Puppy Teething – How to help your puppy through
Your puppy’s cuteness can fade when they begin to chew on furniture, slippers, and anything else they can manage to get into their mouths. If the reason for this excessive chewing is teething, the simple activity of chewing provides comfort for your puppy as they experience the pain associated with the development of new teeth. By the time a puppy is 12 weeks old, all of their baby teeth will have formed. Shortly after this, the teeth will fall out to make way for the adult teeth. The new teeth can cause your puppy to experience swelling, irritation, and redness around the gums. Your puppy needs something to chew on to aid in this process. The important thing is let the puppy know what is appropriate for chewing.
A good habit to get into is to direct your puppy’s chewing towards chew toys. Don’t choose the hardest toy or largest Kong, but be size and age specific for your puppy. The chew toy is meant to take the place of furniture legs and other valuable items in the home. It is best to stick with just one or two toys. Trying to direct the puppy’s attention in the direction of too many different toys can be confusing for the puppy and they may not associate the multitude of toy objects as any different than other objects in the home. You must also present the toys to the puppy as something acceptable to chew. If you notice that the puppy is beginning to chew on another item in the house, then redirect the behavior towards the chew toy.
In the wild, dogs work for their food, so you can use this concept to enhance the attractiveness of the toy. Increasing the puppy’s interest in the toy can be done with food. Many of the newer softer chew toys allow pet owners to place kibble or dog treats inside to provide an attractive scent to your pet. Placing peanut butter on the toy once or twice a day can also be very effective. Appropriate toys are available from Murrayhill Veterinary Hospital, the only Beaverton Vet to be a Spot Magazine Top Dog award winner.
Never provide ice cubes to your pet as these can fracture teeth. But because cold is a great way to help numb the gums, we recommend wetting a rag which you then place in the freezer key to provide a wonderful soothing chew toy that will assist in the numbing process. The doctors at Murrayhill Veterinary Hospital, a first rate Beaverton Vet recommend gently massaging the upper and lower gums for a few minutes several times a day to provide relief in cases where teething is especially difficult. This will also get your puppy accustomed to you handling their teeth and gums early, which is essential for brushing their teeth, which will be recommended after the adult teeth come in.
If you have questions about your puppy’s teething, or suspect excessive chewing is not due to teething, please don’t hesitate to call us at 503-536-2390 and schedule an appointment to see one of our Beaverton Veterinarians.