Just like raising a child, raising a puppy consists of a series of stages. One of these is the teething phase. During this period, your furry pal's puppy teeth fall out and are replaced with permanent, adult teeth. Teething in puppies commonly starts around the age of 4 months and can last about two months. Knowing what to expect when your puppy starts teething can help you ease him through this transitional period.
Blood and Teeth
When you puppy's teeth fall out, some bleeding can occur, just like it can with children. You might first notice this when you find a few drops of blood on the floor, in his mouth or on one of your puppy's toys. You might also find one or more teeth around the house, although this is not always guaranteed, because sometimes your pet companion swallows the teeth. This is harmless -- the teeth digest in your puppy's intestinal tract.
When your puppy is teething, make sure to put anything of value out of his reach, because otherwise it might fall victim to his teeth. Teething causes discomfort in your pup's mouth; chewing massages his gums and offers relief. Supervise your pet companion consistently, and when you catch him gnawing on an inappropriate item, show him a chew toy or offer some ice cubes to redirect his attention. Praise him when he starts using the given alternative.
Nipping and Biting
Similar to chewing, your puppy might resort to nipping and biting your hands or legs when you go near him or try to pick him up. Neglecting this might make him grow up to be an aggressive adult dog who bites. To get your puppy to stop, firmly say "no" to startle him and stop him in his tracks. Then offer an appropriate item to chew on. Never offer treats to get him to stop biting your hands or legs, because this rewards the undesired behavior and will make him want to repeat it.
A notable side effect of teething in puppies is bad breath. Although your puppy's breath might never smell like flowers, during the teething stage, the sweet and sour smell emerging from his mouth is especially potent. This is because your puppy's bleeding gums and the warm, moist environment of his mouth form the ideal place for bacteria to thrive. After the teething stage, the bacteria in your pup's mouth reduce and his bad breath will diminish somewhat.
By Kimberly Caines
About the Author
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.