The puppy biting seemed to be getting a little better. But now it’s getting worse again! Most likely your puppy is teething. The baby teeth are getting ready to fall out and the adult teeth are starting to come in. It’s a difficult time for everyone!

This is a time when many people living with puppies get frustrated and sometimes even take our their anger on their puppies. Please don’t! Smacking your puppy on the nose and other responses that are made out of anger should not be used. We shouldn’t take out our anger or frustration on canine toddlers any more than we should with human toddlers. They simply don’t know any better just yet. They still needs lots of help learning the right way to handle things at this age.

Zuzu is going through this right now. Since bringing her home at 6 weeks, the biting/nipping has always been an issue with her. It was getting better, but now I am seeing more biting starting to happen again. She’s 16 weeks now and will be going through this for a while. No baby teeth have fallen out yet, but they will start any time now.

In addition to the usual biting/nipping recommendations, there’s another one I highly recommend at this stage. Their mouths are probably hurting when they are teething so providing some appropriate options to help soothe them will help you and your puppy feel better right now. Here are two things I am doing at this stage with Zuzu:

1) I take a couple of her toys, soak them in water and then stick in a Ziploc baggie in the freezer to pull out as needed. Cold or frozen items to chew on will help soothe their aching gums. You can buy toys specifically made for this, or find a suitable toy you already have to use for this. For example, I use a small braided fleece tug toy that works well. Some people use an old washcloth or similar item.

2) Regular ice cubes can work well, but I take an ice cube tray and fill it with beef broth (not the canned kind with lots of sodium) and freeze those. You could also put small treats in the trays and then fill the remainder with water. While many puppies love plain old ice cubes, adding a little flavor will make them even tastier.

So when Zuzu is getting especially rough with her teeth, I go to the freezer and pull out a special treat. She’s always very happy to get something icy cold!