Both you and your puppy may find the teething phase challenging. In this post, our Weldon Spring vets share some tips that may help to relieve your puppy's tooth pain and make the teething process as easy as possible. 

Your Puppy's Teething Phase

Teething refers to the process of permanent teeth developing in your puppy's mouth. Like children, puppies teeth gradually. 

If you've got a puppy that's teething, you may feel like you're in a never-ending battle to keep your young dog from chewing absolutely everything they can find. It's important to recognize that they're not doing this to be bad – they are simply trying to ease pain and discomfort while their adult teeth are coming in. 

It just happens that chewing on your furniture, shoes and other prized items can seem like the perfect way (at least to them) to help their mouth feel better. 

When do puppies start teething? 

While the timing of when puppies get their first set of teeth varies somewhat by breed, most puppies' first teeth emerge when they are around two weeks old. By the time your puppy is around 10 weeks old, this process is usually complete. 

At around the 16-week mark, you'll start to notice your pup's adult teeth are replacing their needle-sharp baby teeth. The most common time for teething is between 12 and 20 weeks of age (three to five months). 

Teething Timeline for Puppies 

Below, we've broken down a typical puppy teething timeline so you'll be aware of exactly what to expect as your furry friend's permanent teeth emerge. 

Weeks 2 to 4

Your puppy's baby teeth are starting to emerge. At this age, they will still be with their mother and breeder. They will be nursing and they will have opened their eyes.

Weeks 5 to 6 

By now, your puppy should have all their baby teeth. Dogs typically have about 28 baby teeth in total. Around this time, the breeder will likely be in the process (if not already finished the process) of weaning the litter of puppies and they will start to eat soft, moist puppy food. 

Weeks 12 to 16

Around this time, you'll get to welcome your puppy into your home (though some breeders send puppies to their new homes at about eight weeks, others wait an extra month or so, depending on the breeder's preferences and the specific breed involved). 

Around this time, your puppy will start to shed their baby teeth as permanent adult teeth erupt. This is when your puppy will feel the most pain, and will need puppy-safe toys to chew on. You'll also want to ask your vet to examine your puppy's mouth to make sure the teething phase is progressing well. 

How long does the puppy teething phase last?

If you are counting down the days and wondering, "How long does puppy teething last?", you are in the good company of many other pup parents. Puppies typically experience four or five months of intense teething, during which they often chew on almost anything within reach of their paws in a desperate bid to relieve pain in their mouths.

Due to their small stature, they often end up chewing on expensive footwear, parts of furniture, or even your fingers or feet. They should have all 42 of their adult teeth by the time they are about six or seven months old. Teething should not last any longer than this. 

So, what can you do to help relieve your canine companion's discomfort and protect your valuable belongings (and your sanity) during those long months? Our veterinary team at Tender Care Animal Hospital has discovered a few suggestions to help pet owners.

Managing Your Puppy's Pain While They're Teething 

Provide Your Puppy with Edible Teething Sticks 

Many reputable dog food brands sell edible puppy teething treats and bones to help relieve your pooch's mouth pain. Ask your vet if they have any specific recommendations or stop by your local pet store and choose from a range of sizes and flavors. MAke sure to choose one that's appropriately sized for your puppy so they have the most positive experience possible. 

Give Your Pup Specially Designed Teething Bones

Brands such as Nylabone sell specific bones made for teething puppies. These are appropriately sized for small, medium and large breeds. They also come in many flavors to help encourage your puppy to chew these tasty, chewy treats instead of your valuables. Theething bones also encourage healthy chewing habits and may help relieve pain. 

Place Teething Toys in the Freezer 

Much like teething babies, puppies often find that chewing cold or frozen items helps to soothe teething pain. While there is a range of teething-specific toys available from most pet stores almost any dog toy can be frozen to help provide relief for your pup. Kongs, rubber bones, and dog-specific soft toys are all great options.

Offer Your Puppy Frozen Food to Chew

Many puppies enjoy tasty treats such as frozen bagels, frozen carrots, or other healthy veggies. If you plan to offer your pup frozen food always speak to your vet first to ensure it's a good option for your pup. 

Preventing Your Puppy From Biting

Nipping and biting are naturally how puppies play. When one puppy bites another too hard the hurt pup will let out a high-pitched yelp. 

If your young pup is nipping and biting at you it's important to put a stop to this behavior before it gets out of hand. One effective approach for stopping this behavior is to mimic the yelp of a hurt puppy when your little friend digs their teeth into you. A loud little 'OW' in a high-pitched voice should startle your puppy and cause them to back off. When your puppy stops and backs off be sure to offer a reward for their good behavior. 

If this approach leads your puppy to nip at you more aggressively, quietly stop playing with your puppy and walk away, or gently put your pup in their crate for some quiet time.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Has your puppy been teething? Contact Tender Care Animal Hospital today. Our vets can examine your young dog's teeth and provide advice on how to manage your pooch's pain.