How to Help a Puppy Who's Teething | Puppy Care
How to Help Teething Pups
Puppies between the ages of four and six months may want to chew everything in sight as their adult teeth come in. To relieve their pain, give them plenty of things to chew on and soothe them with an occasional treat. It is important that you puppy-proof your home as well. This will prevent them from chewing your furniture and potentially dangerous objects.
Letting Your Puppy Chew Safely
Provide your puppy with chew toys.Chew toys help satisfy the puppy’s urges. When new teeth are putting pressure on a puppy's gums, chewing is a natural reaction. If you don't provide a chew toy, your puppy will look for something else to chew, including furniture, shoes and other things you value.
- The best chew toys are made of sturdy materials. Toys made out of hard nylon, thick plastic, or durable rope are best.
- Good toys include KONG toys, chewing ropes, interactive puzzle toys, hard plastic bones, and teething sticks.
- Choose a toy that is appropriate for your dog’s size. A small breed may not be able to chew a large toy while a large breed may choke on a small toy.
Rub peanut butter on chew toys.If your puppy is hesitant to chew their toys instead of your furniture, you can put a little peanut butter on the toy. A small spoonful is enough. Do not put too much on the toy, or it may keep your dog from eating more nutritious food.
Give your puppy an ice-cold rag.Freeze a clean dishrag after dipping it in water and wringing it out. Twist the damp dishrag into a tight, rope-like shape and let it freeze that way. When your puppy starts chewing, offer the frozen rag to temporarily numb their gum pain. When the rag warms and softens, you can rinse it out and refreeze it.
Avoid thin plastic or rawhide.Toys made out of thin material or even edible products like rawhide are not recommended for puppies. You do not want to give the puppy items that they can chew to pieces. They may choke or cut themselves on the sharp edges.Some things you should avoid giving the puppy include:
- Rawhide bones
- Cooked bones
- Plastic balls
- Stuffed animals
- Toys stuffed with foam
Relieving Their Pain
Give your puppy an ice cube.Your puppy may enjoy sucking on a piece of ice. This will soothe their gums. Try holding out an ice cube to them; they may take it right out of your hand. You can also drop one or two ice cubes in your puppy's water bowl to cool down the water.
- If you have a toy breed, you may want to feed them a bowl of crushed ice instead of giving them a whole ice cube.
Massage their gums.Purchase a finger toothbrush from your vet or pet store, and place it over your finger. Gently slide your finger into the puppy’s mouth, and gently massage their gums in a circular motion with the textured side of the toothbrush. This will reduce their irritation and prevent more chewing.
- A finger toothbrush is a brush that fits over your finger so that you can brush your dog’s teeth.
Feed the puppy a treat.Certain foods can reduce the puppy’s pain while rewarding them for not chewing the furniture. Do not use treats when the puppy has misbehaved. Instead, let them have one when they have done something right.
- Frozen foods can provide relief and taste good. Place foods like bagels, strawberries, and bananas in the freezer before giving them to your dog.
- Bully sticks are a great natural treat for puppies as well. Your puppy will spend a long time chewing one.
Take your puppy to the vet.The vet can tell you if the puppy’s adult teeth are growing in correctly. If the puppy has any puppy teeth left after six months, the vet may remove them for you to ensure that their adult teeth are aligned properly.
- Some breeds, like terriers, are more susceptible to teething problems than others.
Puppy-Proofing the Home
Keep dangerous items out of reach.Certain items can cause harm to your puppy if chewed or swallowed. It is important to make sure that there are no objects within reach which can harm your puppy.Make sure you hide:
- Electrical wires
- Children’s toys and figurines
- Shoes, socks, and other items of clothing
- Plastic bags
Spray taste deterrent on your furniture.Taste deterrent is a spray that makes your furniture taste bad to your puppy. This will teach the puppy not to chew the furniture. You can find taste deterrent at your local pet store or vet.
- Taste deterrents often come in flavors like bitter apple or bitter cherry. Some might be spicy.
- When you first buy taste deterrent, spray a little on a tissue. Let your dog sniff and taste it. This will teach them to avoid chewing things with the same smell. You can then spray the deterrent on your furniture.
Supervise the puppy.Young puppies need constant supervision. To make sure that they are chewing on their toys and not furniture or dangerous items, always watch them while they are chewing or playing.
- If the puppy starts to chew on something they shouldn’t, interrupt them loudly. Give them their chew toy instead. Praise them if they start chewing the toy. If they keep chewing the furniture, physically remove them from the spot.
Walk away if they nip you.It is important that your puppy does not learn to nip you instead of their toys. While it is natural for the puppy to nip, you should discourage this behavior. When the puppy bites, make a loud yelping noise (like “ouch” or “no”). Take your hand away from them, and walk away for a second. Your puppy will begin to learn bite inhibition.
Contain the puppy.You should have a room or area in your home where you can put the puppy when you are not there. This should be a safe area where there is nothing that the puppy can chew or destroy. When you put the puppy in there, place a chew toy or two in with them so that they can chew on it while you’re not home.
- A laundry room or bathroom might be good for this purpose.
- You can buy a puppy pen online or in a pet store. You can set up the pen before you leave home and put the puppy inside.
- If you are crate training your puppy, you may leave them in the crate for short periods of time, although it is better to give them more room if you are gone for the day.
QuestionAt what age do they lose their teeth and stop chewing?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThey might never stop chewing, but they lose all the baby teeth at about 10 months to a year old.Thanks!
QuestionMy puppy bites my hands all the time. I've tried tapping it on the mouth to get it to stop. What do I do?Abigail EdwardsCommunity AnswerGive it chew toys; it may be teething.Thanks!
QuestionIf I'm bringing a puppy home in my car, should I put it in a crate in the backseat or wrap it up in a blanket in the passenger seat?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhile you may feel that keeping the puppy in the passenger seat will be reassuring for it, a blanket is not a safe option. It will not secure the puppy in one place, and it might get hurt while moving around in the car. It is much safer to put the pup in a crate in the backseat or even in the passenger seat if the crate can fit there.Thanks!
- If your puppy is bored of their chew toys, try switching them out with different ones. Keep a few toys in rotation, and switch them out every time they grow bored.
- Make sure that the puppy does not have access to any possessions that you do not want destroyed.
- Puppies learn important bite inhibition behavior from their littermates. For this reason, it is important to never remove a puppy from their litter before eight weeks of age.
- If your puppy still has baby teeth after six months, you may want to visit a vet as they may need to be removed.
- Never feed your dog treats that contain onion or garlic in them.
Video: Top Tips for Teething Puppies, How to Help Puppies Teething, Plus Competition!
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