Your little furry friend has come home and your entire family is euphoric. Everything seems to be going well and they’re even learning to go outside when nature calls! It’s all falling into place – you’ve established a routine, you’re teaching your new family member commands and how to walk on a leash, and you’re starting to feel like you’ve got this whole “raising a dog” think pretty nailed down.
Then one morning, you notice some cloth that’s shredded beyond recognition on the floor. Then you see what used to be a shoe. Moving through the house, you notice some of the arms on your furniture look like they’ve been pummeled with nail guns. What’s happening here? You hear a chewing sound in the next room and go to investigate only to find your new friend happily destroying, well, something, but you can’t even really recognize it anymore. You see the wag of a tail as your puppy recognizes you, and you realize that it does not think anything is wrong.
So what do you do? You’ve encountered dog teething, and you realize you’re not quite ready for this phase of a dog’s maturation.
Here at KONG Club, we understand the process of dog teething and how difficult it can be for new owners. Yes, a dog teething toy will be of help, but different ideas will work best for different dog teething stages. We’re going to lay out some specifics with regards to dog teething below and provide some suggestions for how you can make it easier both for you and your new pup.
First Puppy Teeth
Dog teething typically begins as soon as they’re ready for solid food, which is around 5 or 6 weeks of age. Therefore, it’s likely your puppy was already teething before you brought your new friend home. Most dogs will develop 28 teeth that are basically the equivalent of baby teeth, and like with human babies, this is a painful period. It’s also when dog teething pain leads them to search for relief in the form of household items like shoes, socks, furniture or anything else mentioned above or that they can find and fit in their mouth.
This is also a very good time to introduce your puppy to its first dog teething toy. A KONG Puppy Classic is a good way to get your puppy started on healthy dog teething. It’s rugged, it’s nearly indestructible and you can stuff peanut butter inside and freeze it for soothing cold on inflamed puppy gums.
Puppy Teeth Fall Out
At around a month after the baby teeth emerge, your puppy will begin to lose them. Yes, this is a fast process, and yes, it’s also relatively painful as these teeth fall out because the permanent teeth are getting ready to move into place. This is also a time when gums can be very sensitive, so it makes sense to think about providing some sort of relief. One idea is to start freezing your dog toys so that they provide the same type of comfort that a frozen chew ring does for a human baby. Most common sense ideas are going to help your little friend stay away from things he or she should not chew on to deal with those painful dog teething symptoms.
The Emergence of Your Dog’s Molars
While dog teething stages will vary between individual dogs and those of different breeds and mixes, most dogs will begin to have their permanent teeth grow in at around 4 months of age. This dog teething stage usually takes about 2 months, so by 6 months of age your puppy should have a full set of adult teeth. This is also the time in your puppy’s development when you should go to your veterinarian to have those teeth checked to make sure that they have come in properly and that there are no real risks present or possible. This is also a good time to start putting a routine in place to keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.
Despite the fact that the dog teething process is in large part over, that doesn’t mean your puppy will not continue to look for things to chew. Now would be a good time to get some bigger, more strong dog chew toys from KONG to give your buddy something to chew on as he or she continues to test those teeth and their limits. Once again, it’s better to give your puppy something approved to chew on, otherwise your pup will find something on its own, likely something you won’t be happy about.
Some General Dog Teething Considerations
Dog teething involves more than just chewing on things, as some puppies will chew on their humans as well, especially during playtime. Regardless, when you catch your puppy chewing, don’t overreact. Instead, interrupt the behavior and immediately offer something appropriate to chew on. If you limit those items to a few, your dog will begin to realize what’s his or hers for chewing and what isn’t. Once again, filling a toy with a treat or food will enhance the allure of any dog chew toy, so don’t be afraid to offer your puppy that type of reward for doing the right thing.
Dog teething is a process, and it’s one that’s going to happen whether you are prepared for it or not. Fortunately, you have a partner ready to help you in KONG Club – plus pet coaches and 24/7 vets to guide your through your pet parenting journey! Go ahead and take a look at what may be best for you, and keep in mind that within a few months, the dog teething stage of life will be over. We wish you the best with your new little friend!