Teething Puppy Troubles
Veterinarian Reviewed on May 15, 2009 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Every dog owner can relate to the troubles that are caused by a teething puppy. They can chew through anything within a matter of minutes!
Puppies will have 28 baby teeth by the time they are 8 weeks of age with fourteen teeth on their upper jaw and another fourteen teeth on their lower jaw. These baby teeth are usually replaced over the next five months by 42 adult teeth, with 21 on each of the upper and lower jaws.
During this time, it will seem as if no matter how many soft chew toys, rawhide bones or nylabones you give to your puppy, nothing with prevent him from finding something to chew on that they shouldn’t chew on.
Teething puppies also have a tendency to relieve their sore gums by chewing on things that they shouldn’t, such as shoes, books, socks, upholstery and even carpets and rugs. Although it may be extremely annoying and frustrating to the puppy’s owner, such chewing is actually a form of massaging the puppy’s gums. This chewing not only reduces the pup’s discomfort but also helps loosen any weak baby teeth and breaks the skin on the puppy’s gums so that a new tooth can come through.
The best thing to do is to make sure that you provide a variety of toys for your puppy to chew on. You will want to give him things that have different textures and tastes. However, never give your puppy any old shoes or socks to chew on as a puppy cannot differentiate between old and new shoes or socks. You also do not want to set your pup up to become a chewer right through their adult life.
Whilst your puppy is going through his teething troubles, make sure that you teach him what items are ok for him to chew on and what is not! There are quite a few different toys that you can purchase for you’re your puppy that will help him during his teething stage. A great one is a Kong toy that can be stuffed with Peanut Butter for Puppies. These are made of very tough rubber and can be filled with small treats as well for your puppy to chew.
Another option is to give your puppy Bully Sticks, which are 100% natural and 100% digestible dog chews that are low in fat. Nylabones, which are made out of solid hard plastic and have little bumps on top of them, help soothe a pups teething gums and are another great option to give to your teething puppy.
Always reinforce which toy is good for your puppy to chew on. If your puppy does start to chew on something that is not acceptable, immediately take it away and replace it with one of his chew toys. Soon enough your puppy will know which toys are his and which are not his to chew on.
Be sure to remove anything that the puppy can chew off of the floor and out of their reach. Keep an eye on your puppy at all times as some pups who are suffering from a calcium deficiency will find you’re your walls to be a sufficient supplement!
If you are not able to watch your pup, you should consider crate training him instead, just be sure to place plenty of chewy items inside the crate so that he will not become bored and chew up the crate. Be sure that your pups crate is big enough for him to turn around in and make it to be a safe and relaxing place for your pup to be in. Crate training your puppy will not only prevent any destructive chewing from happening, but it also has the added benefit of potty training your puppy as well.
Another important thing to train your puppy during his teething period is to not mouth. Puppies that are teething will put their mouths around your hand and will light apply pressure with their gums. You will need to teach your puppy that this is not acceptable and may even lead to biting when the pup grows up.
If you are planning on showing your pup, you will need to monitor the growth of their teeth to ensure that they fall out and grow back in on time. If a pup’s baby teeth are not replaced in time they can cause deformities in the pup’s adult teeth. Your pup will then need to see a veterinarian who will have to extract the tooth so that the other teeth can grow in straight.
If you are concerned about your puppy’s teething or of his baby teeth, it is highly advisable to take your pup to visit the Veterinarian as they can usually give you expert dental advice specific to your puppy.
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan