teething retriever puppy chewing on paper lying on floor

Puppy Teething and What To Do About It

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You’ll likely be dismayed when your bundle of cute starts to bite and chew your prized possessions. We’ve been there. We get it. The puppy teething stage is no joke.

But if you’re well prepared for this stage, you can get through it. Maybe not unscathed, but without too many problems.

Here’s how to help your pup (and your home) breeze through the puppy teething phase with minimal disruptions.

Puppy teeth – the basics

Puppies, like humans, have “milk teeth” in that they’ll fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth as they grow. The milk teeth, technically called deciduous teeth, start to show at about two weeks old. By the time your puppy is 10 weeks old, their baby teeth should be fully developed…and ready to bite things.

The last of the baby teeth to go are usually the canines, at around six months old. So from around four to eight months, the puppy teething process is in full swing.

One big difference? Puppy teeth are much sharper and more pointed than their baby teeth. So much so that they’re sometimes called needle teeth. If that doesn’t conjure up some painfully accurate imagery in your mind, we don’t know what will.

What are the signs of puppy teething?

As you might’ve guessed, one of the major signs of puppy teething being underway is the infamous “itchy teeth.” By that, what we mean is that your puppy wants to nibble, chew, and bite everything.

And we mean everything: shoes, toys, bedding, rugs, furniture, and even your fingers.

If they’re of the sneaky variety and you don’t see them doing it, you might see tooth marks or other evidence around the house.

It can be frustrating, but remember your puppy is only a baby.

jack russell puppy and grown dog sitting on couch that they have chewed apart

Puppy teething survival tips

To help navigate puppy teething discomfort, try these tips.

1. Out of sight, out of mind

Don’t want your valuable Jimmy Choos to become Jimmy Chews? Put them out of reach in cupboards or on shelves.

2. Provide safe chew toys

If your puppy is teething, make sure to give them something that they’re allowed to chew on. A good chew toy should be durable, safe, and non-toxic.

It should have some give so your puppy can really sink their teeth into it, and it needs to be appropriately sized too.

3. Deter pup from ‘naughty’ chewing

Chewing is good for dogs, so you don’t want to discourage it entirely. If your puppy chews on something that’s not allowed, firmly say no, take it away and offer a suitable chew toy instead. Remember to praise when they chew something appropriate!

If they bite or chew your hand, yelp and pull your hand away, then ignore your puppy for a bit to let them know they hurt you. Learn more tricks for how to speak dog here.

4. Stick to kibble

Kibble is more suitable for young, developing teeth and gums than soft food. Considering raw? Read our article on raw food for puppies first.

Then, read our article on how to puppy proof your house like a pro. So you have a Plan B. And C…

Keeping an eye on your teething pup

Remember, teething can be uncomfortable for puppies. A little bit of blood here and there isn’t cause for alarm. But if there’s a lot of blood or your puppy seems quiet or under the weather, it’s time for a vet visit.

PD Insurance’s Deluxe dog insurance plan includes dental cover, which allows you to visit the vet for several types of dental treatments without worrying about the cost. If you feel you don’t need dental or our highest annual benefit limit, but want cover for things like accidents and illnesses, check out our other pet insurance plans.

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