3 Tips to Help Teething Puppies

Bringing home a new puppy opens up a world of cuddles, licks and love. Aside from getting your puppy settled in and trained, one of the most common issues with new puppies is their mouthiness. They can chew on pretty much everything, partly because they are still growing and exploring–and partly because they are teething. There’s no need to fear puppy teeth – just follow these three tips to get you through those puppy years with minimal damage.

Puppies explore their environment by chewing, or mouthing on things. Photo by Tim Simpson.

Puppies explore their environment by chewing, or mouthing on things. Photo by Tim Simpson.

Tip #1. Keep chewable items out of reach. As with humans, teething is a phase that will definitely pass, but one of the simplest ways to keep your cool is to move chewable items out of puppy’s reach. Things like shoes, toys and even electronics can become tempting chew toys to your exploring puppy, so avoid having to purchase new items (not to mention getting incredibly irritated) by placing them in closed closets or out of reach. You may even find it helpful to keep your dog in an area of the house that’s been puppy-proofed to remove temptation. Just remember: if your puppy does start chewing on something he shouldn’t, make sure you replace the item with an appropriate toy rather than simply taking the inappropriate item away. That way, he learns what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate to chew rather than just getting in trouble for his natural behavior of chewing.

Tip #2. Provide or make teething toys. Giving your puppy plenty of acceptable things to chew on will help curb his desire to chew on valuables. Purchase a variety of teething toys for your pooch to explore. Or, make inexpensive toys by wetting, twisting and freezing a washcloth. Your puppy will get tons of chewing time in on these homemade toys. Just be careful giving really small dogs frozen toys, as they can sometimes get a chill, or a doggie version of an ice cream headache.

Tip #3. Curb teething with herbs. Use calming herbs to help curb your pup’s chewing tendencies. Make a tea with lavender or chamomile to cool and mix with puppy’s food. You may also find your puppy likes you freezing the tea and chewing on the ice cubes, but see the warning on Tip #2 for that option.

Just remember: teething is a phase that will pass. Follow these tips and add a healthy dose of patience to make it through this stage.