Top 6 Puppy Teething Symptoms
Do you have a new puppy in the house? If so, you may notice your new family member chewing on almost everything you and your family owns. This can be a frustrating time when raising a puppy, but it’s important to remember that he or she will grow out of it. Until then, keep in mind that this is all part of the life of a growing dog and is a common symptom of puppy teething.
But how can you be sure he/she is teething? What if it’s actually a behavioral problem causing them to chew on everything? Here are some of the most common puppy teething symptoms so you can learn to recognize them early on.
- Chewing on Everything
All dogs chew naturally—it’s just part of being a dog! But if you notice your puppy suddenly showing a marked increase in his/her interest in chewing, this may mean it’s time for them to start teething. Puppies will begin going out of their way to find items to chew on as they start growing their adult teeth. If this becomes a problem for your household, as it does for most homes with puppies, it’s crucial to give your puppy his/her own toys and work with them on training from an early age. The sooner they get the idea that they have their own belongings and you have yours, the better your relationship will be throughout their life.
- Frequent Drooling
Puppies who are teething tend to have a lot of pain in their gums and mouths. Because of this, they usually drool more often than they did in their earlier days. Even if your puppy is a breed that tends to drool excessively, you will likely notice an increase in drooling while they are teething. This goes double while they are chewing. They will likely drool and slobber all over everything they chew on while teething as well.
- Slow to Eat
When a puppy is teething, their mouth hurts, and it hurts even more when they go to eat. Because of this, another symptom that your puppy is teething is that he/she may start eating slower, even if they have been a voracious eater up until this point. Some puppies who have a lot of pain while teething may stop eating altogether. Although they usually will eventually eat something, you may need to speak with your veterinarian for some suggestions. Your vet can let you know what soft foods are safe for your puppy to eat at this stage in their life as well as any other supplements or ingredients you should consider to help them through the teething process.
- Bleeding, Red, or Swollen Gums
Your dog’s gums will probably be red and swollen while they’re teething, and this is very normal. This is just part of the process of their body getting rid of their baby teeth and growing new adult teeth. The redness and swelling may linger for several months, so don’t be alarmed if you continue to notice it even after some time has passed. Just like with humans, this is all natural, and unfortunately, some pain is involved. Puppies’ mouths may bleed frequently while they’re teething as well. This is usually because they have just lost one of their baby teeth, but bleeding may also occur when your puppy’s gums are especially sensitive. If you notice your puppy chewing on something for a long time and then see some blood on the toy or item, this is normal. As long as the item isn’t soaked in blood and your puppy seems to be behaving normally otherwise, there’s nothing to worry about. If you do feel like your puppy is bleeding too much for normal teething, be sure to speak to your vet for more information.
- Whining A Lot
Puppies always whine, especially while they’re still very young. However, if your puppy has grown out of the whining stage but then seems to go right back to it once again, this may be a sign that they’re experiencing a symptom of teething. Additionally, puppies who are teething tend to whine while chewing on toys and while eating as well. This is also due to their sensitive teeth and gums at this time. As long as the whining isn’t excessive and your puppy doesn’t seem to be in severe pain, this is still within the realm of normal teething behavior.
- Visible Lost Teeth
Finally, one of the most common symptoms of puppy teething is visible lost teeth. Just like with humans, dogs’ lost teeth may be easy to find. For example, if your puppy chews frequently on his/her favorite toy, look for their baby teeth to be left behind in it after a good chewing session. Many dog owners keep their puppies’ teeth for the sake of memory. If you want to do this, just clean off the tooth, let it dry thoroughly, and store it somewhere safe. It can be a nice addition to a scrapbook of your puppy’s life.
Remember that puppies go through the teething process twice in their lives, as opposed to human babies who only do it once. Newborn puppies have no teeth and start getting them at around 2 weeks of age. At around 8 weeks of age, puppies lose their baby teeth and grow their adult teeth, which is usually the stage that causes the most problems for puppy owners. It takes anywhere from four to six months for puppies to finish teething. This timeline varies depending on the puppy. On occasion puppies will not lose all their baby teeth and they will have what is called “retained deciduous” teeth.
It’s important to know that your veterinarian examines your puppies’ mouth during their puppy visits to confirm appropriate tooth loss, as retained teeth can cause problems in the mouth later in life. If you have any questions or are unsure if your puppy is experiencing teething symptoms, then it is important to call and speak with a veterinarian. While this is not a dangerous process for your puppy to go through, your vet will be able to offer additional advice on how to help your puppy go through this stage of life.