Just as with human babies, puppies are born without any teeth. They begin to get their first teeth, which are known as milk teeth, at about three weeks old. By the time they are six to eight weeks, puppies typically have a full set of baby teeth. At around six or seven months, they will begin losing their baby teeth and getting adult teeth.
Your puppy will usually have all of its adult teeth around one year of age. These periods of time when your puppy is gaining and losing teeth are known as teething, and puppy teething can be an extremely difficult time, indeed. It is at these times that it will seem like your little charge wants to chew and bite everything in sight.
Signs of Puppy Teething
While your puppy is teething, it will most likely experience some discomfort. You can help your furry baby by freezing some of its toys. In this way, when your puppy chews on the toys, the coldness will numb the gums and relieve its pain. You can also help relieve your pup’s discomfort by gently massaging its gums.
Teething puppies are likely to chew on most anything. What this means is that you will need to keep everything that is dangerous or valuable out of reach. This can include, but is not limited to, shoes, clothing, electrical cords and children’s toys. Instead, be sure to provide your puppy with plenty of its own chew toys and bones.
Dog crates can be beneficial for teething puppies. If you cannot watch your pup at night or when you need to leave the house, you may want to consider putting it in a crate. This will keep your pet safe in a place where it cannot destroy your furniture, shoes or other belongings. However, be sure to leave a few toys in the crate and never leave your puppy in a crate for more than three – six hours.
Mouthing Behavior in Puppies
When your puppy chews on something it should not have, firmly tell it no and replace the item with an acceptable bone or chew toy. Additionally, whenever you find your pup chewing on an acceptable item, be sure to praise it. Puppy tooth loss often encourages what is known as mouthing behavior as well.
During mouthing behavior, your puppy may chew on your hand or arm, or even bite. It goes without saying that this type of behavior needs to be stopped immediately. When your puppy displays mouthing behavior, firmly say no and give it a toy or bone. After some time, the pup will learn that this behavior is unacceptable.
Puppy teething is a stage that all puppies must go through. Unfortunately, during this stage, your puppy may not know how to differentiate between what is okay to chew on and what is not. Nevertheless, if you follow this valuable advice, you can easily get through this frustrating time.