Most puppies go through a teething stage around week 16 (4 months old). During this time, their old "milk teeth" are being pushed out and replaced with permanent teeth (yes, dogs have baby and permanent teeth, too).
Puppies tend to experience pain and discomfort as a result of this naturally occurring phenomenon, but thankfully there are some simple ways for owners to alleviate this discomfort and encourage their pups to chew on suitable items and not your furniture.
Teething Puppies Are Driven To Chew
When a puppy enters the teething stage, they will likely begin to chew on anything they can wrap their paws around. As their permanent teeth break through the gums, it causes pain and discomfort. Some of this pain is alleviated, however, by chewing on objects.
So, what should you do if you notice your puppy chewing on the furniture, carpet, curtains or any other "off limits" item in your home? Under no circumstances should you physically spank, slap or otherwise discipline them. Instead, issue a stern "NO" command. When your puppy heeds your command, reward them with petting, praise and a treat.
Toys, Toys and More Toys!
If you want to protect your home from being destroyed as a result of your pup's teething, you should provide them with plenty of toys. It's important for owners to teach their dogs the boundaries of what's acceptable to chew and what's not; otherwise, the dog will assume everything is fair game, and the owner will come home to a destroyed living room later down the road.
Try to avoid plush toys filled with stuffing. If you've been around dogs for any significant length of time, you're probably well aware of their desire to rip the stuffing out of toys such as this. A more suitable toy for a teething pup is a rope toy. Puppies and even full-grown dogs can chew on them for months, making them an excellent choice for the dreaded teething stage.
Other Tips To Cope With a Teething Pup:
- Give your pup an ice cube to chew and play with. The cool sensation will alleviate some of the pain and discomfort associated with teething.
- Avoid the temptation of placing your hands in your pup's mouth. Even if their "play bites" don't physically hurt, allowing your pup to bite your hands sends the wrong message.
- If your pup is in visible pain, take with your veterinarian to see what treatment options are available. Aspirin is often recommended by veterinarians for teething pups.
- Take your pup outside to play. This wears down their energy while taking their mind off the teething discomfort.