11 Tricks To Help Teething Puppies [Plus Helpful DIY Tips]

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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 11 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.

Teething causes sore gums, and as puppy teeth grow in, your dog will experience some pain. As a dog owner, it’s up to you to try to ease their pain.

Here’s what you can do to help:

1. Puppy Proof Your House

Yellow lab puppy laying against a baby gate

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 children’s 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.

Do you need an anti-chew spray?

But you can puppy-proof your house all you want — putting away easy-to-chew items and adding baby gates in doorways — and still run into chewing issues. There are just some things you can’t make off-limits, like if your puppy is keen on chewing on the cabinetry or on the wooden bottom step of your staircase. 

In these cases, you might want to invest in an anti-chew spray that will deter your pup. You can find a range of sprays at the pet store that features nontoxic, safe-to-use ingredients that, while non-toxic, still deter your dog via unpleasant scents and flavors.

2. Ice Cubes

Husky looking longingly at a person's hand that's holding an ice cube

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.

Related: 31 Items To Add To Your New Puppy Checklist [Buyer’s Guide]

3. Chew Toys

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 6” Bully Sticks

Jack & Pup 6” Bully Sticks

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!

Tasman’s Natural Pet Small Bison Rawhide Twisters

Tasman’s Natural Pet Small Bison Rawhide Twisters

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).

JW Pet Bad Cuz Dog Toy

JW Pet Bad Cuz Dog Toy

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.

KONG Puppy Dog Toy

KONG Puppy Dog Toy

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!

Nylabone Teething Puppy Keys

Nylabone Teething Puppy Ring

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.

4. Frozen Toys

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.

Multipet Chilly Bone

Multipet Chilly Bone

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.

Freezable Pet Teeth Cooling Chew Toy

Freezable Pet Teeth Cooling Chew Toy

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.

Petstages Cool Teething Stick

Petstages Cool Teething Stick

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!

A note on choosing toys and chewable items for your teething puppy

Sure, you may have noticed your puppy chewing on all sorts of household items that they shouldn’t be during teething. However, that doesn’t mean that all of those household items are safe — or even that every chew toy you find in the pet store is safe, either.

A good rule of thumb is to choose chewable toys that have a little bit of bend or give. However, you don’t want to pick toys that are soft enough that your pup will tear them apart (if that’s their style).

Additionally, if you’re going to give your puppy a chewable toy, make sure to keep an eye on them. Even vet-approved, typically safe toys and treats have caused airway and intestinal blockages. If you realize your pet has ingested part of one of their chew toys, call your vet right away for guidance.

5. Herbal Remedies

Puppy eating something out of a dog bowl

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!

Related: The 10 Best Chew Toys For Your Pup [Keep Them Entertained]

6. CBD Dog Treats

If you’ve yet to try CBD dog treats for your pup, now may be a perfect time. CBD-infused treats that are intended to soothe pain and calm frayed nerves will help your pup chill out and relax a little until this particularly stressful period of their young lives are over.

7. Frozen Food

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.

8. Frozen Treats

Just like you can buy frozen dog toys that you can keep in the freezer for easy relief as needed, you can also find frozen dog treats that are just the thing for your teething pup (or really any dog, for that matter, especially on a hot summer day). Look for puppy-intended ice cream treats at your local pet store or even at your big-box grocery store. You can sometimes find Purina or Ben & Jerry’s doggy ice cream in the freezer aisle, right next to your own favorite ice cream.

9. Frozen Dish Towel

Boxer puppy playing with a 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!

10. 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.

Related: How To Start A Doggie Dental Routine [Have Your Pup Smiling]

11. Visit Your Vet!

Great Pyrenees puppy chewing on a stethoscope

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.

Take your puppy’s dental care seriously. When their adult teeth grow in, start a regimen that includes doggie toothpaste, healthy dental chews and regular dental exams with a vet.

What to Look for in a Puppy Chew Toy or Treat

If, out of all the above options for soothing your puppy’s sore gums, you think a chew toy or treat might work the best, there are a few things to keep in mind as you shop for that chew toy or treat.

Look for high-quality and durable materials.

While you don’t want to opt for a rigid toy that can harm your dog’s new teeth, you don’t want to go for a teething toy or treat that will fall apart on the first impact either. Puppy teeth are sharp and your chew-happy puppy will obliterate a toy that’s not made well, with high-quality materials.

Look for a toy to match your puppy’s size.

You don’t want to go with a treat or toy that’s going to overwhelm your new pup with its size, but you also don’t want to go with a treat or toy that’s going to be too small and likely ripped through or eaten in minutes. Go with a toy that fits their breed and size appropriately.

Look for high-quality ingredients.

If you’re opting for a treat over a toy, look for a treat that’s made with high-quality ingredients that will be good for your pup — not mere filler that also includes chemicals, preservatives and dyes.

Things for Pet Parents to Remember While a Puppy is Teething

teething puppies

Beyond attempting to alleviate your puppy’s pain during this time, it’s also important to ensure they’re getting the proper care they need and that you’re taking precautions beyond just soothing their sore gums. Here are a few things to remember.

  • Now is the perfect time to socialize with your puppy on an oral level.

Okay, it sounds weird, but hear us out. You should be socializing your puppy around the teething age anyway, to get them accustomed to being around people, strangers, other dogs, children, etcetera. However, now is also a great time to teach them that it’s not a big deal if someone touches their mouth.

As you play with your puppy, touch their mouth, inside and out. You don’t have to make it uncomfortable or awkward — just incorporate it into your play. This will teach them that (a) they don’t need to freak out if a child or other dog touches their mouth and that (b) they can remain calm if a vet, groomer or you brush their teeth.

This process is also helpful in teaching your puppy not to nip. As you’re playing, don’t be alarmed if they bite gently — that’s normal. However, if they bite down on your hand or another body part rather aggressively, make a point to reverse the behavior with the proper reaction. If your puppy responds well to vocal criticisms, give them a harsh, loud “no” and then, if he further responds appropriately by calming down, a treat. If they don’t respond well to vocal criticisms, walk away from the puppy and ignore them, until they calm down.

  • Brush those teeth regularly.

Remember to brush your dog’s teeth regularly, even while teething. Not doing so will not only lead to super-stinky breath but also can cause serious health issues, both dental and otherwise. You can purchase special canine toothpaste and toothbrushes for this purpose (avoid the temptation to use a human toothbrush and toothpaste, as this can irritate your puppy’s mouth, as well as cause illness if the toothpaste is swallowed).

  • Look for plaque-reducing treats.

In addition to treats that can help reduce teething pain, also look for treats that can help reduce plaque buildup. This will ensure your dog’s mouth stays fresh and clean even between regular cleanings.

Teething Puppies: FAQs

Have more questions about teething puppies? We’ve got answers.

How long does it take a puppy to grow its teeth?

The teething process can feel like it takes forever. The good news? The teething process won’t actually take as long as it feels and it’s actually way faster than the teething process for human babies. 

Your pup will start getting their baby teeth at around three weeks old, and the entire process of growing the baby teeth, losing them and then growing adult teeth takes about six months. However, it’s likely you won’t be around your pup for that entire duration.

If you’ve adopted your puppy from a breeder, it’s likely that you’ll bring the new puppy into your home when it’s about 8 to 12 weeks of age, or under 3 months of age. At this point, the puppy will have all its baby teeth. However, this is around the same time when you’ll start to spot those baby teeth around the house, as they fall out. The adult teeth will start to come in when your puppy is about 12 to 16 weeks old.

So, once the adult teeth start to come in at 12 to 16 weeks, how long does the last part of the process last? All of the adult teeth should be fully grown in by the time your pup reaches six months old, so, if you adopted your puppy at 12 weeks old, that means the teething process for you, your family and your new puppy should only last about three months.

How do I know that my puppy is teething?

Beyond the obvious sign of finding little tiny teeth all over your home, there are a few ways you can tell that your puppy is teething. Symptoms include…

  • Inflamed gums, including bleeding gums
  • Newly bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Increased chewing
  • Lessened appetite
  • General lethargy and poor mood

While these symptoms can all be signs of other illnesses (especially the lessened appetite and decreased mood), if they’re paired with missing teeth or discarded teeth, then you can be pretty sure your puppy is teething.

Do I have to take my puppy to the vet for teething?

Typically, there’s no reason to visit your vet if your puppy is teething. However, if you do notice that the teething is accompanied by what seems like excessive bleeding, or if you suspect your puppy has a fever, that may warrant a trip to the vet’s office. Other signs of potential problems that you can watch for include excess tartar, broken or cracked teeth, crooked teeth, jaw misalignment or loose adult teeth.

You may also have issues with retained baby teeth, though these issues are rare. If your puppy doesn’t properly lose their baby teeth, then food, plaque, tartar and other build-ups can get trapped between the baby teeth and the incoming adult teeth, which can cause great discomfort and periodontal disease. If this occurs, your vet will simply need to remove the baby teeth, which they can do at the same time they perform your neutering or spaying.

How do you know if your pup’s jaw is misaligned?

In a properly aligned set of teeth, the lower canine teeth fall in front of the upper canine teeth, upper incisors fall over the lower incisors, the upper premolar points align with the lower premolars and the upper carnassial teeth fall over the lower carnassial teeth. If your dog’s teeth do not fall in this manner, then they may have problems later in life, with chewing and eating as an adult dog.

How can I dissuade a puppy from chewing something it shouldn’t?

It can be very difficult to train a puppy. At the same time you’re working on socializing and house training, you’re also working on teaching your puppy what to chew and not to chew. 

The best course of action is to not reward your puppy for chewing on things they shouldn’t and, when they do, punish them in the way that works best for their individual personality. Some puppies respond best to a lack of attention, while others need a firm and vocal reprimand. However, you can make their good behavior easier by not leaving tempting items around the house and by placing safe-to-chew items within reach.

What Happens After Teething?

Once your puppy is finally through the teething process and your entire family has survived, what happens next? From here, dental care for your pup is pretty simple. Continue on brushing their teeth regularly and providing teeth-cleaning treats. Make dental check-ins part of your annual vet visit.

Of course, it is the case, occasionally, that some dogs just don’t stop chewing even after their initial teething period is over. Some may still chew quite excessively for the first two years of their lives. Once they get older, their energy may wane and they might not chew quite as much; however, if the chewing is worrisome and your dog is well out of their puppy stage, talk to your vet.

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

11 Ways to Help Teething Puppies: 

  1. Puppy Proof Your House
  2. Ice Cubes
  3. Chew Toys
  4. Frozen Toys
  5. Herbal Remedies
  6. CBD Dog Treats
  7. Frozen Food
  8. Frozen Treats
  9. Frozen Dish Towel
  10. Massage Their Gums
  11. Visit Your Vet!

Holly Riddle

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