In this post I am going to help by giving some information about teething and some helpful teething puppy tips. These tips can literally save your sanity and your furniture.
Puppies are cute, sweet and literally exude happiness. After the first few hours with your new puppy, you will start to realize that sitting down and relaxing is quickly a thing of the past. I like to say that once we get over the puppy hearts in our eyes we come back down to reality. That’s when we realize that with all that cuteness comes really hard work.
I currently have an 11-week-old puppy, so I am deep entrenched in this topic right now. I don’t think you can really talk about this topic, unless you have been through it at least once in your life.
It has been over 11 years since I have had a new puppy. Honestly I feel like once you get through a puppy in the teething stage your brain blocks it out and you never remember just how hard it was.
The one thing about puppies is that they lead with their mouth in almost everything they do. Especially in the beginning of teething.
Your wonderful new puppy is equipped with 28 razor sharp teeth in their mouths. They constantly are grabbing at your hands, fingers and of course your toes. Puppies get their teeth very early even as soon as 2 weeks old.
As the puppy grows so do their teeth. They use their mouth to lead them through their changing environment. By the time you get them at 8-9 weeks old, they are equipped with a pretty good set of baby teeth.
Those baby teeth start to fall out around 3-4 months of age. They need to make room for the 42 adult teeth coming in behind them. This teething process can be very painful for your puppy. Their gums will get sore and swollen just like a teething baby.
By putting something in their mouths and biting down, they are trying to get some relief to help soothe their gums. All of their baby teeth should all have fallen out by the time your puppy is 6 months old or so.
Must have toys
The best way to get toy ideas is from other people’s experience with a toy, a store keeper or someone like me who has tried them with their own dog.
Yes every dog is different and they will most certainly have their own choices of which teething toy gives them the best relief.
Here are a few of my boy FERGUS’s ultimate favourite toys right now.
One of the first toys I want to talk about is made by Nylabone. It is a puppy teething chew called the Nylabone Dinosaur Dental Chew and yes it looks like a blue dinosaur. There are little nubs along the design of the body, that dig in and help relieve those sore gums. The shape of the dinosaur head and tail allow him to get it right into the back of his mouth.
The toy is super durable and pretty lightweight which allows him the ability to carry it around with him. They do make this same style of toy in other shapes that looks like a bone, but he loves the dinosaur shape.
His second favourite chew toy right now is made by Petstages and it is called the Cool Teething Stick. You soak the toy in water and squeeze it every once in a while. Then put in a Ziploc bag and freeze it. The toy’s outer shell gets crunchy sounding and the toy does get completely frozen.
FERGUS likes this toy a lot. He chews on it for quite a while. I mean puppies attention span is not great, so that’s why this is good for short period. Then you take it away re soak it and back in the freezer for later that day. When he doesn’t see the toy all the time, it also helps keep his interest in it when you do pull it out of the freezer.
The third toy that I am going to recommend is also made by Nylabone and is called the Puppy Teething Ring Chews. FERGUS loves these rings. This is one of the toys that we put in his kennel with him when we leave him. He has never been destructive with them and legitimately likes to chew them. Plus they are easy to put in your pocket and take in the car also.
There are many amazing puppy teething toys that you can purchase online or from a store. Sometimes though the toys and the cost of these toys can get expensive. Puppies are expensive. HAHA!
I love to come up with homemade dog toys for my puppy. The reality is you need a ton of different toys to get through this difficult puppy stage if you can add a few homemade ones to the mix.
My puppy FERGUS loves toys that make noise when he bites them. I got the idea to use a plastic pop bottle clean it out and put some of his dog food on it. Squeeze the bottle a bit before putting on the lid so you can squish it a bit, then put the cap on. I then put the entire bottle in a long old sock of mine and tied a knot in the end to secure it.
He absolutely loves the sound of the food in the bottle, plus he bites on the bottle which also makes noise. The plastic is hard enough that he gets a challenge while keeping him interested in chewing it. The funny part is the sock isn’t even ripped from him biting on it. Watching him grab onto that sock and haul it around it the best.
One of the other great homemade teething toys I made is by ripping up strips of an old t-shirt and tie the strips in knots. If you have denim available, that is even better. I then wet the fabric in water and put in a freezer bag in the freezer. Once it is completely frozen, I give it to FERGUS and he chews on it. The frozen fabric soothes his sore gums.
FERGUS actually likes to chew on ice cubes, which when supervised is OK. Ice is handy and easy to get. Such a simple DIY at home option for your puppy.
Stuffy’s… yeah or nay
Puppies teeth are very sharp and can potentially rip apart things made of fabric or soft. The funny thing about puppies is even though they can be destructive with a pair of socks or your clothes, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t also have a plush stuffed toy.
A teething puppy is sometimes a cranky, irritable puppy that is in pain. I have always found with all my dogs, that from the very beginning, they need to have a plush toy with them. Giving them a stuffed plush toy or wobby, can help comfort them when they are in pain from teething.
FERGUS is no different, he actually has 2 stuffies that he loves. When we gave it to him of course we were cautious that he didn’t rip or tear the toy right away. His cow “BLUE” is a real comfort to him. He does chew or I guess suck on his horns and ears, but not destructively. Honestly it is more of a soother type toy.
Blue stays with him in his kennel at night and when we aren’t home. He carries it around in his mouth like a big boy. It is adorable.
The other most recent stuffy, is his big Lamb Chop stuff toy. Lamb Chop is almost the same size has FERGUS, but yet he still pulls him around. Then when it’s nap time he cuddles right up against it.
We need to remember that puppies are used to all their litter mates nestling up against them when they are babies, so all of a sudden they are all alone. This really makes my heart hurt, poor babies miss their families.
Yes your dog can tear and rip a stuffy, so thinking of it as a teething toy sounds strange. In my personal experience, the comfort they get from the toy far out ways the risk of a rip or tear in the toy.
Let me tell you, this dog parent is pretty darn good with a needle and thread. There are many of all of our boys toys that have needed a mending or two over the years. I just look at it as being a good mom.
Yes teething is hard for us dog parents, but we need to be compassionate about how much their gums really must be hurting. This stage of puppies doesn’t last forever, and I try to remind myself of that when I start to get frustrated with FERGUS when he is mouthing everything in site. First breathing and then put something in his mouth he is allowed to have. This calms me and teaches him that he can’t have everything he wants.
The key with chew toys for teethers is that you need to just keep switching between toys and constantly be putting one in their mouth. Redirection is key! The second they go to grab something you don’t want them to have, you redirect them with one of their toys. Maybe you get them a new toy and they don’t have interest in it right away. Keep going back to it and reintroducing them to it. Sometimes it just takes longer for them to realize they actually like it.
One last thing that I have started to do, is to stick my fingers in his mouth and rub along his gums to find the sore spot. If they will let you, sometimes rubbing it with your finger gives them some relief. Now not every dog is going to let you do this, but FERGUS seems to be OK with it. This can also help down the road when it comes to trying to brush his deal when he is older.
The teething puppies tips that I have shared here are things that are currently working for me and my dog FERGUS. I hope that you find some of these tips helpful. Best of luck to you and you’re teething puppy.