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Puppy Teething: Symptoms & How to Help

Teething can be a trying time for puppy owners. Pain caused by teething often leads our four-legged babies to chew on things they shouldn't - including favorite shoes or accessible toes. Today, our Fairfield, NJ vets share advice on how to help relieve your puppy's teething pain and survive these difficult stages of life.

When does a puppy start teething?

If your puppy is chewing on everything they can wrap their jaws around, puppy teething can seem like a very long process. But try to stay calm and remember that your dog isn't trying to be mischievous; they're just trying to relieve the pain and discomfort they're experiencing. It just so happens that chewing on the leg of your new sofa might be just the thing to help your dog's mouth feel better.

When will my dog's teeth fall out?

Although breeds differ, puppies typically get their first set of teeth around the age of 5 to 6 weeks. Your puppy's baby teeth (deciduous teeth) will start to fall out around 16 weeks of age, and their adult teeth will appear.

Are there any common dental problems in puppies that I should watch for?

Problems with puppies' first teeth are rare since they don't have them for long. However, some smaller breeds and brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds, have an increased risk of not losing some of their deciduous teeth. This most often occurs with the upper canine teeth, but it can happen to any of your puppy's teeth.

Retained deciduous teeth can result in tooth crowding, misalignment, bite issues, and general discomfort. They're also thought to raise your dog's risk of dental problems and gum disease in the future. Retained deciduous teeth should be extracted while your pet is under general anesthesia for their spay or neuter procedure, according to most veterinarians.

How long does puppy teething last? When does a puppy stop teething?

By the time your pooch is about 6 to 7 months old, they should have all 42 of their adult teeth, and teething should be a thing of the past. 

However, for many pet parents, those 4 to 5 months of intense teething can be a real challenge. Because of their small stature, puppies will chew on almost anything they can find to relieve their pain, which can include furniture legs, expensive footwear, or even your feet or fingers.

So what can you do to help relieve your furry friend's discomfort and protect your valuable belongings? Here are a few suggestions from our veterinary team at All Creatures Great and Small Animal Hospital.

What can I give to help relieve my puppy's teething pain?

Store Some Puppy Friendly Teething Toys in the Freezer

Puppy teething pain is often relieved by chewing cold or frozen items, similar to teething babies. While most pet stores sell teething toys, almost any dog toy can be frozen to provide relief for your pup. Kongs, rubber bones, and soft toys designed specifically for dogs are all excellent choices.

Offer Your Pup Extra Durable Chew Toys

Nylabone puppy teething bones are sized appropriately for small, medium, and large breeds and come flavored to help encourage your puppy away from boring smelling valuables and toward a tasty chewy treat, encouraging both healthy chewing habits and pain relief at the same time.

Edible Teething Sticks for Puppies

To help relieve your puppy's mouth pain, many reputable dog food brands offer edible puppy teething treats and bones. Your veterinarian may have a recommendation, or you can go to your local pet store and choose from a variety of flavors and sizes. Make sure you get the right size for your dog so they can get the most out of their teething treat.

Healthy Frozen Foods For Puppies to Chew

Frozen bagels, frozen carrots, and other healthy vegetables are popular treats for puppies. If you're thinking about giving your dog frozen food, consult your veterinarian first to make sure it's a good fit.

My puppy keeps biting me, what should I do?

Nipping and biting are naturally how puppies play. When one puppy bites another too hard the hurt pup will let out a high-pitched yelp. 

If your young puppy is nipping and biting at you, it's critical to intervene before things get out of hand. When your little friend digs their teeth into you, one effective way to stop this behavior is to imitate the yelp of an injured puppy. A loud, high-pitched 'OW' should startle your puppy and cause them to flee. When your puppy comes to a complete stop and backs off, give them a treat.

If this approach leads your puppy to nip at you more aggressively, quietly stop playing with your puppy and walk away or gently put your pup in their crate for some quiet time.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

For more tips on caring for your young puppy contact All Creatures Great and Small Animal Hospital. Our vets take pride in improving the health of Fairfield, NJ pets.

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All Creatures Great and Small Animal Hospital is now seeing new patients! Our Fairfield, NJ vets are trained to provide care for a wide range of companion animals including cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, rodents, and more. Contact our veterinary clinic today to schedule your pet's first appointment.

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