15 Apr Puppy teething: your survival guide
Just like humans, puppies go through teething, particularly as they are losing their baby teeth to make way for their adult teeth.
Managing this stage of their development is important, especially if you don’t want to end up with bite marks in all your furniture!
Puppy teething timeline
Week 2 – 4
Your puppy’s baby teeth are just starting to come in. They will still be nursing but their eyes will have opened.
Weeks 5 – 6:
You puppy should now have all their baby teeth – about 28 in total – and they’re razor sharp! They should still be with their mother and breeder at this point, who will be in the process of weaning the puppies onto moist puppy food.
Week 12 – 16
By now, your puppy should be ready to come home with you and you’ll have experienced their sharp little bites. During these weeks, your puppy will be losing their baby teeth, which are being replaced with a full set of 48 adult teeth.
You might notice their baby teeth falling out around the house – look out for small crumb-like fragments or blood spots on their chew toys. This is nothing to worry about and a very normal process.
Your puppy might be in some discomfort during this process, just like a child would be as their teeth come through.
Helping your puppy whilst teething
There are a number of ways you can ease your puppy’s discomfort whilst they are going through teething. We’ve compiled our favourite tips below:
- Lots of chew toys. Making sure your puppy has access to plenty of robust chew toys is a must if you want to save your furniture. Make sure they are safe and non-toxic. We love this KONG Puppy Teething Stick™ that you can stuff with pastes like peanut butter.
- Pop their toys in the freezer. If you’ve ever had a wisdom tooth come through, you’ll know there’s nothing quite as good as a simple ice cube to soothe the pain. The same goes for dogs. Try popping their chew toys in the freezer so they have something cold to bite. Just steer clear of using this on hot day as it can bring their core temperature up causing them to overheat.
- Use puppy teething gel. Puppy teething gel is a dog-safe gel that soothes their gums and eases the pain of teething. It’s only really necessary if your puppy is really suffering and should be used in accordance with your vet’s advice.
- Prevent them chewing your furniture. If your puppy is taking a liking to chewing your furniture, be sure to direct them away from it by replacing that tasty table leg with a fun toy. If they carry on, try spraying diluted apple cider vinegar on the furniture legs – the bitter flavour should discourage them (always spot test on a hidden area first!)
Maintain good dental hygiene
Whilst your dog is young it’s important to establish a good dental hygiene routine. You need to get them used to having their teeth checked and brushed early on.
- Dab a small amount of doggy toothpaste (never human toothpaste) on your finger and let your puppy see and smell it.
- Using your finger, rub the toothpaste on their canines (the largest teeth at the front of their mouth).
- Once they are happy, move back towards the molars (the teeth at the back of their mouth), still using your finger to rub the paste in.
- Introduce them to the toothbrush you will be using – both dog specific ones and baby toothbrushes are fine.
- Dab a little of the doggy toothpaste on the brush and let your puppy see and smell it.
- Starting with the canines, gently brush each tooth, taking it slowly whilst your dog gets used to the sensation.
- Move backwards to the molars as your dog becomes more comfortable with the toothpaste.
- Repeat daily, if possible, or at least weekly.
Dental sticks and toys are a good supplement to your puppy’s dental hygiene routine, but don’t replace the need for regular tooth brushing – so best to get your puppy used to it early on!
As your puppy grows and starts exploring the world around them, you’ll want to make sure they are fit and healthy. Track their activity and weight with a PitPat dog activity monitor, and join PitPat Life to points and prizes for hitting their activity goals!
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