Soothing Your Teething Puppy Through Gum Massage

Many people assume that a puppy who bites or chews on everything is poorly trained when in fact this phenomenon is usually a sign of puppy teething. Teething is a stage that every puppy (and their owner) must endure, but there are ways that you can make the process more bearable for both of you. Gum massage is a great way to ease some of the pain that comes with puppy teething.

Puppy Teething Symptoms

A puppy generally gets his first teeth as early as three weeks after birth and the teething process may continue until six to eight weeks of age. The best way to prevent them from chewing on everything during this stage is to alleviate some of the pain created by newly emerging teeth. Here are a few signs that your puppy might be entering the teething stage and that you should begin administering gum massage:

  • If an otherwise well-behaved puppy becomes very nippy
  • If your puppy is chewing on anything and everything
  • If your puppy's gums look reddened or slightly inflamed
  • If you see the first tips of baby teeth emerging

Benefits of Gum Massage

Gum massage benefits your puppy in several different ways and can even be considered an important part of your puppy's training. The obvious benefit of gum massage as it relates to your puppy teething is that it alleviates some of the pain caused by emerging teeth and can also help to speed the teething process by increasing circulation to the affected gums. Gum massage also gets your puppy accustomed to having his mouth handled and examined (which will be valuable later when you start cleaning his new teeth).

How to Massage Your Dog's Gums

The easiest way to satisfy your puppy's teething-inspired desire to chew is with a teething toy that is designed to massage the gums as they use it. These textured toys are generally made of durable rubber and come in a variety of breed-appropriate sizes.

Of course the easiest way isn't always the best way. The only way to ensure that your puppy is getting the full benefit of gum massage is by administering it yourself. The best way to do this is through the use of a finger toothbrush. Finger toothbrushes may be purchased at virtually any veterinary office or pet store. As their name implies, they are basically a single-finger glove with a firm rubber brush on the tip. To use, simply place the brush on your index finger, insert it into your puppy's mouth, and rub the gums in a slow circular motion.