There are few joys of bringing home a new puppy. Those floppy ears and the tiny wagging tail are enough in order to make your heart melt and swoon all over again. It is a time of great growth, discovery, and bonding within your family.
After these blissful weeks, however, when your cute puppy begins to grow, you’ll also realize some serious headaches. One of the very first is teething and stressful chewing.
Whether you got a brand-new puppy from a breeder or rescued a 6-month old pup from the shelter, teething is an inevitable part of growing up. It is fussy, painful and usually result with your favorite shoes and furniture getting chewed up and slobbered on.
What Are The Symptoms of Puppy Teething
When your pup is about 3 – 4 months old, his baby teeth will start falling out, making room for the 42 adult teeth. This process is quite uncomfortable for him, as his gums will be ore as the adult teeth breakthrough. This will cause him to chew on anything or everything in order to soothe that pain.
Some of the most common symptoms of puppy teething include:
- Swollen or Bleeding Gums
- Non-stop chewing
- Missing Teeth
- Poor Appetite
- Whimpering or Crying
5 Hacks To Survive Puppy Teething
1. Provide Her With Highly Durable Chew Toys
A good chew toy for your pup does more than just facilitate non-destructive chewing for your pup. These chew toys can also help your pup dispense of all that energy inside, which makes them happy and contended instead of getting bored, anxious, depressed, or in this case, in pain.
From Kongs to rawhides to Nylabones and bully sticks as well as rope toys, you can use chew toys made specifically for pups to divert your pup’s attention from your shoes, furniture and any other household items they like to chew on.
But, if you do use these toys, you need to make sure that you are there supervising it in order to prevent accidents such as choking.
2. Puppy Proof Your Home
Teething is a normal part of puppyhood and it is not your adorable pup’s fault when his gums are painful that it needs something to nibble on in order to ease the pain. So, as the understanding puppy parent, you need to puppy-proof your home in anticipation of your pet’s increased need to chew.
Always pick up anything on the ground which could be a teething target. This includes obvious items such as socks, shoes, low garbage bin. You might also want to make sure that things such as decorative baskets, rugs with fringe on the ends, semi-hidden cords, magazine racks are hidden.
When all these are gone, your desperate pup might zero in cabinetry and table legs as well as furniture edges, so consider treating those with a bitter chew deterrent spray. This should keep him out of range for a while. And in case your pup picks up an item that he is not supposed to have, you can offer a trade with a treat or one of his toys.
3. Teach Him Gentle Mouth
Puppies learn quickly that they will get a reaction when they bite— whether it if from their human parent or from their littermates. It hurts!
So, it is crucial that you teach your pup the importance of a gentle mouth. When your pup bite on your hand too hard, mark the painful action by saying “Ouch!” then pull your hand away. Try to withdraw your attention away from him for a moment, then resume contact or play.
If your puppy bites too hard again, repeat the mark by saying “Ouch!” again, but this time you need to get up and move away from your dog, leaving him all alone. Such social isolation is a potent but gentle punishment. This should teach your puppy that biting too hard means that his favorite person will leave and no more game time.
4. Provide Enough Physical and Mental Stimulation
Other than their aching gums, most pups tend to nip and bite simply because they do not have anything else to do. And although giving him his toys can help, he can’t simply play with it all day long without getting bored.
As a pet parent, you will have to spend some time in keeping your pups mentally and physically stimulated, so that they will not have plenty of time to nip or chew on your furniture. And even though it may not eliminate the behavior altogether, it sure can reduce the frequency and intensity of the chewing behavior.
5. Incorporate Healthy and Balanced Eating
Caring for a teething puppy also means that you need to care for your pup’s teeth. Make sure that you feed your pup with a healthy and balanced diet that supports controlled dental growth and health.
Choose puppy food that contains nutrients including protein, a good mix of minerals and vitamins as well as calcium for strong teeth and bones. These should help your pup’s new teeth to develop normally.