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16–19 Weeks: What to Expect From Your Puppy

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How to Help Your Puppy While He's Teething

Perhaps you thought you were done with teething after your last child but little did you know the pile of fluff you brought home would lead you into the teething zone again. Teething for puppies is very harrowing and their main goal during this time is to alleviate the pain. They do this by chewing on everything in site including your new shoes and heirloom rug.

You may notice little puppy teeth marks around the house as an indication that this has started. Other signs, besides excess chewing, are bleeding gums, a rise in aggression, whining and sometimes, apathy.

Puppies have 14 teeth on top and 14 on the bottom. And they get to deal with several more coming in - adult dogs have 21 teeth on the top and 21 on the bottom. This is a trying time for puppies and babies alike (and parents). But there are a few things you can do to ease your puppy's discomfort.

To help your puppy through the teething stage, try some of these tips:

  1. Provide your puppy with tough chew toys. Nylabone is a good brand as are Kong and Orbee.

  2. Put your pup's chew toys in the freezer. The cold will help with his pain.

  3. Give your pup ice cubes or frozen fruit like strawberries and apples.

  4. Keep your puppy distracted with playtime and obedience training.

  5. On days when the discomfort seems high, give your puppy some aspirin (20mg/10lb of baby aspirin).

  6. Use the homeopathic form of Chamomile (low potency (12X or 30X)) a few times a day.

There is no way around teething. If you leave your pup to his own devices, he will try every untethered object in his mouth. And, worse, he will be suffering when you can help alleviate his pain. And by keeping your puppy's discomfort in mind it will be easier to forgive the tattered shoes.

Advice from Other Dog Owners 

Puppies Eat Less When They are Teething

When my dog was teething his appetite decreased quite a bit. Our vet recommended adding water to his food to soften it up, which worked great. He did not recommend that we do that all the time because the hard food helps their dental hygiene. That worked for us! Ice cubes and toys in the freezer also helped (i.e. water down a rope toy and freeze).

~TALIE D., owner of Labrador Retriever

When Puppies Lose Their Teeth

Puppies have a full set of 28 milk teeth - 4 canines, 12 incisors and 12 molars. The incisors and canines grow in first, the molars last. At around three to four months of age, your dog is going to start losing milk teeth and growing in her adult set of teeth, which consists of a total of 42 teeth - a lot more than the puppy teeth she has. The first to fall out are going to be her incisors, her front teeth. She will start growing her adult incisors first. Around four to five months of age you will see her adult molars and canines to grow in. By about six months, she should have her full set of adult teeth.

~Chris & Brian C., owner of German Shepherd

Here's a Cheap Teething Toy Option

Wet an old washcloth, wring out excess water, put in a baggie and freeze it. Our puppy likes it when I "flavor" it slightly with the juice of something I've fried, like porkchops, etc. Also, she really likes Bully Sticks (beef tendons)!

~Terese V., owner of a Weimaraner, Anatolian Shepherd, and Pyranees

No Need for Fancy Teething Toys

A thick cardboard box, an empty water bottle, and a nylon broom have proved to be great teething toys. No great cost or destruction involved. However, I'm looking forward to the end of the teething phase.

~Mary B, owner of a Golden Retriever

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