Learning how to manage your dog in their teething phase is an important first step in dog parenting. At two weeks old your puppy’s 24 baby teeth grow in. This razor sharp set of teeth helps the puppy to get milk from its mother, but is incredibly painful when on human skin.
It is up to you to set your puppy up for success while teething by giving them plenty of options to chew on and by giving them feedback when they are nipping or biting you. We are going to give you our top 4 picks for the best toys and chews for teething puppies. But first, let’s go over some of the techniques you can use to curb the behavior.
A time-out involves removing the dog from you by walking away and going into another room for 10-30 seconds. When you come back, ask the dog to ‘sit’ or go ‘down’ and then let them try again. You are often the most rewarding thing in the environment for the dog so taking yourself away from them gives across the message that something they did made you go away. This visual bit of feedback will encourage your dog to stop biting. You can also divert attention away from you by giving them a toy (which we’ll talk about below!)
While your puppy is teething they need to have several options to work out the urge to chew. Giving your puppy a healthy option to chew on (aka not you or your furniture) is the best thing you can do during this time. Puppies gravitate toward different textures as they teethe, so here are 4 of the best types of toys you can get a teething pup:
Hard Plastic Toys
You want to give your dog something that challenges them and allows them to burn energy. But you don’t want to give them something so hard they chip their brand new teeth! Thankfully there are a lot of chew toys made specifically for teething from brands like Nylabone, ZNOKA, etc.
Unlike rubber or nylon toys, chews are made of (or made to mimic) more natural materials like deer antlers, bones, tendons, and wood. Once again you want to make sure the toys are made for puppies as otherwise they may be too hard. We recommend brands like N-Bone, Nylabone, or Nature Gnaws.
Food toys are toys that you can put food in. These toys act like puzzles that make the dog have to work out how to get to the food. Some examples would be snuffle mats, lickimats, and puzzle bowls. These toys are a great way to mentally stimulate your dog and tire them out. Tired dogs are much less likely to get into trouble, so these toys are a great way to curb unwanted behaviors.