Your puppy is teething, the same way that human babies and children grow new teeth during their development. Like a human, your pup first grows a set of baby teeth (also called primary or deciduous, meaning they fall out). These teeth are pointed and sharp, which is why they are sometimes referred to as needle teeth.
Notwithstanding these facts, consider that millions of dogs have been chewing millions of objects for years, most without incident. So while the risk does appear to be low, as with most activities, it cannot be eliminated. Watch your puppy when he begins chewing, and talk to your veterinarian about which chew toys are the safest for your puppy. It is important to supervise your puppy even when he is chewing on recommended toys as no toy is 100% safe.
Getting your puppy used to having something in his or her mouth other than food or a chew toy is a good idea. You also want to be able to retrieve objects from your dog's mouth or look in there without risk of injury to your hand. In addition, because dental problems are among the most common (and costly) problems seen in dogs, getting your dog to tolerate brushing at an early age will get you started on a path that will help prevent many of these problems.
Also, certain foods, treats, and other products are available to help reduce plaque. Look for products that have a seal of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council. A list is available here. For more help with your teething puppy, check out our puppy teething pack which includes toys, treats, and more!
Newborn puppies are born toothless. That's because, like other mammals, a puppy's only source of nourishment for their first weeks of life comes from their mother's milk. And you don't really need (or want!) teeth for that. But once teeth start to come in, a teething puppy can quickly become an enthusiastic chewer.
By the time puppies are around two weeks old, their first set of teeth begins to emerge. Called milk, needle, or deciduous teeth (in humans we call them "baby" teeth) this first set of teeth starts with incisors. Then canines come in, and finally, premolars fill out the complete set of puppy teeth.
During this process of trading puppy teeth for the adult version, puppies experience teething, just like human babies. "Puppies explore the world through their mouths," says Zazie Todd, PhD and author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy. "So you must puppy-proof everything," she says.
Because a dog has two sets of teeth that come and go within a relatively short period of time, your puppy will seem like he's teething constantly. So be sure to provide plenty of soft and flexible, puppy-appropriate items for your little guy to chew on. Todd recommends chew toys as a way to channel a puppy's need to chew (as opposed to having her gnawing the legs of your kitchen chair). Giving a puppy a toy to replace destructive chewing is a positive way to change her behavior. "The most important thing to know [about teething] is that your puppy needs chew toys," Todd says.
Your puppy's teething may leave you wondering will my puppy ever stop chewing everything? According to VCA Hospitals, the excessive chewing behavior of teething seems to subside when dogs reach 18 months of age. However, your dog may continue chewing to some degree for the rest of his or her life.
When a puppy is teething, her mouth hurts, and it hurts even more when she goes to eat. Because of this, another symptom that your puppy is teething is that she may start eating slower, even if she has been a voracious eater up until this point.
Some puppies who have a lot of pain while teething may stop eating altogether. Although they usually will eventually eat something, you may need to speak with your veterinarian for some suggestions. Your vet can let you know what soft foods are safe for your puppy to eat at this stage in her life as well as any other supplements or ingredients you should consider to help her through her teething process.
Remember that puppies go through the teething process twice in their lives, as opposed to human babies who only do it once. Newborn puppies have no teeth and start getting them at around 2 weeks of age. At around 8 weeks of age, puppies lose their baby teeth and grow their adult teeth, which is usually the stage that causes the most problems for puppy owners.
Specific puppy teething bones by brands such as Nylabone are sized appropriately for small, medium, and large breeds and come flavored to help encourage your puppy away from boring smelling valuables and over to a tasty chewy treat - encouraging both healthy chewing habits and relieving pain at the same time.
Many reputable dog food brands offer edible puppy teething treats and bones to help relieve your fur baby's mouth pain. Your vet may recommend one specifically for your little dog or you can pop by your local pet store and choose from a range of flavors and sizes. Be sure to choose the right size for your pup so they will gain the most benefit from the teething treat you choose.
If your young pup is nipping and biting at you it's important to put a stop to this behavior before it gets out of hand. One effective approach for stopping this behavior is to mimic the yelp of a hurt puppy when your little friend digs their teeth into you. A loud little 'OW' in a high-pitched voice should startle your puppy and cause them to back off. When your puppy stops and backs off be sure to offer a reward for their good behavior.
Specific teething bones by brands like Nylabone are appropriately sized for small, medium and large dogs. They also come in flavors that will encourage your puppy away from boring-smelling items and over to a chew treat that tastes excellent. This encourages both healthy chewing habits and relieving pain at the same time.
If your young dog is nipping or biting at you, it's critical that you put a stop to their behavior as soon as possible before you let it get out of hand. One approach that may often be effective is trying to mimic the sound of a hurt puppy when your young companion bites you. This may startle the puppy and cause them to back off. When they do, make sure you reward their response with a treat.
By the time your puppy reaches 6-7 months of age they should have their full set of adult teeth and teething should be a thing of the past. In the meantime, our Tracy vets offer some puppy teething advice to help you and your pup get through this rough stage:
Many reputable dog food brands offer edible puppy teething treats and bones to help relieve your fur baby's mouth pain. Your vet may recommend one specifically for your little dog or you can pop by your local pet store and choose from a range of flavors and sizes. Be sure to choose the right size for your pup so they will gain the most benefit from the teething treat.
If your puppy is nipping and biting at you it's important to put a stop to this behavior before it gets out of hand. One effective approach for stopping this behavior is to mimic the yelp of a hurt puppy when your little friend digs their teeth into you. A loud little 'ow' in a high-pitched voice should startle your puppy and cause them to back off. When your puppy stops and backs off be sure to offer a reward for their good behavior.
Use these early weeks to introduce your puppy to new experiences. At this age, puppies are particularly inquisitive and interested in new things. You can also start with some basic dog training, such as teaching your dog to sit and stay.
Beyond just nipping at you or other people, puppy mouths can get them in a lot of trouble. Puppies live as if nothing is off-limits and want to put everything in their mouths. Besides working on nipping behavior as outlined below, make sure you start off with puppy-proofing your home to help keep them out of danger.
The type of toy or chew your dog finds fun to chase and bite on might change throughout the day, so have a variety of options nearby. Stock a few toys in each room that are easy to grab and offer one to your puppy before they start targeting your hands, feet, or clothing. If your puppy likes to nip at you while you're trying to relax, using a flirt pole is a great way to play with them from a distance, and you can do flirt pole play even while you're sitting!
In this video, watch puppy Milo show how certain toys have different values depending on what else is going on around him. He absolutely loves to nip and bite at the flowing pink pants, and a stuffed zebra doesn't capture his attention. However, when his owner switches to a long rope toy and makes it move, he's much more interested! Sometimes redirection takes multiple tries before a puppy switches their focus.
A perfect time to practice polite greetings and interactions with your puppy is right before they usually start to nip. Keep small amounts of puppy kibble or training treats stored all throughout your home, so you're always ready to reward them for the behavior you like.
Puppy nipping can be especially painful for young children or elderly people. The best option is to prevent nipping from even starting in these situations by having the puppy in their playpen or on a leash under your control while around kids or senior citizens.
If your puppy does not stop nipping when you try to interrupt, it's time for some settle-down time in their puppy zone. Calmly remove your pup from the situation, picking them up (bitey end facing away from your face) and placing them in their pen. Give them an appropriate chew to work on, or check to see if it's time to eat. Many puppies get increasingly mouthy when they are hungry or tired. 2b1af7f3a8