Do you have an adorable new puppy in your home? If so, it’s time to prepare yourself for a phase that you may not be expecting:
Just like human babies and kids, all puppies go through a teething process. And when it happens, you’ll know.
They may start chewing everything in sight. They may whine when they eat because they are in pain. They might start nipping at you or at other dogs.
The good news is that there are some things that you can do to ease your puppy through this difficult phase of life.
Here are 9 ways to help teething puppies.
Puppy Teething is Painful!
Puppies start to get their deciduous teeth (aka baby teeth) at three weeks of age. By about three months of age, those baby teeth start to fall out, and their adult teeth start to grow in. And when they do, your puppy will be in pain.
Here’s what you can do to help:
Puppy Proof Your House
At the first signs of the teething stage, puppy proof your house. This is the single best and most important thing you can do to protect your pup and help keep them safe.
Teething will make your dog chew — and most dogs will chew just about anything in sight. So, before they get a hold of something that could harm them, take the time to puppy-proof your house and hide dangerous items from your dog.
Things such as strings that they could choke on, plants that could make them sick and electrical wires that could shock them all need to be hidden away and kept out of each. Hard plastic toys, small kids’ toys and plastic bags need to be concealed as well, as they can all become choking hazards.
It’s also important to supervise your puppy during the teething stage. Keep your puppy close by so that you can always have an eye on them!
When you do have to leave the house, either take your pup with you or contain them in a small, safe space, such as a bathroom or a laundry room where there’s nothing for them to get hurt on.
As much as you may want your dog to have free run of the house, putting them in their own space is the best way to keep them safe throughout the difficult teething process.
Have you ever had a toothache or experienced sore gums after a dental procedure? If so, there’s a good chance you dulled the pain with an ice pack. Well, the same concept works for puppies too.
Giving your dog an ice cube to lick or chew on can help to numb and soothe their sore gums as well as reduce swelling and inflammation. Just keep in mind that if they still have some baby teeth, chewing a hard object like ice may encourage those teeth to fall out.
If you’re afraid your dog may lose a tooth from chewing on hard ice, drop a few ice cubes in their water bowl instead. The colder and icier the water, the better it can feel on sore gums.
Some dogs will chew just about anything they can get their mouth around. But when they’re teething, it’s especially important to make sure that they’re chewing on the right items.
Here are some of the best teething toys for puppies:
Jack & Pup Bully Sticks are low in fat, high in protein, and perfect for puppies that love to chew. Made from 100% beef pizzle (aka bull penis), Bully Sticks are fully digestible and are a great alternative to rawhide treats. They’re softer than regular chewing bones, and they also promote teeth and gum health.
As with all bones and digestible chew toys, keep an eye on your pup while he eats!
Available at Amazon, $16.95
The Tasman’s Natural Pet Small Bison Rawhide Twisters are made from free-range bison and have a small shape with a twist design that dogs seem to love to chew on. These chews are a great option for small dogs and puppies that can’t eat regular beef rawhide.
By tossing your dog one of these to chew on, you’re encouraging them to chew on what’s allowed and discouraging them from chewing on things they shouldn’t (like your shoes and your furniture).
Available at Amazon, $34 for 75 pack
The JW Pet Bad Cuz Dog Toy is a fun chew toy made from a durable yet soft rubber material. With a squeaker inside to get your puppy excited, this chew toy is perfect for teething puppies that prefer to chew on something soft.
It also comes in three sizes, the small one being best for puppies. If he loves this toy, when his new teeth grow in and he gets a little bit bigger, you can upgrade to the medium or large size.
Available at Chewy, $4.23
We don’t know any dog that doesn’t love rubber toys made by KONG! This KONG Puppy Dog Toy is made especially for teething puppies and helps to promote healthy and appropriate chewing habits. You can make it even more enticing for your pup by filling it with peanut butter or other special treats!
Available at Amazon, $9.99
You know those chewy keys you give to babies when they’re teething? The Nylabone Teething Puppy Key Ring is essentially the same thing, just for dogs.
This keyring is made from soft plastic that’s perfect for puppies who still have their baby teeth. Each key is detailed with little ridges and nubs, which help to reduce plaque and tartar and help to clean your puppy's teeth.
Available at Chewy, $8.49
Giving your dog a chew toy for teething is a great way to help them when they’re in pain. But giving them a frozen chew toy is even better. Like ice cubes, frozen toys can ease discomfort as well as reduce swelling and inflammation.
Here are some excellent frozen chew toys that teething puppies seem to love.
At the first sign of teething, toss the Multipet Chilly Bone to your little pup! This irresistible bone toy is hollow on the inside, so you can fill it with water and freeze it to give your puppy an icy, chewy treat. With its cold feel and comfortable shape, it’s sure to become one of your dog’s favorite teething toys.
Available at Healthy Pets, $7.95
The Freezable Pet Teeth Cooling Chew Toy features non-toxic material filled with purified water. Put it in the freezer, let it get nice and cold and your dog will love how it feels on his gums and around his teeth.
Little nubs help to clean puppy teeth and massage sore gums, so it’s incredibly soothing during the teething process.
Available at Amazon, $12.99
When put in the freezer, the Petstages Cool Teething Stick has a cool, crunchy feel that’s perfect for both soothing gums and cleaning teeth. Colorful, rich with texture and cute as can be, this chew stick is great for teething puppies, especially on a hot day when he needs to cool down!
Available at Amazon, $6.99
Need a quick home remedy for your teething pup? There are some natural remedies that you probably already have in your pantry.
Chamomile and lavender have natural soothing properties. If you have chamomile or lavender tea bags on hand, brew a pot of tea, let it cool down, and then pour it over your puppy’s dry food. It can help soften the food (which can help make it easier to chew) and naturally help dull the pain.
You can also turn a pot of tea into frozen treats. Once the tea is cool, just pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Once they’re solid, give one to your pup as a tasty, natural treat!
Chopping and freezing certain human foods can also be beneficial to a teething puppy in pain.
Frozen banana chunks are a great treat for teething dogs. They’ll love the taste and the frozen feel will help minimize their gum pain. Just peel and cut a banana into small chunks and freeze until they’re hard or almost hard.
Frozen mini bagels are another good option, as long as they’re plain and not flavored or seasoned or salted. The small round shape makes them a great alternative to a traditional round teething ring.
Cold carrots can also help ease the pain of teething. They don’t need to be frozen — just cold. Be sure to cut them into chunks to prevent choking.
Frozen Dish Towel
Dogs love to play tug-of-war with rope toys. When they’re teething, you can create your own rope toy of sorts just by twisting and freezing a dish towel.
Get a clean dish rag or thin towel, soak it in cold water, twist it into a knotted shape and pop it in the freezer. Once it freezes solid, give it to your dog to chew on or engage with your pup in a classic game of tug and pull!
Massage Their Gums
Something as simple as a gentle massage can relieve pain and put dogs at ease. When your dog is teething, put a finger toothbrush on your index finger and use it to gently rub and massage your dog’s aching gums.
Getting your dog accustomed to the finger brush when they’re young can make it easier to establish a dental routine when they’re older. Once the teething phase is over and their adult teeth grow in, you’ll want to establish a healthy oral care routine, which includes teeth brushing a minimum of three times a week.
Visit Your Vet!
Keep your puppy’s teeth and gums healthy by taking your teething pup to the vet. Though most dogs naturally lose their baby teeth and grow healthy teeth in their place, some dogs need to have some baby teeth removed in order to make room for permanent ones.
What’s the Best Way to Help a Teething Puppy?
Every puppy reacts differently to teething, so you may have to try a few different tactics to find the one that best suits your pup and his level of pain.
First and foremost, puppy-proof your house. When you’re home with your dog, let them play with chew toys, feed them healthy frozen treats and ease their discomfort with frozen chewables to reduce pain and inflammation. Herbal remedies and gentle gum massages can also work – it all depends on your pup!
And don’t forget to take your puppy to the vet. Having an expert do a dental checkup is the best way to ensure that your puppy is teething naturally and that those adult teeth are growing in as they should.
You might also be interested in: The 8 Best Long Lasting Dog Chews For Extreme Chewers [Reviewed]
9 Ways to Help Teething Puppies:
- Puppy Proof Your House
- Ice Cubes
- Chew Toys
- Frozen Toys
- Herbal Remedies
- Frozen Food
- Frozen Dish Towel
- Massage Their Gums
- Visit Your Vet!