Do chew marks on furniture or destroyed slippers sound familiar? What could be considered as naughty puppy behaviour may actually be less sinister than originally thought and in fact a part of the puppy teething stage! Puppy teething sounds much like toddler teething in humans and actually, it is quite similar. It is a tender time for your puppy as it is losing its ‘baby’ puppy teeth and growing ‘adult’ dog teeth all within the short time frame of 3-4 months. During this period your puppy’s primary aim is to ease the pain, so not only will there be excess chewing but also bleeding gums, whining, apathy and potential aggressive moments! We have some great tips about easing your puppy through this milestone as well as some great oral health information!
What to do?:
This stage in a puppy’s life can sometimes be challenging for puppy and owner. On-off pain due to losing and growing teeth can cause what looks like puppy mood swings and behavioural issues. You may feel helpless, concerned or have run out of options. Don’t worry, we have some helpful tips to soothe puppy’s pain, save your furniture and keep everyone happy:
- Use tough but safe puppy chew toys to help relieve your puppy’s mouth pain and stress and hopefully save your belongings. If your puppy decides that socks etc. are more interesting, reinforce the use of their own toys and make it into a fun game so they associate the toy with fun. There are also many puppy toys on the market that can be filled with treats or a smidge of peanut butter, which is another fun way to keep puppy distracted and entertained.
- Freezing puppy safe foods and even toys is a cooling chew treat. Foods to freeze can include sliced apples, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon (rind-and seedless), carrots, pumpkin and sweet potato, as well as ice blocks. These cool treats help to reduce sore and inflamed gums.
- Playtime and obedience training not only is great for your puppy’s development but also a good distraction. When your puppy is active and mentally stimulated it has less time to remember its teething pain and also less likely to return to negative chewing habits.
- From a young age, get your puppy used to you touching in and around its mouth. This will help a lot in the future especially with brushing, oral examinations and vet visits.
- Puppy and dogs can’t clean their own teeth, and chew toys and bones can only do so much. That’s why it is a good idea to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and to start when they are young. Brushing helps to reduce plaque build-up and keep breath fresh. This will reduce the need for regular vet visits and potential mouth diseases.
- Begin with just a finger brush and then when you are both confident move to a soft toothbrush with puppy toothpaste (human toothpaste can cause an upset tummy).
If you’re worried about your puppy and see that it is in a lot of pain or not acting its usual self, talk to a Veterinarian. They may prescribe puppy pain medication or provide other helpful advice!
Also if your puppy’s behaviour requires extra attention it could be a good idea to get help from a dog behavioralist such as Ian the Dog Trainer. Even puppies going through their teething stage need set boundaries and discipline to prevent negative behaviour turning into long-term habits.
Is your puppy going through Puppy Teething or are you passed those days? What cool tips and tricks did you use to keep your puppy happy and healthy? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you!