Puppy teething symptoms occurs between 3 to 8 months of age. During this uncomfortable phase, sturdier and duller adult teeth will slowly replace the often sharper and smaller milk teeth.
Puppy teething symptoms include:
Doubling down on puppy proofing!
Puppy proofing your home when puppy teething symptoms emerge becomes even more important. Watch out for house plants, leftover foods, batteries etc; that are toxic to your puppy!
Applying harmless but gross tasting aversion spray (e.g. aloe, vinegar) around the area your puppy likes but not supposed to chew is an effective way to discourage destructive chewing.
Similarly, if your puppy likes to pick on a person in your family, just apply some of these sprays on his/her hands or legs (area where your puppy always targets). Ensure your palm and fingers handling your puppy’s meal is aerosol free, you don’t want to accidentally discourage her from her own food.
When your puppy backs off after mouthing and finding it unpleasant, praise it and hand her a chew toy instead.
Retained teeth are baby teeth that refuse to drop and reside along with the new adult teeth creating a ‘double fangs’ effect.
Usually you don’t have to do anything, the retained teeth will fall out after some time.
The only time you need to worry is when the adult teeth have difficulties pushing itself through the gum and growing at an unnatural angle. In this case a vet should be consulted to get the baby tooth removed.
Your puppy needs to chew a lot during this phase to relieve
the discomfort of her aching gum. It is natural. However, to prevent accidental
swallowing of harmful objects and destroying your home in the process, suitable
chewing reliefs must be available to her.
Be ready to praise her aplenty whenever she uses any chew toys or reliefs you prepared for her. This will help her understand the boundaries of what is chew-able in the house and leads directly to positive chewing habits as she grows.
Good chewing habits
Tendencies to chew during the teething stage is natural. It is also essential for developing jaw muscle.
However, teething is not the only reason for excessive chewing. Puppy teething symptoms are no reasons to overlook destructive behavior problems that might persist well into her adulthood if left unchecked.
Other common cause for chewing:
Not only will they give your puppy something to do, they also help in cleaning her teeth and developing jaw muscles.
A note on bones though, only give dogs raw bones. Cooked bones are harder with the risk of splintered.
Although teething phase is uncomfortable, you can still get her started on a good dental routine by introducing daily teeth brushing early in her life.
Use a soft child’s or a puppy’s toothbrush. Choose a flavored dog toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste as they are not meant to swallowed.
Initially, allow your puppy to lick the toothpaste off and chew on the brush. Gradually slide the toothbrush to and fro along the gum line. Pause when your puppy shows signs of discomfort, do this in slow gentle strokes.
As with all new experiences during puppy-hood, make teeth brushing as positive an experience as possible. Never try to force her mouth open or rush the process. Just sliding the toothbrush under her lips is good enough in the beginning. Let her gradually ‘get used’ to it at her pace.
Finally, remember to give lots of praise!