Puppy Teething Symptoms Explained

Puppy teething symptoms can oftentimes bring about troublesome activities mistaken disguised as bad behavior such as nipping and chewing. These behaviors, although common, are signs of teething and can be managed using a few simple techniques.

A puppy will teeth until he is around 6- or 7-months-old and during that time, you should be managing the symptoms and teaching proper, acceptable behavior at the same time. Unfortunately, if not handled properly, the habits that go along with teething can follow a puppy into adulthood and cause unwanted behaviors.

Here are some puppy teething symptoms followed by ways to help assuage them.

Signs your Puppy Is Teething

  • Chewing - the most obvious sign of a teething puppy is chewing. This can be chewing on a toy, a stick in the yard and sometimes, unfortunately, the furniture. When a puppy chews he is teething and simply trying to alleviate the pain associated with erupting teeth.
  • Missing teeth - this common occurrence should not cause alarm but simply means the baby tooth has been pushed out to make way for the adult tooth underneath the gum.
  • Bleeding or swollen gums - this uncomfortable sign of teething can be managed with gentle, but careful, massaging of the gums (approximately ten minutes, two- to three-times per day) with a damp cloth that has been put in the freezer (for at least one-hour).
  • Excessive drooling - an oftentimes messy behavior, drooling can be identified by wet spots on a dog bed or other area you dog tends to situate himself for long periods. Puppies generally have erupted their baby teeth by the time they are 8-weeks-old and have lost their baby teeth and replaced them with their adult teeth by 7-months-old. Unless you have a breed known for excessive drooling, this should end after the adult teeth have erupted.

Ways to Help Your Puppy During the Teething Process

  • Make sure you have ample toys on hand for the dog to chew. - Rope and plastic toys work best. Putting the toys in a special box will help your dog more clearly identify which ones are his. Each time you take one out, be sure the dog sees where you are getting it from. In an excited voice (to get the dog's attention) say something like, "Look, here's your toy," and then make a show of getting the toy from the box and presenting it to your dog. This helps the dog to learn where to find appropriate toys to chew on. These toys should be changed every few weeks to keep the puppy's interest and to alleviate boredom.
  • Freeze a Kong toy filled with peanut butter or wet dog food. - The cold peanut butter inside the kong not only helps alleviate the pain of teething but can be a great boredom buster as well. Rope toys can also be frozen.
  • Have patience. - Even adult dogs chew and with your help and guidance during teething, your puppy will turn into a dog who knows what is appropriate to chew on. If kept in check and well-managed, you will help your puppy during this difficult time to alleviate this painful process and begin to teach proper chewing habits that will maintain throughout adulthood.