Some people say raising a dog is a lot like raising a child, and many of us think of our pups as our babies. Others say absolutely not! Dogs are dogs and shouldn’t be seen as anything else. But whatever you believe, one thing’s for sure, both puppies and babies go through the teething stage, and boy can it be stressful!
At just a few weeks old puppies start getting their baby teeth, and by 4-5 moths old, many pups are starting to lose these little razor blades (sorry, teeth) to be replaced by their larger adult ones. Although this teething process is not generally painful for your dog, it can cause discomfort in their jaws and result in symptoms and behaviour that need to be managed carefully.
Your puppy may show signs of having red, inflamed gums as their tiny teeth fall out and are replaced by their adult ones – they may also start to drool more than usual and can have bad breath around this time. Their gums may bleed a little, especially as they seek out more and more items to chew on (more about this later!), and you might find baby teeth on the floor as they ping out all over the place. Some puppies actually swallow their baby teeth, it’s quite common and not harmful, so don’t be alarmed. Some puppies may have a reduced appetite, possibly due to discomfort as they eat – although others won’t let any discomfort slow them down or stop them from eating whatever’s put in front of them.
So back to the symptom of teething that might drive you round the bend and fear for your hands, arms, ankles, in fact anything your puppy can get hold of – the biting stage. Some puppies will chew and bite relentlessly while they’re teething. Anything will be seen as a chew toy, even you! It can be super stressful for the whole family if you suddenly find yourself with a biter on your hands, but rest assured, this too shall pass. Have plenty of ‘real’ chew toys on hand, and if your pup starts to gnaw on you then offer a toy instead at every possibility. A frozen wet flannel or frozen stuffed Kong can offer some welcome relief. Try to distract your little friend away from nibbling you, rather than chastising him – after all, it’s not malicious and it will pass. Keep telling yourself this and have faith!
And lastly, a somewhat unexpected side effect of teething is that puppies can produce more tears than usual, resulting in tear stains. The good news is that the Happy Tears kit can be used on dogs of all ages including teething puppies. Our gentle, natural formula is completely safe and extremely effective, and will keep your pup looking his best, even when he’s not feeling his best due to those pesky little teeth.