Raising a puppy can be challenging; dealing with house breaking, chewing, nipping, teaching basic commands and making sure the cat and furniture are safe from exploring teeth can be a full time job. However, the most challenging time comes when he’s teething. When pups are around six to eight weeks old, mom will start the process of weaning them, and with good reason. Puppy teeth start to come in when they are ready to begin eating solid food, and those little teeth are sharp – all 28 of them.
As puppies mature, their baby teeth fall out and are replaced by adult teeth – 42 for most breeds. Once a puppy’s baby teeth begin to fall out, you might find one or two on the floor, but not usually. Most teeth are swallowed, but there’s nothing to worry about. Teething is a natural and necessary part of raising a puppy.
Because the teeth are well positioned and strong, a mature jaw has the necessary strength needed for protection and eating. Puppies, on the other hand, have weaker jaws, so their teeth have to be razor sharp to make up for inadequate jaw strength so they can eat solid food easier.
Puppies can start to lose their baby teeth as early as three months, but most will start closer to four months. However, some may not begin until they are older, at around six months or so. It depends on the breed and his size. For the most part, pups should have their adult teeth between seven to eight months old. Once teething begins, so does the chewing.
Chewing is how puppies soothe their mouth during teething. They will pick up anything and everything they find, whether it’s an appropriate chew toy or not. This is an important time to be vigilant, to make sure your pup isn’t chewing on electrical cords, furniture, shoes, clothing or anything else that could be dangerous.
I recently bought Skye a sterilized natural bone, and she was in her yard chewing on it when a friend came over. He asked me how old Skye was and I replied that she would be four this summer. That surprised him, because she was still chewing. After all she had all her permanent teeth, so he wanted to know why she was still chewing. As he had never owned a dog and wanted to understand, I explained that it doesn’t matter how old a dog is; they never stop chewing.
Dogs never stop chewing. Sounds funny doesn’t it? But the truth is that while dogs stop teething, they never stop chewing. This should come as no surprise to anyone who owns any dog that is used for hunting or retrieving, as they are very oral by nature. Most Retriever and Terrier owners I know have a good supply of nylon bones or chewies to keep their four legged kids busy.
Dogs’ teeth are not visible when they are born, and 28 puppy teeth begin coming in between three to six weeks of age. This is when a puppy begins to chew. They start losing their puppy teeth by the age of thirteen weeks. Dogs’ adult teeth (they have 42) begin coming in between the age of two and seven months. So you could see some heavy duty chewing between the ages of three weeks to seven months. The chewing will slow down as they get older, but it never stops completely.
Dogs can’t pick up things with their paws the way we do with our hands, so they use their mouths to taste and test the things they pick up. They are curious, so it doesn’t matter if it is the TV remote, a cell phone, glasses or a shoe on the floor; they have to check it out. Chewing helps remove plaque from your dog’s teeth, and is a good addition to brushing your dog’s teeth regularly. So if you have a good supply of nylon bones, sterilized natural bones and other chewies you can keep your dog (and yourself) happy, as they won’t be looking for things that they shouldn’t be chewing and that could be dangerous for them.
I have observed that dogs will work out frustrations when they are chewing. When Skye can’t find a favorite chew toy, she will go after a “non-approved” dog toy. That usually means a plastic drink bottle or cottage cheese container; though it has included wood logs and shoes. She takes the plastic out of the recycle bin and the wood out of the wood box because she can reach them. I would rather that she picked a dog toy, but she just wants something in her mouth and is too lazy to go looking for a real toy. She has a toy box outside and one inside as well, so it isn’t like she can’t find anything to suit her. Skye knows that it’s not a dog approved item, so she could be doing it for the attention factor as well. All I know is that Skye needs to chew.
One way to help your own canine chewer is to have duplicate chewing toys around the house in different rooms, as well as some toys that are designated outside chewing toys. An outside chewing toy would be one that you would not want leaving grease on your leather sofa, or that may get sticky during chewing and leave gooey bits around the house that are difficult to clean up.
Remember, our dogs are like children in that they should not be left alone with any toy no matter how safe you think they might be. You should always supervise your dog with any toy that you choose to allow them to have. By carefully supervising the toys your dog chews, you shouldn’t have the same issues that we have had with Skye and hopefully you can learn from our mistakes. As they say: “forewarned is forearmed.”
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.