Puppies begin to lose their baby teeth around 12 weeks of age. During this time their gums may become swollen, irritated and red. They will look for ways to soothe the discomfort of teething by chewing on things in your home they should not chew if you do not provide a remedy. The key to getting a puppy through the chewing phase of teething is to provide proper soothing distractions and to be vigilant in keeping your floors cleaned up and household items out of your puppy's reach.
Provide one or two chew toys to your puppy at a time. Do not provide an abundance of toys at once, as this can train your puppy to chew whatever is at hand. Kong toys, available at pet supply stores, are made of hard rubber material and can be filled with peanut butter or a dog biscuit to encourage your puppy to focus on on the toy instead of other items in your home.
Some commercial dog toys are designed to be frozen. The coldness of a frozen toy can soothe aching puppy teeth. You can make your own frozen chew by twisting a wet rag into a sticklike shape and freezing it. With a frozen rag be certain you only give it to your puppy in a place in the house where you do not mind flooring getting wet when the rag thaws.
Some puppies will chew on ice cubes to soothe aching gums and teeth. If you puppy does not seem interested in plain ice cubes, you can freeze chicken or beef broth as an alternative. Drop a few ice cubes in your puppy's food bowl whenever he is experiencing intense chewing periods. As with frozen rag toys, only give your puppy ice cubes in an area of your home where you do not mind a little wetness on the floor.
Herbs such as lavender and chamomile have soothing properties that might help relax your puppy during teething. You can make both lavender and chamomile tea, allow it to cool completely and pour some over your puppies dry food or inject it into his mouth with a syringe. You can also freeze the tea into ice cubes and allow you puppy to chew on the cubes.
Confinement and Household Cleaning
When a puppy is teething, it is important to do your part to minimize tempting chewing opportunities around the house. Keep the floor picked up. Keep your shoes in a closet or bedroom. Look for anything that is at puppy eye level and move it to higher ground if you are concerned your puppy might think it is a chew toy. When necessary, particularly if you will be gone from home for a period of time, confine your puppy to one puppy-proofed room of the house.
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