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Surviving Puppy Teething: Tips to Save Your Shoes and Soothe Your Pup

A puppy chewing

A cute puppy becomes a little less cute when they start chewing on your favorite pair of sneakers or your new couch. Plus, young pups love to nip at fingers and hands, but that can get pretty painful when their teeth start getting bigger. But, don’t take it too hard; it’s nothing personal. Teething puppies just have to chew, but you can help them through the process in ways that are better for them, you, and your stuff.

When Do Puppies Start to Teethe?

Around two weeks old, puppies start to get teeth, open their eyes, and become more curious. By the time you adopt your new pup, they will likely already have their 28 puppy teeth since most dogs don’t leave their mothers until 8 weeks old. A full set of puppy teeth includes the incisors, canine teeth, and premolars. 

Lucky you, though, around 12 weeks, your puppy will start growing their adult teeth, which means the puppy teeth will begin to come loose. This can be a pain, literally, for your pup, causing sore gums and making your dog want to gnaw on everything in sight. 

Your pup will chew and chew to get comfort, and you’ll start finding little puppy teeth lying about. This is because the puppy teeth start to fall out and make room for the new set of 42 adult teeth.

What Are Some Signs of a Teething Puppy?

It will likely be relatively easy for you to know that your pup is teething. Teething puppies display many signs that their teeth are changing, and they’re feeling it in their mouth and gums. Here are a few signs of teething that you may notice:

  • Your dog is drooling more than they usually do.
  • You notice your pup is chewing on things excessively, beyond just being a mischievous pup. This will include anything your pet can find to chew on, including furniture, shoes, electrical cords, etc. Therefore, it’s super important to puppy-proof your home, not only to protect your things but even more so to protect your precious puppy. 
  • Your pup’s gums may be red and swollen. However, it’s not because of things like gingivitis, but rather because of the adult teeth pushing their way through your dog’s gums. This is also what causes your pup so much discomfort during the teething phase and leads to unwanted chewing.
  • Because of the discomfort, don’t be surprised if you notice your pup isn’t acting quite like themself. The pain could be making your pal grumpy, tired, or stressed, causing some changes in your furry friend’s behavior.
  • If your pup’s new adult teeth start coming in before some of the puppy teeth fall out, you might start noticing some crooked teeth.

When Do Puppies Get All of Their Adult Teeth?

By 8 months, at the latest, your dog should have all of their adult teeth. Most of the time, a dog will lose their puppy teeth by 6 months. However, every dog is unique, so there’s always a chance your dog could teethe past 8 months and take a bit longer to get all of their adult teeth. The last adult teeth dogs tend to get are their molars.

A Look at Your Dog’s Adult Teeth

By the time your pal has all 42 of their adult dog teeth, you’ll notice 20 teeth on top and 22 on the bottom. Here’s a brief breakdown of what those teeth are:

  • 12 Incisors — A dog has 6 incisors on the top and 6 on the bottom that they use for grabbing, some chewing, and grooming. 
  • 4 Canines — You’ll find two canine teeth on the top and two on the bottom. Your dog uses these longer teeth for gripping things and tearing through things.
  • 16 Premolars — Premolars grind up food, and dogs have 8 upper premolars and 8 on the bottom.
  • 10 Molars — The molars also grind up food, so it’s easier for your pup to digest. Dogs have 6 molars on the bottom and 4 molars on the top.
Cute puppy

Tips for Helping Teething Puppies

As a responsible and loving dog parent, and someone who doesn’t want to keep buying new pairs of shoes, you need to help your pup through their teething experience. There are several things you can do to ease your pal’s discomfort while keeping your belongings safe.

Provide Your Dog with Appropriate Things to Chew

While this might seem like an obvious tip, you’d be surprised how many little pups don’t have the right kinds of things to keep them occupied. All dog toys are not created equal; some are for cuddling, some are for stimulation, and some are specifically designed for teething. Ensure you include suitable toys on your puppy’s checklist to help them with all aspects of their development.

For example, the Nylabone Teething Pacifier features small nubs that encourage your pup to teethe and chew while also cleaning their teeth and massaging sore gums. You can even put it in the fridge for a bit to make it cold and offer some extra relief to your pup. Plus, this toy, as well as others, like the Rolly Cannoli, help keep your little buddy engaged and stimulated (and out of trouble). 

It’s best to avoid things like rawhide chews which can cause choking hazards as small bits break off while your pup chews. Always make sure the toys you select are designated for teething puppies.

Avoid Using Your Hands as Toys

During this time, it’s also critical to dissuade your pup from using your hands as chew toys. Young puppies play by nipping and biting, which can get painful when teeth start coming into the picture. So, from the beginning, avoid using your hands and fingers as toys, as cute as it is to watch your puppy pounce after them. 

Training is key. When your pup starts to nip or bite, firmly tell them, “No bite.” Then provide them with something appropriate to chew, like one of the previously mentioned toys. 

Be firm, but always stay calm, use positive reinforcement, and never yell at or hit your dog. If your pup tends to chew when they’re stressed or nervous, providing them with something that can both distract and calm them, like the Neat-Lik treat mat, is a good solution.

Put Away Your Valuables

Even when you give your pup appropriate things to chew and train them, puppies still get curious. So, take extra precautions to safeguard your items. Keep your favorite shoes up and out of reach, tie up electrical cords, and reduce your pup’s access to things by using a puppy gate or crate training

You can also use products like bitter apple spray on things like furniture and baseboards to discourage chewing. You won’t be able to smell it, but the taste and odor are offensive to pups, and they’ll want to avoid it.

Monitor Your Puppy

Of course, as always with a little puppy, watch them closely, especially during the teething phase. Be proactive and try to stop things before they can happen. If you’re ever concerned or unsure about something your puppy is doing or experiencing, consult with your vet as soon as possible.

Taking Care of Your Dog’s Teeth Goes Beyond Puppyhood

Proper dental care is essential to lifelong health. Your dog’s oral hygiene can influence multiple aspects of their overall health, including the function of various organs, like the heart. Ensure you take care of your dog’s teeth with regular brushing, vet visits, dental check-ups, and professional cleanings. You can also use certain products like oral rinses and oral hygiene chews to help maintain healthy teeth and gums. 

If you notice your dog is showing signs of discomfort in the mouth area, is losing their adult teeth, or not eating as usual, these can all be signs of potential issues. It could be due to trauma to a tooth or early signs of periodontal disease, which is why it’s always vital to see your vet. 

Taking care of your pup’s teeth is one of the many ways you can ensure your faithful friend stays happy and healthy. For more tips on how to best care for your pets, check out our blog. You’ll find valuable resources ranging from training to bonding with your pals, health tidbits, and much more.


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