OUCH!! That’s what you say when you get nipped by your puppy’s razor-sharp teeth. Your sweet little pup is not trying to be aggressive or mean-spirited, he’s probably teething! Help ease your pups teething woes by offering safe, natural chews.
If your puppy is biting, sucking, chewing or just being an absolute menace, then he might be feeling pain from teething. Teething is the painful process of losing their baby teeth to allow adult teeth to burst through the gums.
Your puppy will have a natural instinct to chew on everything and anything to help work those teeth out faster. Offering a healthy, natural chew will sooth their tender gums and reduce the destructive chewing habits that come hand-in-hand with the teething process.
9 Natural Chews That are Safe for Your Puppy
When looking for a chew for your puppy, you have to consider how hard it is and how it will digest. Many chews meant for tough chewers are too hard for a puppy’s delicate teeth.
This can make it challenging to help them through the teething phase. The gums will be sore, and a hard chew could make the pain worse. Worse still would be if they were to damage or break a tooth.
Fortunately, many softer chews are safe for your puppy to eat. Here are some of our favourite puppy-safe natural chews to help them reduce pain from puppy teething:
1. Tripe Twists
Tripe is the stomach lining of any grazing animal. Tripe Twists are made from the third stomach of a cow. These chews are uniquely flavourful and are twisted into a stick to allow your dog to soften and chew off small pieces at a time. These stringy sticks will help to massage their gums and ease pain related to teething.
Tendons are ideal for a longer chewing experience. They are long and hard, but will quickly soften and allow your puppy to chew without breaking pieces off too fast. Tendons will sink between teeth and help to floss away bacteria that settles at the gumline.
Although not a dense as tendons, Chompers, made from beef esophagus, are both fun to chew and easy to digest. Chompers come in a few styles, designed to accommodate different sizes of puppies.
For daintier chewers and small breeds, Chomper strips and sticks are the perfect snacks, while bigger tougher breeds may prefer a braided chomper.
4. Beef Ears
Beef ears have a chewier texture than pig ears do, so they tend to last a little longer and provide more relief as your puppy chews. Unlike most pig and cow ears on the market, ours are not smoked but baked.
This leaves a less greasy final product that makes it easier to digest, especially for young puppies with sensitive digestion. They are also low in fat and provide a healthy source of cartilage, which can support hip and joint health.
5. Bully Sticks
Probably one of the most well-known dog chews, bully sticks are perfect for dogs of any age, size, or breed. They are tough enough to last longer than any of the other chews on this list, but not so tough that a young puppy can’t soften and break them down.
Bully sticks tend to be denser than other chews and will provide more calories from protein. Choose the size that is best suited to your pup and try to avoid overfeeding. Check out What are Bully Sticks: The Facts, Myths, and Nutrition, to learn more about feeding these tasty chews.
6. Vital Essentials Turkey Necks
If you are looking to stick to raw chews but hate the mess, try freeze-dried. Vital Essentials specializes in offering a healthy freeze-dried alternative to some of the most popular chews for dogs.
Feeding bones to a puppy is risky unless you stick to soft, hollow bones and cartilage, like what you’ll find in raw poultry necks, backs, or feet. Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Turkey Necks are an easy way to feed your puppy raw bone without the mess or hassle of fresh raw.
7. Angus Stuffers
A favourite for picky pups, this stuffed treat blends a chewy, tough exterior with a soft crumbly meat filling. Angus stuffers are a beef and tapioca filling, wrapped in a thin layer of beef esophagus.
They don't last forever, but they are easy on the tummy and packed with flavour that no puppy can resist. They are only offered in one size, so they may not be suitable for every dog. Large dogs may be inclined to gulp the tasty treat, while extra small breeds simply don’t need that many calories in one sitting.
8. Value Pack Pork Skin Rollers
Unlike traditional rawhide that is processed similarly to hides in the leather industry, Pork Skin Rollers are not chemically treated or bleached. Instead, they are smoked and loosely rolled.
These chews are not dehydrated after cooking, so they will not absorb moisture or expand in your pup’s tummy. This makes them a deliciously chewy treat that is more digestible than rawhide. They are fattier though, so prepare for a greasy chew.
9. Icelandic+ Cod Sticks
Fish skins are an excellent chew for teething puppies. They are soft enough to be easily digested but chewy enough to give your puppy a gummy chewing experience. If you don’t mind the fishy scent (we know your puppy won’t!), then Icelandic+ Cod skins are a great option.
Icelandic+ focuses on sustainability and environmental impact, so all of their products are free-range, grass-fed, or wild-caught from the clean landscapes and waters of Iceland.
Puppy Teething Tips
While all of the chews on our list are safe for puppies and will help them through their teething process, they also add calories. You have to consider how often you are feeding natural chews and balance them with toys and other teething relief methods.
Here are a few tips to help you and your puppy survive teething:
- Chews and treats shouldn’t be more than 10% of their daily food intake, so avoid giving too many edible teething solutions. If you want to be able to provide a natural chew every day, then you’ll need to find a lower calorie or smaller chew.
- Toys can provide calorie-free relief. Make sure that you offer options that are durable and puppy safe like the ones from our list of Best Chew Toys for Teething Puppies.
- Cold helps to numb the gums and soothe the pain. You can make shallow ice cubes by only filling the tray ¼ full and offer these to your pup. Alternatively, you can use bone broth, canned food, or goat’s milk for something more flavourful.
- Speaking of cold, try tossing their toys or chews in the freezer for 30 minutes. They don’t need to be frozen solid, just very cold. They won’t stay cold for long, but it sure will feel nice for a few minutes.
- Keep your puppy’s mind occupied. Games and puzzles are great for mentally stimulating your puppy, which can be physically exhausting. A napping puppy can’t chew on your shoes or your fingers. Use interactive games to keep your puppy busy and working. They’ll forget about those pesky teeth for a short time.
When Will it End!
This stage of puppyhood can bring frustrations, but don’t worry, it won't last forever. Teething can start as early as 5-6 weeks when their first baby teeth start to work their way through the surface.
By 7-8 months, all of your dog’s adult teeth should be in. 7 months seems like a long time, but minimizing the pain and destructive chewing by keeping your puppy occupied and offering appropriate chews will make the time pass quicker.
If by 8 months old your puppy is still teething, connect with your vet. Every dog is different and teething times can vary, but it’s safer to have a vet check it out to make sure that the teeth are developing normally.
Do you have tips for helping your puppy, your hands, and your house survive the teething process? Share your favourite teething solutions in the comments below!
Posted by Krystn Janisse