A four-month-old puppy teething isn't a walk in the park. This is the age when many puppy owners start facing the first challenges.
Sure, it's fun watching these young pups explore the world and romp around, but this is also a time when they start becoming more and more active and overly enthusiastic about everything they encounter.
As the teething process reaches its peak, these pups may have bouts of biting and chewing on anything they feel can help provide relief to their sore gums.
The Teething Stage of Four-Month-Old Puppies
At four months, your puppy is losing her baby teeth, while the adult teeth start emerging through the gums.
More specifically, the first incisors in the front of your pup's lower and upper mouth will be falling out and being replaced by the adult, permanent teeth. Between the ages of 4-5 months puppies may also lose their canine teeth.
The process isn't without discomfort and pain. Rather than crying and fussing like babies do, your pup will try to chew anything that help provide relief to her sore gums, and that includes your curtains, couch covers and shoes!
In general, when it comes to teething, there are no distinct milestones as every breed has different developmental times. Expect though to see marked nipping behaviors in dogs with a herding or hunting heritage, as these dogs are naturally more mouthy and it may take longer for their nipping to subside.
How Long Does the Teething Stage Last in Puppies?
Generally by the ages of 5 months all the permanent canines, premolars, and molars should be erupting. Pups should then have all their permanent teeth in by the age of 7 months.
Do Puppies Get Diarrhea When Teething?
This is not something very common, but occasionally there are reports of this happening. In most cases though, the diarrhea is stemming from something else.
More common causes in diarrhea in puppies consist of dietary indiscretions (eating something different), stress, and the presence of parasites like coccidia, giardia and whipworms.
Tips for Four-Month Old Teething Puppies
Now that you better understand the teething process and how it's impacting your four-month-old puppy, it's time to see what you can do to improve the situation. Following are several tips.
Keep Temptations Out of Reach
Simply, keep commonly chewed items out of reach so that your pup doesn't feel tempted to chew them. Out of site, out of mind.. For items that you cannot move away, place a barrier in front of them or simply keep your pup away from them using a playpen, pet fence or baby gate.
Leave Out Plenty of Chews
Make sure your teething puppy has access to a variety of chew toys that are safe for puppies. Provide different types and textures. Careful as toys for adult dogs may be too hard. Rotate toys to keep your pup's interest alive. Examples of toys that are durable: West Paws Chew Toys, Goughnuts, Stuffed Kongs etc. With temptations out of reach and access to legit chew toys, your 4-month-old puppy should be making lots of good choices!
Don't Get Angry!
Your puppy is not chewing things out of spite or revenge. Those sore gums hurt and chewing provides relief. Sure, she may feel comfort too in chewing items that smell like you and she may even have some fun, but it's important recognizing that chewing is normal and expected in puppies of this age.
Train the Leave it and Drop it Cue
These cues not only may save your pup's life, but can help protect your valuables to. Say "leave it" as soon as you notice your pup approaching something with the intent to chew, and use your drop it when your pup has something already in his mouth.
Offer a Trade
If you catch your pup with a shoe in her mouth and she doesn't know how to drop it yet, grab something your pup values such as a bully stick or a new toy and offer it as a trade for the shoe. Simply wiggle it around and toss it at a distance. The moment your pup goes to grab it, retrieve your shoes and put them away.
Offer Cold Foods
To help provide relief to irritated gums try offering, cold carrots, frozen blueberries, frozen bananas and frozen strawberries. Even a frozen stuffed Kong can help provide relief and some entertainment.
Soaking a washcloth in water, then twisting it (so it's rung out) and putting it in the freezer to solidify can turn out also being a great teething object.
Soften the Food
Soaking your pup's kibble in water, can help reduce some discomfort associated with eating. Adding a spoon or two of canned puppy food on top of the kibble may work well as an enticer to get reluctant pup to eat.
Can Orajel Be Used for a Teething Puppy?
One problem with Oragel is that it numbs the puppy's whole mouth and this makes the puppy prone to biting her tongue or cheeks.
On top of this, many teething gels contain benzocaine, which is a local anesthetic that can lead to side effects such as vomiting, depression, heart arrhythmias, difficulty breathing, and methemoglobinemia.