums are red and a little swollen you can be pretty certain that he had entered the teething phase. You can be completely certain when you can already see new teeth poking through his gums.
Sometimes your puppy can also start bleeding after losing a tooth (we all went through that too) but it should be nothing to worry about. You could find some blood on his bed, chew toys and fur.
Your new pup could also be chewing more slowly than normal because of his inflamed gums which can be painful when pressure is applied. Soaking your puppy’s food pellets into some water before feeding it to him can relieve some of his pain.
Depending on the breed of your dog as well as how fast they develop the timeline can be slightly different for your puppy.
- Starting at 2-4 weeks the baby teeth start setting in: first the incisors (front teeth) then premolars (teeth in the very back) and lastly the canines (sharp teeth in between them)
- At 5-8 weeks all baby teeth are expected to have emerged
- By 12-16 weeks the adult teeth start coming in
- Depending on the breed of your puppy the teething period will be completed somewhere between 6-8 months of age. Larger breeds tend to go through teething a little faster than the smaller breeds do.
Why Do Dogs Get Two Sets Of Teeth?
Dogs just like humans get two sets of teeth for the same reason.
When we are growing our jaws aren’t big enough to fit large adult teeth so we get baby teeth first. We have large gaps in between the baby teeth and they act as a guideline for the larger adult teeth to align properly.
What To Give A Teething Puppy?
Here are a few of my go-to tips when it comes to relieving your pups pain when teething:
- Supply him with plenty of chew toys
- Get him distracted with anything and everything
- Try giving him something to chill his gums on
Chew toys are your best friend during your pups teething stage and they are meant to chew on so they’ll last for some time. If your puppy is more interested in chewing on you try getting him focussed on a chew toy instead and they’ll learn what’s appropriate to chew on and what isn’t.
Distraction is the best thing you can do. My pup is generally very sweet (and not biting or chewing on me) whenever I have some of his food pellets in my hand and he is distracted.
You could also go outside for a small walk with him or just play in your yard. These can be great ways to exhaust his energy and get him sleepy in no time.
Puppies love exploring new things. You can always try giving your pup new things to play with like a frozen carrot.
Carrots are healthy (if your pup decides to eat it) but also cools his gums and can offer some relief. If your puppy (like mine) decides to play with the carrot instead you’ll have something cute to look at.
If you don’t have any frozen carrots on hand you could also try giving your pup ice cubes to play with but then you’ll most likely end up with water puddles all around.
What To Watch Out For?
Be sure to check your puppy’s teeth every so often. The adult teeth usually emerge behind the baby teeth and eventually push the baby teeth out.
Not always do the adult teeth align behind the baby teeth but sometimes they can come in at the side. This prevents adult teeth from pushing out the baby teeth.
The baby teeth remain in your pup’s gums, can start to decay and even affect the healthy teeth surrounding it. If you notice that this is happening to your puppy a vet needs to remove the baby tooth.
Another thing to watch out for is a misalignment of the jaw.
When one of the upper teeth is hindering the corresponding bottom teeth (or vice versa) from aligning properly, the jaw of your pup can become off-center.
If you notice it early your vet can pull out the baby tooth that is misaligning the jaw and it should go back to normal. You can tell if your pup has a misaligned jaw by watching him eat. He’ll have trouble eating with a misaligned jaw.
Things To Avoid
During the teething phase, your puppy will not be feeling too great. His concentration will be lacking and he’ll be distracted easily meaning that training your puppy isn’t a good idea.
You can still try training him general house rules but don’t try getting his attention for an extended time period.
Training him with puppy food pellets will be painful for him to eat too so you could try soaking them in water to make it easier to chew.
- Your puppy will try to chew on everything
- Frozen carrots or ice cubes can offer some relief to his gums
- Get your pup distracted with chewing toys
- Watch for the right alignment of the adult teeth and pups jaw
- Don’t try to teach your puppy tricks during this time