Puppy Teething Tips

When a puppy is teething, it’s easy to think it’s just displaying temporary bad behavior when it nips and chews on things – like your fingers for instance. Behaviors like this are simply signs that your puppy is teething. Luckily, by using a few simple techniques you’ll be able to manage the offending behavior.

Puppies stay in the teething stage until they are about six or seven months old, and during that period of time you’ll need to learn how to manage your puppy’s behavior and teach it what is appropriate and acceptable behavior. Unfortunately, if you don’t control the puppy’s unwanted behavior properly, it may imprint that behavior on its brain as being the thing to do, and when it is a fully grown adult you’ll still be dealing with the same bad behavior.

Signs your Puppy Is Teething
* Excessive drooling – this is usually a messy behavior; a drooling puppy will leave wet spots on its bed or any area where it lies down to rest for long periods. Puppies generally have grown their baby teeth by the time they are eight weeks of age. After that time they will begin losing their baby teeth, replacing them with their adult teeth starting around seven months of age. Unless you have one of the breeds known for excessive drooling their entire lifetime, the drooling should end after the adult teeth have begun pushing through the gums.

* Chewing – the most obvious sign that a puppy is teething is when it begins to chew on all sorts of things inside and outside your house. A puppy, regardless of size, will chew on your shoes, your kitchen cabinets, its own or the children’s toys, a stick it finds in the yard, and unfortunately, your furniture too. When a puppy chews on items like this it is teething and simply trying to alleviate the pain associated with its rapidly developing baby teeth.

* Missing teeth – this is common and is no cause for alarm. The same thing happens in human toddlers – the baby tooth has worked itself loose and has been pushed up through the gums in order to make way for the adult tooth pushing through the gum.

* Bleeding or swollen gums – this uncomfortable sign of teething can be managed with gentle, careful massaging of the gums for approximately ten minutes, twice a day. Use a damp cloth that has been soaked and placed in the freezer for at least an hour or more.

To keep your puppy occupied and away from the things you don’t want it to chew on, make sure you have plenty of toys on hand for it to chew on. Plastic toys are better than wooden ones because you don’t want your puppy biting off and swallowing slivers of wood. The puppy’s toys should be rotated every couple of weeks to keep it interested so it doesn’t become bored with the same old toys. You can also buy a few feet of rope and let the puppy chew on it as much as it wants to.

Keeping your puppy’s toys in a special box or container will help your puppy understand and identify which toys are his.

The most important thing you can do during the teething period is to be patient. Even adult dogs will sometimes chew on your shoe or play hide the sock, so don’t be too tough on a puppy who doesn’t yet know better.

With your help and guidance, puppy teething will turn a rascally puppy into a well-behaved adult dog and you’ll no longer have to worry about your furniture or shoes being chewed to smithereens.