There are few things about owning a puppy as frustrating as teething. When they’re young, they figure out the world using their mouths and the approximately 28 knives (aka teeth) that they have in there. This means that nothing is safe from chewing, not your toes, your clothes, your furniture, and even your remote controls. If you’ve got the puppy teething blues, you’ll want to keep reading.
When Teething Happens
Knowing exactly when and how the teething process takes place can help you provide the right support, care, and attention during this crucial stage of your puppy’s development. Let’s dive into the puppy teething timeline and explore the stages in detail.
The Beginning: Puppy Teeth Development
Puppies are born without teeth, but both baby and adult teeth are already developing within their jaws at birth. The first teeth to erupt are the incisors and canines, followed by the premolars. Chances are that you picked up your pup from the breeder or rescue with the puppy teeth already fully grown in and ready to chomp. By the time your puppy is 6-8 weeks old, they’ll have a full set of 28 baby teeth. These tiny, sharp teeth are perfect for exploring the world around them and learning about different textures.
The Transition: Navigating from Baby to Adult teeth
As puppies grow, their baby teeth gradually start falling out to make room for adult teeth. This process begins around 3.5-5 months of age. Adult teeth replace baby teeth in a specific order, starting with incisors, then canines, followed by premolars, and finally molars. By the time your puppy is around 6 months old, the teething process should be complete, and they’ll have a full set of 42 adult teeth. This is the perfect time to establish good oral care habits for maintaining your dog’s long-term dental health.
Recognizing Puppy Teething Stages and Symptoms
During the teething stage, you might observe increased chewing behavior in your puppy, which typically occurs between 3-7 months of age. Distinguishing between teething pain and curiosity can sometimes be tricky, as puppies will naturally want to explore and chew on objects. However, you might notice increased mouthiness or destructiveness, which could indicate that your puppy is experiencing teething pain.
Understanding Puppy Teething Symptoms: Key Signs to Watch For
When your adorable furball is going through the teething stage, being aware of common symptoms can help you identify when they need extra care and attention. Let’s explore some key signs that indicate your puppy is teething:
It’s natural for a teething puppy to drool more than usual because their gums might be sore or swollen. While drooling is a typical symptom, if the drooling becomes excessive, it’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian to rule out other possible issues.
One of the most telltale signs of a teething puppy is increased chewing behavior. Puppies tend to chew more frequently during this stage in an attempt to alleviate their discomfort. Offering appropriate chew toys and monitoring your puppy’s chewing habits can help minimize potential damage to household items and ensure their safety.
Pawing at the Mouth:
If you notice your puppy pawing or rubbing their mouth, it could indicate that they’re experiencing pain or discomfort from teething. In this case, providing teething toys or applying a numbing gel, with your veterinarian’s guidance, may help soothe their pain.
Blood Spots on Chewed Items:
As your puppy’s baby teeth fall out and adult teeth come in, you may discover blood spots on the items they chew. While minor bleeding is a normal part of the teething process, keep an eye on the affected items to ensure the blood spots are minimal and not excessive, which could indicate a more serious concern that may need veterinary advice.
Be mindful that these are normal when puppies are teething, but if there is more drool, chewing, or blood than usual it could be a sign of a deeper underlying issue. Teething can also make puppies sick, causing a decrease in appetite, upset stomach, or unusual stools. However, these symptoms shouldn’t be long-lived; if your puppy is displaying these symptoms for a prolonged period of time, act accordingly. You should consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns.
How to Help Your Teething Puppy
If your fur baby is chewing on things that he shouldn’t be, give him a distraction. You can initiate a play session to get his mind on something else, or hand him one of his own toys. KONG toys make a great puppy teething toy because of their durability. Pro tip: Put the KONG in the freezer to help alleviate some of your puppy’s teething pain
Your skin is also an in-demand chew toy for your teething puppy. This means toes, fingers, faces, and any other bit of exposed skin is fair game. While playing with other dogs, their way of saying “back off!” is through a yelp. When your puppy bites or nips at you, let out a loud “ow!” to let him know that he’s bitten too hard. When he retreats, reward him to show that he did the right thing. At this point, you can also give him a chew toy as a replacement.
If your pup is in pain, he’ll tell you by acting out, drooling, and nipping. You can opt to give him some puppy teething gel. This will numb his gums to take away the soreness he’s feeling. If he won’t let you put it right on his gums, you can always put a little in his Kong or on another favorite teething toy.
Seeking Assistance from Puppy Professionals:
If your puppy’s aggressive biting continues to be a concern, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a veterinarian or professional dog trainer. They can help identify any underlying issues that could be contributing to the behavior and provide tailored recommendations on how to address them effectively. A personalized training plan can make a significant difference in managing your teething puppy’s forceful biting habits.
Maintaining Adult Teeth Health: Ensuring a Lifetime of Good Dental Hygiene
Once your dog makes it through the teething stage, it’s essential to focus on maintaining their oral health for the long haul. Strong, healthy teeth not only contribute to their overall well-being but also prevent issues that may arise due to dental complications.
Establishing a Healthy Dental Care Routine as a Puppy
As your pupper transitions from their teething phase into adulthood, it’s crucial to focus on maintaining their oral health. Implement a dental care routine that includes:
Using a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste: Brush your dog’s teeth regularly (ideally daily) with pet-approved products to prevent plaque buildup and maintain their overall dental hygiene.
Regular dental check-ups: Schedule regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian to keep an eye on your dog’s teeth and gums, ensuring early detection and treatment of any potential issues.
Providing Chew Toys and Edibles for Adult Dogs:
Chewing continues to be essential for adult dogs as it promotes strong teeth and gums while keeping them engaged and mentally stimulated. Available options include:
Chew toys: Opt for durable chew toys designed for adult dogs, ensuring they can withstand a more powerful bite.
Dental chews and edibles: Dental chews or specially formulated edibles can help clean your dog’s teeth while providing them with an enjoyable and beneficial experience. Always monitor your dog during chewing sessions to prevent possible choking hazards or ingestion of indigestible parts.
Dog Teething is Just the Beginning of your Doggy Expenses!
Teething issues are just the beginning of potential medical expenses for your furry friend. Securing dog health insurance as a puppy means getting coverage before pre-existing conditions develop, maximizing protection.
Embrace Pet Insurance offers customizable plans tailored for your pet’s unique needs, with a focus on wellness and swift reimbursement. Our knowledgeable team supports pet parents in navigating pet healthcare complexities, ensuring peace of mind and financial security.
Investing in pet insurance early allows you to enjoy a lifetime of love and care without worrying about the financial burden of health complications. Provide your furry family member with the protection they deserve.
Embracing a Smooth Teething Journey
Teething is a natural, albeit sometimes challenging, phase in a puppy’s life. With proper attention and care, this period can pass relatively quickly. Training your puppy during the teething stage can serve as a welcome distraction, helping them develop good behaviors and habits. For more advice and information on pet care, be sure to explore Embrace’s collection of behavior and training articles, and give your fur baby the support they need to thrive.