Generally, puppies start losing their teeth between three and four months or age. Often, we will ‘forget’ that, and suddenly see a series of strange symptoms! This can include feet splaying or going flat, going ‘down in the pasterns’, sour breath, anxious behavior, sudden destruction of shoes and furniture, fussiness about eating, ears suddenly going ‘fly away’, or rose (creased) and good toplines going topsy turvy.
The most common reason for these symptoms is a concentration of nutrients going to the newly erupting teeth, and also pain from new teeth coming in. It can be an uncomfortable time for your puppy, especially when the large canines and back molars start to present.
There are several helpful things that can be done at this time. I try to remain aware of when this is occurring, and I start offering more soft recreational bones. These can include pork neck bones and pork ribs. These will help the new erupting teeth. I will also give puppies cold, large carrots at this time (cooling on the gums) as well as keeping plenty of soft, plush toys around. Bully sticks and other natural dried animal products can also be helpful.
I keep nails short and use daily walks and simple training for distraction. Puppies can get cranky during teething time, so I am also alert to know when I just need to put them up and not press long training sessions during this time.
Sometimes in certain breeds, ears may need to be taped. How to do this can vary from breed to breed, so be sure to check with your breeder, or on the internet on the correct procedure for your breed.
Make sure there is some form of vitamin D in the puppy’s diet during teething. Vitamin D can be found in the Bertes Daily Blend, and also in Cod Liver Oil capsules. Vitamin D helps with the intake of calcium, which is important for puppies at this time. If the diet is a commercial diet, or a raw diet that is at least 40% raw meaty bones, do not add more calcium, only vitamin D may be needed.
Sometimes smaller, more frequent meals are helpful during this time, as eating may be painful due to sore gums. Some puppies may prefer raw meaty bones at this time, while other may prefer softer foods. Understand this may due to mouth pain.
Around five to six months, all the adult teeth should be present. Always check your puppy’s mouth to make sure that any puppy teeth haven’t become wedged between the adult teeth and that the gums look healthy. Once you and your puppy have left this stage, everything will start to go back to normal.
Some of you have seen on the news the damage that occurred from Hurricane Ike, or you may have experienced it. I live north of Houston, and my household was without power for 13 days. It certainly was a trying time, especially with having dogs and horses. Our water well runs on electricity, but fortunately we had it wired for our generator when we moved here. We lived for those 13 days relying on our generator, and finding new activities other than using the computer or watching Television. The dogs and horses got through it just fine and we were lucky that although we had numerous trees down on our property, none of them fell on the house, barn or dog fences. We spent many days cleaning up the fallen trees, broken branches and general debris from the storm. We were very fortunate in that our losses were much smaller than many others.
Shortly after the storm, we got busy with the American Rottweiler Club Disaster Committee, and most of these Rottweilers came from the Galveston area. I have worked with several volunteers I would like to thank for in this project. These people include Erik Scott, Carolyn Zemboldt, Ann Glynn, Celia Trimble, Mari Bailey, Ann McQueen and all the wonderful people who do work year around for Southern States Rottweiler Rescue. Locally that would include Brian and Leslie Hillendahl and of course Bridgett Miller, who I met during the Hurricane Katrina rescue.
Remember, Disaster Preparedness is very important, especially when it comes to our animals. It is very important to:
Have permanent identification for your dog. Having a collar and tags, plus a microchip are important
Make sure you have a safe place for your dog in your home. Do not leave the dog outside
If you leave, please take your animals with you. Make sure you have planned for this, including pet carriers and current vaccination records.
Have plenty of washed bedding, towels and blankets on hand.
Always keep a first aid kit on hand for both you and your pets and have a month’s supply of your pet’s medications on hand.
Stock up on food for your dog, and having a generator makes life much easier!
Happy Halloween from Wolfie and Me! We both with you a beautiful fall season! And yes, Wolfie is teething. He will be four months old October 11th.
Copyright Lew Olson 2008