One of the most important things to prepare for if you’re a first-time fur parent is your puppy’s teething stage.
When we say important, we mean it.
This is a time when your patience as a fur parent will be tested. At the same time, this would present a lot of teaching opportunities for your pup. So, it’s essential for you to know how to handle your puppy’s teething stage. It will help you not only survive, but thrive as a fur parent.
What to expect on your puppy’s teething stage?
At around 3 months old, your puppy’s milk teeth will start to fall off, and their adult teeth will come out. This is usually completed when they’re around 6-months old.
But between those two dates are what a lot of fur parents consider to be hellish.
You see, when dogs start to get their teeth, they feel a lot of pain and discomfort on their gums. And instead of crying and whining around the whole day, they would go and find ways to sooth the pain.
This usually comes in the form of biting and nipping.
Expect your fur baby to bite and gnaw anything they can lay their mouth on – whether it’s your shoe, shirt, couch, pillow, or hand. When they start teething, everything becomes a target for them.
That’s why it’s important to prepare for this stage in your puppy’s life, so you can minimize the damages and you can teach them good habits.
1. Save your stuff
How to survive your puppy’s teething stage?
The first thing you need to do is to keep your valuables out of reach. Else, it will become your puppy’s chew toy!
Hide all your important things like shoes, shirts, and pillows. These are some of the most attractive items for a teething puppy. If you can’t keep them all inside a cabinet, at least put them high enough so your pup can’t reach it.
Since you can’t hide everything in your house, and you have unmovable fixtures in your home like couches, wooden shelves, and chairs, the best way to save these is to limit your pup’s access to these things.
This makes it the perfect time to crate train your fur baby, so they won’t have access to your furniture and fixtures when you’re not around to watch them.
2. Teething toys for teething pups.
There are a lot of toys out there in the market that tare made for teething puppies. Just take your pick in the litter, and make sure to stack on these since your puppy might tear through these in days.
Some of the most ideal teething toys are:
- Squeaky balls
- Rope toys
- Chewy rubber toys
- Tennis balls
In our experience, getting rubber or silicone toys is the best option since you can put it in the freezer to chill. The cold chew toy would help soothe the aching gums of your fur baby.
3. Reinforce positive behaviours.
When playing with your puppy, expect to get bitten every once in a while, especially when their gums need soothing.
Although play biting is generally safe and harmless, you should set some boundaries and teach your puppy that it’s not okay to bite hard. This would teach them the appropriate play bite strength, which would help minimize biting incidents with other dogs or people.
You can do this by giving out a loud “ow!” when they bite you extra hard. The loud sound would tell them that you’re in pain and that they shouldn’t do that. To reinforce this, you could either scold them or withdraw your attention as punishment. Conversely, if they pull away and do a more acceptable play bite the next time, you should reward them with a praise.
Bonus: During teething stages, you might notice that your puppy is a bit lethargic and finds it hard to finish their food. This is only natural. One way you can help them is by softening their food, so it’ll be easier to finish.
These ideas helped us survive our own pup’s teething stage and we hope these would help you big time with your fur baby.