Once you have your new puppy home and settled in you will notice that your puppy likes to chew. Everything and anything goes in the mouth. Left out that pair of pumps that you searched for three weeks to find? Yum. How about the hubby's steel toed work boots, pup finds these absolutely delectable. So much for safety shoes. The one I always loved was coming home and finding a disemboweled diaper all over the living room. Needless to say having had more than a few pups go through this house we have pretty much seen it all.
What is Teething?
Teething happens when the puppies baby teeth (deciduous teeth) fall out and the new permanent ones begin to work through the gums. Chewing relieves the pain of "cutting" new teeth and helps the permanent teeth work through their gums.
How Long Does it Last?
Teething starts when your pup is around 12 weeks old. It will continue through 7 months of age. The initial teeth to fall out are the front teeth, the last ones are the back teeth and will fall out around the 6th to 7th month. Chewing will continue throughout the teething process.
Your first defense is a god offense. Pick it up. Find a safe storage area for your stuff and then, get down on the floor, put on your puppy goggles (look at the world from a puppy's perspective) and see what sort of attractive stuff is available for a pup that wants to chew.
Provide Good Alternatives
When you have tucked all the tempting nuggets away, stop at the pet store and find some really good stuff for the pup that it's allowed to have. Stuffed toys can be good make sure there are no buttons and expect that they won't last long unless they are made of really strong stuff. Squeekers can be good and bad. They are very nice to get the pups attention but make sure your pup doesn't swallow it. Some pups will keep at it until that little hard plastic piece is extracted.
If you don't mind the smell of smoked beef, the beef shank bones are a good chew exerciser. Nylabones are also a good alternative. Sometimes Nylabones are not very attractive to pups, get them started by rubbing them with peanut butter or simmer them in chicken stock for 15 minutes or so. Once the pup starts chewing on the Nylabones they will be a favorite toy. Replace them when the ends are worn down to a sharp point.
If you are attentive to your pup's needs while it is teething, you can make it through this phase. When you find the pup chewing on non-appropriate items, redirect it to something that is sanctioned. Remove the problem article and put it where it won't be found again. Keeping this up while the youngster is in its impulsive stage will eventually get through that small brain and you will find that the problem behaviors are a thing of the past.
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