Teething in puppies occurs the first 6-8 months of life when they are using those sharp puppy teeth on everything they can get their muzzle around. It is very important to provide them with a variety of appropriate teethers during this developmental state. Why?
1. Healthy gums. The gum tissue is an important part of oral health. The gingiva has a healthy blood supply that has access to the entire body. It is important to help keep this area healthy and clean. This can set your dog up for a lifetime of wellness! Teethers with built in gum massagers, like this one, allow teeth to sink in and the other part of the teether will softly massage the gums. Essential oils such as Dog Breath from AnimalEO can also help with gum health and help alleviate teething pain. Click to purchase.
2. Dental development. Chewing is a way to help loosen any weak baby teeth and breaks the skin on the puppy’s gums so that a new tooth can come through. It is not uncommon to find retained baby teeth in an adult dog. Teethers can help remove loose baby teeth.
3. Satisfy the urge to chew. Teethers are essential to use while your puppy is experiencing this intense need to chew. Every time they try to chew on something inappropriate you will need a variety of teethers to redirect their behavior to. Just as in children, constant redirection and praise are needed during this time. You can add treats to teethers such as these to encourage appropriate choices.
4. Alleviate pain. Just like with human babies, puppies experience the same type of teething pain. The gums are inflammed and baby teeth are coming out, adult teeth are coming in all by the time they about 6 months old. That's a lot of teething! You can help your puppy with teething pain by offering frozen teethers to help relieve inflammation. Click here to purchase.
5. Save your furniture! Puppies WILL find something to chew on. Make sure it isn't your heirloom table legs. Protect important pieces of furniture with temporary padding and having a variety of different textured teethers will help deter them from choosing the wrong things to chew on. Consider antlers as a long lasting teether your puppy will love.
Debbie Reynolds, DVM