Patricia March, RVT, VTS (Dentistry)
Teething is a tricky time for pet owners. You can help veterinary clients by serving up these simple suggestions to keep puppies properly occupiedand out of the shoe closet!
Note: The tips for teething puppies are suggested to help relieve the discomfort of teething. No toy or other implement should be offered without supervision. Not all of the suggestions will work for all breeds of puppies. Discretion is necessary.
1. Offer frozen mini bagels, plain or fruit variety, not onion. Allowing them to chew, and eventually consume, the bagels helps to numb the gingiva, easing discomfort. The denseness of the bagel may actually help to remove loose baby teeth.
2. Cold carrots, while offering vitamins and minerals, may help relieve discomfort. Just don't offer more than one whole carrot a day, because of its high fiber content.
3. Frozen fruit, such as strawberries or bits of banana. The “cold pack” may help relieve oral discomfort and the fruit is edible, although it might get a little messy.
4. Wet a dishrag or towel, twist it into a rope-like shape and freeze. The cold helps relieve oral discomfort, and the chewiness of the towel helps encourage proper biting behavior.
5. Offer puppy-specific toys, such as a Chilly Bone or Kong. These can also be frozen.
Then serve up these quick do's and don'ts to clients to help them keep their puppies safe:
> Don't ever give over-the-counter pain medications without the express permission of your veterinarian. Even holistic remedies, such as clove oil, are not recommended for puppies.
> Don't give ice cubes to puppies. Puppy teeth are fragile and more likely to break.
> Do take your pet to the veterinarian to check the occlusion of the teeth as the puppy ages. Your veterinarian will address any malalignment quickly to prevent permanent issues when your puppy becomes an adult dog.