Around two weeks of age, a puppy begins to get his baby teeth; by the time he is 12 weeks old, he will have all of them. Not long after the last baby teeth are in, the puppy will begin to lose them and new, permanent teeth will take their place. As the new teeth come in, the puppy might experience redness, swelling and irritation. You can take steps to alleviate his pain and reduce the risk of your puppy chewing up valuable items while he's teething.
Provide your puppy with acceptable items on which to chew. While the new teeth are putting pressure on a puppy's gums, chewing is a natural reaction. If you don't provide a chew toy, your puppy will look for something else to chew, including furniture, shoes and other things you value. Offer him only one or two chew toys, and present them to your puppy before he starts chewing on something else. If you supply too chew toys, your puppy may not distinguish them from other things that seem chewable.
Enhance your puppy's desire to chew on his designated toy by rubbing a small bit of peanut butter on it once or twice a day. Do not go overboard on the peanut butter. Try an alternate flavor occasionally, such as bacon grease.
Give your puppy an ice cube to chew. For an occasional change of pace, drop one or two ice cubes in your puppy's food bowl. Used crushed ice for toy breeds. The ice will melt and slip back into the bowl as he works on it, but it will provide soothing relief for irritated gums while it lasts.
Freeze a clean dishrag after dipping it in water and wringing it out. Twist the damp dishrag into a tight, rope-like shape and let it freeze that way. When your puppy shows signs of needing to chew, offer the frozen rag to chill and temporarily numb his gum pain. When the rag warms and softens, you can rinse it out and refreeze it.
"The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats" suggests massaging your puppy's gums to relieve her pain. While sitting with your puppy, use one hand to support her chin while gently rubbing her upper and lower gums for a few minutes.
To help your puppy relax for a gum massage, spend some time petting her and gently massaging the outside of her mouth before beginning to rub her gums.
Items You Will Need
- Chew toy or toys
- Peanut butter
- Clean dishrag
- Dog Owner's Home VETERINARY Handbook, 4th Edition, Debra M. Eldredge, DVM Liisa D. Carlson, DVM Delbert G. Carlson, DVM James M. Giffin, MD, Howell Book House Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc, 2007
- The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats, by the Editors of Prevention Magazine, Amy Marder VDM, Bantam Books, 1997
- Royalty free image from Shutterstock