If your pup is less than one year old and they’re starting to chew everything in sight, from the corner of the sofa to your new pair of shoes, they’re probably teething.
Like with hooman babies, our fur babies are born gumless wonders. Toothless little pups, they first grow baby teeth which are then replaced by adult ones.
And, although these pearly whites look great, the process of teething can be a painful and trying time for you and your pup. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to help a teething puppy, to best help you and your pooch during the teething period.
When Will My Puppy Start Teething?
Puppies go through two phases of teething. At 5-6 weeks of age, your pup will develop its first set of baby teeth. There are 28 of these “deciduous teeth” and like the leaves on a deciduous tree, these teeth will eventually fall out.
Puppy baby teeth can be really sharp, so it’s important to help a teething puppy by keeping their chewing occupied with something else other than your toes. There are plenty of suitable chew toys to choose from, that we will go through later on in this blog. Just don't forget to always use the thumb rule when choosing a toe-replacement - if if it doesn't dent/give when you press, it's probably too hard.
At around 16 weeks, your puppy will then go through the next phase of teething where their deciduous baby teeth will fall out to make way for their set of 42 adult pearly whites.
As soon as your pup starts to grow any of its teeth, it's important to start brushing. Check out our blog on Dog Teeth Cleaning for some tips on keeping your pup’s oral hygiene in tip-top shape. And don't forget to finish up with one of our Gnashers Dental Sticks for Puppies as both a beneficial and rewarding treat.
Do Puppies Lose Their Teeth?
Yes! 28 of their baby teeth with fall out to make way for their set of adult teeth. You may find these on the floor but most likely they are safely swallowed by your pup during mealtime. Hopefully it's not just us who've kept our floofs first tooth in a little keep-safe box for the mems...
You may see some mild blood spotting on their chew toys but don’t worry this is quite normal. In some instances, this can also be a sign that the chew toy is too hard, so if there's a lot of blood or it's prolonged, replace with something softer.
Do Puppies Need Braces?
Now, we’re only joking about the braces. But sometimes one or multiple of your pup’s baby teeth may fail to fall out, causing two teeth to grow in the same place when the adult one starts to come through. This is called a persistent tooth.
Persistent teeth cause overcrowding of your pooch’s mouth leading to food getting stuck between the teeth and plaque building up. This can result in gum disease and general discomfort, not to mention bad dog breath.
If you notice your dog has developed a persistent tooth it’s important to go get this assessed by your vet. Generally, persistent teeth will need to be removed to prevent your dog from getting dental problems.
What Are the Signs of a Teething Puppy?
- Chewing, chewing, chewing: increased chewing behaviour is the number one sign of a teething puppy. Puppies explore the world through their mouth, so it’s normal for puppies to chew more than adult dogs. However, when they’re teething, their chewing goes into overdrive as it helps to soothe their irritated gums.
- Gum inflammation: this is normal for your teething puppy and is just part of the process of getting rid of their baby teeth to make way for their pearly white smile of adult teeth.
- Blood spots: a small amount of bleeding is normal, often you won’t even notice it.
- Drooling: you might be mopping up more drool than normal when your puppy is teething. Even for dog breeds that drool the least like Dachshunds and Pomeranians, your pup will be slobbering more than normal.
- Missing teeth: the tooth fairy might take your pup's teeth or you may find them on the floor. Often your fur baby will simply swallow them whilst eating which is totally safe.
- Puppy irritability: your teething puppy may be more irritable or whine a bit more than normal due to discomfort related to teething. Be sure to give them lots of love during this time (if that's even possible!)
Our Top Tips on How To Help a Teething Puppy
Pick Up Some Puppy Chew Toys
Picking up a durable chew toy can really help a teething puppy, it will also keep them away from munching on your toes or favourite shoes. Try keeping the chew toys to one or two though, as if you get too many it can train your pup to think that they’re allowed to munch on any object at your home – not ideal for the leg of your grandma’s heirloom side table.
When choosing new toys you should also stick to the thumb rule. AKA if you can't temporarily dent the item with your fingernail, it's too hard to use as a chew toy.
A puppy chew toy like this Kong Puppy Chew Treat Toy can be filled with treats or healthy dry puppy food. It’s a great way to help a teething puppy by giving them something to chew on with the added bonus of stimulating their minds as they work out how to get the food out of the Kong. Rumour has it that's how Einstein developed such a high IQ...
Use Frozen Treats or Ice Cubes To Help A Teething Puppy
Freezing small pieces of banana or apple can be a great way to reward your teething puppy for good behaviour, as well as soothing their gums. Some puppies will even love chewing on plain ice cubes.
If your pooch isn’t a fan of fruit or plain ice cubes, try freezing some wet dog food like you see below – a great way to help a teething puppy’s gum pain.
Try a Healthy Dental Chew
If your pup is over 3 months old, a great way to help a teething puppy is to give them a healthy dental chew treat like our Gnashers Daily Dog Dental Sticks. They’re both a great way to help manage your teething puppy’s gum pain, as well as helping to rubbing off plaque to support healthy teeth and fresh breath.
Use This Time To Train Your Puppy
Taking time to train your pooch is a great way to help a teething puppy. By keeping their mind stimulated, it will distract them from the discomfort they’re in, it’s also a great way to spend some quality time with your pup. You can try some crate training, some lead training whilst out for a walk at the park, or some reward-based training using some healthy treats like these Chicken and Duck Softies.