Puppy biting and teething can be very frustrating and painful for pet parents. If your once calm puppy has turned into a menacing puppy biter, our Edgewater vets are here to tell you how you can curb this behavior.
Why does my puppy keep biting me?
Puppy teething can seem like a very long process if your fur baby is chewing on everything they can wrap their jaws around. But it's important to try and stay calm and remember that your pup isn't trying to be naughty, they are trying to relieve the pain and discomfort they are feeling. It just so happens that chewing on your new sofa's leg may be the perfect thing for making your pup's mouth feel better.
When do puppies start teething?
Although breeds vary, puppies typically develop their first set of teeth between the ages of 5 and 6 weeks. Around 16 weeks of age, your puppy will start to lose its needle-sharp baby teeth and adult teeth will appear.
How long does the biting stage last?
By the time your puppy is about 6 - 7 months old, it should have all 42 adult teeth and teething should be over.
However, the 4 to 5 months of intense teething can be a real challenge for many pet parents. Puppies seeking pain relief will often chew on almost anything they can find, which, due to their small stature, can include furniture legs, expensive footwear, or even your feet or fingers.
So what can you do to help relieve your furry friend's discomfort and protect your valuable belongings? Here are a few suggestions from our veterinary team at Animal General.
How to Stop a Puppy from Biting
If you're wondering how to train a puppy not to bite, our Edgewater vets have several tips that could help curb your puppy's naughty behavior.
Store Some Puppy Friendly Teething Toys in the Freezer
Much like teething babies, puppies often find that chewing cold or frozen items help to relieve teething pain. While there is a range of teething-specific toys available from most pet stores almost any dog toy can be frozen to help provide relief for your pup. Kongs, rubber bones, and dog-specific soft toys are all great options.
Offer Your Pup Extra Durable Chew Toys
Puppies teething bones from brands like Nylabone are sized appropriately for small, medium, and large breeds and come flavored to help encourage your puppy away from boring smelling valuables and over to a tasty chewy treat - encouraging both healthy chewing habits and relieving pain at the same time.
Edible Teething Sticks for Puppies
Many reputable dog food brands offer edible puppy teething treats and bones to help relieve your fur baby's mouth pain. Your vet may recommend one specifically for your little dog or you can pop by your local pet store and choose from a range of flavors and sizes. Be sure to choose the right size for your pup so they will gain the most benefit from the teething treat you choose.
Healthy Frozen Foods For Puppies to Chew
Many puppies enjoy tasty treats like frozen bagels, frozen carrots, or other nutritious vegetables. If you intend to feed your dog frozen food, consult with your veterinarian first to ensure that it is a good choice for your pup.
Is my puppy just playing?
Puppies naturally play by nipping and biting. When a puppy bites another puppy too hard, the injured puppy lets out a high-pitched yelp.
If your young puppy is nipping and biting at you it's important to put a stop to this behavior before it gets out of hand. One effective approach for stopping this behavior is to mimic the yelp of a hurt puppy when your little friend digs their teeth into you. A loud little 'OW' in a high-pitched voice should startle your puppy and cause them to back off. When your puppy stops and backs off be sure to offer a reward for their good behavior.
If this approach leads your puppy to nip at you more aggressively, quietly stop playing with your puppy and walk away or gently put your pup in their crate for some quiet time.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.