“CHEW ON THIS!”
Hello everyone, Dr. Megan here!
For today’s “Tuesday’s with Tucker” we will be talking a little bit about teething and appropriate toys. Puppies begin teething and losing baby teeth around 4 months of age, and adult teeth emerge by around 6 months. Did you know that puppies have 28 deciduous (baby) teeth and 42 permanent (adult) teeth? During this time, you may see your puppy chewing on just about anything, and possibly some unwanted items of yours! If your puppy begins biting furniture or shoes the best solution is to redirect their attention to toys. As a last resort, we suggest using bitter apple spray to discourage chewing on individual household items or spots.
Appropriate toys for teething, and ones that I have found Tucker to especially love, are rubber Kong toys and rope toys (stop by anytime and we’ll be happy to help you pick out what will work for you!). Just like humans, the teething process is painful so freezing soft rubber toys (especially with a little bit of peanut butter), or other toys meant for freezing, helps soothe and massage their gums as they are chewing. Plush toys can still be used but your puppy may tear up the toys very quickly if they’re anything like Tucker, and can be a hazard.
I recommend keeping a variety of toys ready that you can pull out one after another so that your pup can keep chewing after losing interest in a certain toy. There are many toys out there that claim they are safe for teething, but take caution with some. One rule I like to use is that if you can’t make an indent in the toy with your fingernail, then it is too hard for your pup!
Now, let’s talk about rawhides…they can be a good outlet for a nonstop chewer but can be dangerous depending on how your pup chews. Rawhides can soften up quickly when they are chewing resulting in less likelihood of fractured teeth, but there is also a risk of ingestion since soft pieces can be torn off. Hard chewers can also break off large pieces to ingest, even without softening them first. Therefore, with rawhides I recommend limiting the time allowed with them and having direct supervision over your puppy when he/she is chewing them. There are plenty of rawhide alternatives available that are safe for accidental ingestion. No matter what, it is always good to monitor your puppy while playing with any toy.
Our next topic will be Doggie Daycare https://spsmallanimalhospital.com/doggie-daycare/
Please comment below or message us if you have any specific questions about teething or toy options! And as always, give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about your puppy’s teeth! Learn more about us and request an appointment here: https://spsmallanimalhospital.com/about-us/
Tucker and I are here to help!
Dr. Megan Krapf