Tips for Handling Puppy Teething
Just like human babies, puppies are born without teeth. A puppy’s teeth start to come in at a few weeks of age, often right around the time the puppy is old enough to leave its mother and go home with its new forever family. Also like human children, puppies eventually lose their deciduous, or puppy, teeth that are replaced with permanent adult teeth. When bringing a new puppy into your home, it’s important to understand puppy teething and the behaviors associated with it. You should also have a plan in place to help your puppy through the teething process.
Ease Your Puppy’s Teething Pain
Teething can be painful on your puppy’s gums. To help ease the pain, provide lots of chew toys in a variety of textures. Toys that can be frozen or filled with cold water can help ease the ache in your puppy’s gums. Don’t use human teething toys; they aren’t as tough as puppy chew toys and won’t stand up to the rigor of a puppy’s chewing. You can also offer your puppy edible frozen teething treats to help ease teething pain.
Put a Stop to Nipping and Inappropriate Chewing
In addition to soothing teething pain, chew toys also help satisfy your puppy’s natural urge to chew. Young puppies also lightly nip as a form of play, which is reminiscent of behavior displayed among littermates and not meant as a form of aggression. If your puppy nips at you, gently but firmly let your puppy know the behavior is not acceptable by getting up and walking away. By doing so, the puppy learns it can’t get your attention by biting. The squirt bottle method can be useful to help deter this and other unacceptable behaviors – keep a squirt bottle filled with plain water handy and squirt your puppy whenever it nips or chews on furniture or clothing.
Keep Your Pup Confined
This doesn’t mean you should keep your puppy cooped up in a crate all day. But if there are areas – like a formal living room or a closet where you keep your shoes – where you don’t want your puppy to explore and possibly get into mischief by chewing, use baby gates to restrict access to those areas or be sure to keep the door closed.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure your family’s newest four-legged member will be safe and happy, and your home and furniture, as well as your patience, will remain intact.