Puppy Teething Symptoms

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It is well known that when you bring a new puppy into your home, she will inevitably chew. Chewing is just one of the dog teething symptoms you may notice as your new puppy is losing her puppy teeth and growing in her adult teeth. She will chew on the puppy teething toys you offer her, and she will chew your shoes and any other fun items she can find.

Puppies gonna puppy — which means chewing.
Image Credit: Puppy image by Ludmila Galchenkova from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Puppy teething symptoms

At what age do dogs start teething? Puppies will typically start the teething process at around 8 weeks of age, and the entire process can last for four to six months. Chewing is the most obvious symptom and the one that will likely test your patience the most, but there are other puppy teething side effects for which to watch.

Teething puppies will drool more than usual. They will have red and irritated gums, and you may even see gaps where he is missing teeth. You may notice some blood on his chew toys. This is completely normal, as the gums may bleed as the new teeth are growing in.

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Puppies are often very uncomfortable while they are teething, and their mouth may be painful and sore. As a result, puppies may not eat as quickly as they usually do. They may also whine.

Help a teething puppy

Teething puppies may whine.
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With some preparation and patience, you and your puppy can survive the teething phase. Be sure to keep your home tidy and keep all tempting items, such as your shoes, out of reach of your pup.

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Make sure to offer your puppy plenty of suitable chew toys. The toys you select should be suitable for your puppy's size. A large-breed pup will need bigger and more durable toys than a small breed. Some options to consider include a Kong or other rubber toy or a puppy teething ring. Consider freezing the toys before giving them to your dog to chew, as this can help to soothe sore gums.

Remember that while chewing will likely lessen once your puppy has finished teething, that doesn't mean the chewing will stop. Continue to provide suitable chew toys and plenty of exercise and play. Teach her useful commands, such as "leave it" or "drop it."

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Stop puppy biting

Depending on the situation, puppies may nip you as a part of play, or they may see your hand as a chew toy. A puppy that was taken from his littermates too early is especially prone to this problem. It is important to stop this behavior right away before his adult teeth grow in, and he is able to cause greater damage.

Never use negative punishments to train your puppy and don't allow the behavior to continue. Instead, make a high-pitched sound, much like a puppy would make in surprise and pain. Then, offer a suitable chew toy instead.

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Contact your veterinarian

Teething is a natural process, and most puppies make it through with no major problems. However, there are times when a trip to the vet may be necessary. Sometimes, a puppy may break one of her puppy teeth before it falls out, or a puppy tooth won't fall out at all when the adult tooth grows in.

Chewing is normal, just give your puppy something appropriate to chew on.
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A broken tooth can be painful and can lead to infection, and if a puppy tooth is retained, it can cause the adult teeth to become crowded and grow in improperly. In either case, it is important to have your veterinarian remove the offending puppy teeth.

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Another concern is malocclusion, which occurs when the teeth don't grow in the right location. This can make it difficult for your puppy to eat and chew properly and may cause pain and problems in the long term. Contact your veterinarian to determine the best course of action.

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