Your puppy losing its teeth is something that's a normal and totally expected process that usually goes completely unnoticed. However, in some cases, it can be quite stressful for the owner, especially if they are not well informed. When my retriever Joey started losing his teeth, I was in for a surprise. Some things I learned during the process, but some things I wish I knew in advance. So, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, you can always turn to this guide and become a puppy teething expert.
Around the time people usually bring their new puppy home (weeks 12 to 16), you can expect your pet to lose their milk teeth and start growing its adult biters. We all know that that process is painful, so make sure to offer your pup something to chew on. Since this process is normal, try not to intervene. However, you can give your dog some soft teething toys or a frozen carrot (which soothes the gums and provides your pup with vitamins). These will help the puppy deal with pain and prevent gingivitis. By the time your pup turns 8 months old, they will shed all their baby teeth and get a set of 42 pearly white champers.
Especially if you don't provide your pup with appropriate chew toys, you can expect some damage to your property. In order to avoid such incidents, make sure all cords are covered and pay special attention to furniture legs. If possible, don't leave your puppy alone at home during the teething period. Even though they are small and clumsy, puppies can make a big mess. It only takes five minutes for them to get a good bite out of your sofa if you're not careful. So, constant babysitting and appropriate chew toys are a must.
This is a perfect time to start teaching your pup some useful commands that will save you a lot of trouble during teething as well as when your dog grows up. The "Leave it" command is probably the most useful one. You don't want to play tug-o-war with your pup for your favorite slippers. Don't forget to reward your pup with some junior treats whenever it listens to your command.
When my dog Joey started losing his teeth, I wanted to adjust his diet to that new situation. I was aware that chewing was a bit harder for him than before, so I switched his dry junior dog food for home-cooked soft food. However, our vet later explained that this was a mistake, one that many owners make.
The vet explained that soft cooked food doesn't really help your dog, but it only prolongs the teething process that can cause further complications. Luckily, we consulted with our vet and returned to Ivory Coat dry dog food Joey loves. His teething continued normally and there were no complications whatsoever.
If by any chance your pup's baby tooth doesn't fall out, some complications might occur. Make sure to monitor the teething process and as soon as you notice your dog hasn't developed new teeth during the expected period, it's best if you pay a visit to your vet. If you fail to do so, your dog might develop poorly aligned jaws and get permanent compromised biting abilities. Also, your dog might be feeling a lot of pain with a distorted jaw, so don't miss making a vet appointment in advance and completely avoid the problem.
With only a few good chew toys and some patience, you and your pup will get through the teething process without any stress or ruined furniture. Good luck to both of you!