Bringing a puppy into the home is a joyful and life-changing experience. However—as veteran pet parents know—once the new pup starts to grow, the teething process can be a challenge for the entire household.
Teething puppies often feel uncomfortable and get fussy. They will chew on shoes, furniture, children’s toys, and anything else within reach. Fortunately for pet parents wondering how to help a teething puppy, there are several ways to help replace and curb harmful chewing habits.
Offer Chew Toys
One of the best ways to help a puppy through the teething process is to purchase a few puppy teething chew toys. To teach pups which toys are theirs to chew, practice the replacement technique. Steps include:
Replacing. When pet parents see their pup chewing on an off-limits item, they should immediately take the item away and replace it with the chew toy.
Offering. By consistently offering the chew toy to the pup as a reward, the puppy will start to build positive associations with their new toy.
Rewarding. Pet parents should celebrate or reward the puppy with high value training treats for choosing the chew toy over an off-limits item. Make the process as fun as possible with enthusiastic praise and yummy treats.
When puppies are teething, it can seem tempting to purchase a soft toy, but hard rubber toys are actually safer and more soothing to the pup. The hard rubber stimulates sore gums and helps the pup’s new teeth break through the surface. For strong chewers, look for an indestructible or tough chew toy. Toys where a treat can be hidden inside, such as a Kong, which can help teething puppies favor this toy instead of unsafe or non-digestible items that are not allowed.
Provide Puppy-Safe Options
Much like human babies, puppies love to chew on cold toys during teething. To provide extra relief, pet parents can place rubber toys in the freezer or refrigerator overnight. Many toy brands offer puppy chews that can be frozen. The cold surface of these refreshing toys can offer significant relief to pups with aching gums and teeth. Always purchase a puppy-specific freezer toy—baby toys can be easily punctured by sharp puppy teeth and cause harm to the dog if swallowed.
To make sure the young puppy doesn’t get into trouble with off-limits items, pet parents should set up a safe space for them to play in when they can’t be watched carefully. Beyond puppy-proofing the home by removing chewing hazards, pet parents can purchase puppy playpens and crates to keep their puppy safe.
Help with Stress Relief
Teething can be a stressful experience for young puppies. If pet parents are wondering how to help a dog with anxiety during teething, they should always consult with their vet about products designed to provide stress relief for dogs. The Fuzzy Vet Team can provide recommendations for helping a young puppy manage stress when teething.
It is important to consult with a vet about any calming chews, herbal spray, or medication pet parents might be considering for puppies. Anxiety is usually not a problem in puppies. If it is, the anxiety or trauma should be addressed more holistically by behavioral therapy or environmental adjustments first rather than calming chews. Anxiety is more common in adult dogs. If a veterinarian approves or recommends supplements for an anxious (i.e. not just a hyper or boisterous one) providing the right dog anxiety medication and dosage is the key and should not be done without their guidance.
Start Dental Care Early
Another way to help the teething process is to get the new puppy started on their dental care routine. While it might seem premature to brush a puppy’s teeth, it’s never too early to start getting a young dog used to dental care. When pet parents master the technique of brushing their puppy’s teeth, they are setting their pet up for a lifetime of great oral health.
Beyond the health benefits, many dog teeth cleaning products can help soothe aching gums. For example, gentle brushing with the brush from a dental hygiene kit can help stimulate the puppy’s gums and encourage new teeth to break through the surface.
Similarly, the hard surface of dog dental chews feels great for teething pups. Pet parents should always consult with a vet before adding any dog health care products to their puppy’s routine.
Chat With a Vet
It can be difficult for pet parents to navigate the dos and don’ts of the puppy teething process. When in doubt, always consult with a vet or licensed pet health expert.
Fortunately, Fuzzy Members can enjoy 24/7 access to Live Vet Chat and gain valuable dog health tips and dog training advice. Fuzzy Vets help members personalized recommendations for:
- Great teething products
- Training for healthy chewing habits
- How to curb damaging chewing
- Behavioral tips for your growing puppy
- And more!
With the Fuzzy Vet Team on your side, you can be confident about learning how to help a teething puppy.