Dog Teething Explained

Dog teething is probably one of the most destructive stages that your dog will ever go through. Teething almost always leads to unwanted chewing around the house; yet it is an inevitable stage for all dogs. It is important to understand the stages of teething and what you can do to help your dog along the way.

Teething Stages

Dogs are not originally born with teeth. For the first few weeks of life, they spend most of their time feeding from their mother and they have no use for teeth. However as they grow, at around three weeks of age, their first set of baby teeth will emerge from the gums. The purpose of these baby teeth is mainly for the transition that occurs during weaning. The teeth will become more useful as the switch from solely breast-feeding to eating soft, solid foods.

The next stage occurs at around six months of age. This is when your dog will start loosing his baby teeth and replace them with adult teeth. The purpose of the adult teeth is to provide a substantial means of eating for the remainder of their lives. Most pet owners are alarmed when they find their dog's teeth lying around; however, this is a completely normal stage of teething.

Chewing Is Normal Part of Teething Process

Chewing is a normal part of the teething process. As the teeth start to protrude through the gum line, your dog will be a little bit uncomfortable with the pain of his new teeth. The gums can become very sore and the only relief that your dog will find is through chewing. One of the main problems that dog owners encounter with teething is that dogs don't have the ability to comprehend the difference between your favorite slippers and a Nylabone chew toy. Because of that, many dogs end up chewing on table legs, shoes, plastic cups and children’s toys.

Chew Toys to Help with Dog Teething

One of the ways that you can help your dog is by providing him with a variety of approved chew toys. Chewing allows the teeth to come through quicker and it helps to alleviate some of the pain. So, it is natural for a dog to chew consistently during the teething stage. However, it is important for you to provide him with dog chew toys to avoid him chewing on things around that house that are unwanted and unsafe.

Some great chew toys include:

  • Nylabone Durables
  • Nylabone Flexibones
  • Everlasting Treat Ball
  • Quado Dog Bone
  • Dental Action Chews

Cage Training

Not only is cage training an excellent way to teach your dog to defecate outside, it is also a great way of limiting your dog's ability to roam about the house unsupervised. When your dog is allowed to have the run of the house unattended, you usually come home to find many things have been chewed and destroyed. However, it is not necessarily your dog's fault. He is only acting out of natural instinct and, at that point in his life, he doesn't know any better. But by keeping your dog in a cage while you are not at home, you can eliminate your dog's ability to chew on unapproved items.

You can also teach your dog limits. If you allow only approved chew toys to be in the cage with him, he will eventually learn that those toys are specifically for him to chew on and that nothing else in the house is fair game.