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The puppy teething period doesn’t last long in the grand scheme of things – it usually starts at about 3 months and, depending on your dog’s breed, can last until about 8 months. You’ll probably see puppy teeth around your home, red and swollen gums, and maybe even an upset tummy. Rover may respond by whining (it hurts), drooling, being fussy, and chewing everything in sight (including people). Chewing eases the pain, so be prepared with these tips.

  • Get a puppy-sized Kong; you can fill it and freeze it. The ice soothes gum pain, and the Kong lasts longer frozen. Don’t give your pup ice cubes; he can choke on them. Most pet stores have a variety of teething toys that can be frozen too. A gentle game of tug-of-war with a rope toy may help very loose teeth fall out.
  • Consider feeding some wet or fresh food – it’s easier to eat for his sore gums.
  • If Rover tries to chew on you, keep replacing fingers with safe, durable toys (he will eventually get it). It’s never too early to start training.
  • Don’t set your puppy up to fail – put everything away if you don’t want it chewed up. Shoes, pillows, mobile phone, books, homework – you name it; if he’s teething, he will gnaw on it! This is a great time to start teaching the “leave it” cue.
  • Teething can be hazardous too. Pups won’t hesitate to chew electrical cords, clothing, socks, buttons – which can be dangerous if swallowed. If you can’t watch your puppy, then put him in a crate, pen, or gated in a safe room.
  • Start dental care now; at least get your pup comfortable with you examining his teeth. Buy a small toothbrush and start lightly brushing, but be gentle and watch for sore gums.

If you’re curious, puppies have 28 teeth, and adult dogs have 42!

This, too, shall pass! Be patient with your puppy; he is not being bad, he just has a very sore mouth.