As babies go through the teething stage, so too will your shih tzu puppy. It’s never a pleasant process for the shih tzu or for you. But it is a natural part of the maturation process. Just keep in mind that teething is natural and while unpleasant is something that will eventually pass.
Just like humans, shih tzus are born without teeth. But after a few weeks their milk teeth, the equivalent of baby teeth will start to emerge. The shih tzu puppy will soon have 28 milk teeth that will eventually be replaced by 42 permanent teeth. Because the milk teeth are quite small, you may not notice them dropping out at all.
It is when the permanent teeth start to arrive that the teething process begins. This usually starts around the 12 to 16-week mark and will last for 8 to 12 weeks. Of course, your shih tzu may vary when it comes to when it starts and how long it lasts.
Signs of Teething
For most shih tzus this will be hard to miss. The gums become itchy and uncomfortable as the permanent teeth start to emerge. In most cases, your shih tzu puppy will chew quite a bit to find relief from the pain. Because the teeth are coming in all throughout the gums, the pain may move from one location to another fairly quickly. For the most part, the front teeth are not as painful as the molars or back teeth because they are smaller.
The excessive chewing will be the major sign of the teething process. They may also try to nip your fingers and chew on items that you do not want to be chewed. What follows are a few steps you can take to make the process as easy as possible.
There are chew toys that are specifically designed for teething. So, be sure to get two or three of them from your local pet store. The right toy can provide the pain relief they need and help save the other items of your home from being chewed.
Chew-Proof the House
Locate all the items within reach of your shih tzu that you do not want to be chewed and remove them. That means putting your shoes up off the floor, the kid’s toys should be stored, and any other item they can get their teeth around should be removed as well.
If the object is too heavy to be moved, such as furniture for example. Or too important, such as electrical cords, then you will need to wrap them. Cord wrappers are easy enough to find along with protection for furniture legs.
Your pet store should have some spray that can be used to deter your shih tzu from chewing on the object in question. Be sure to spray it frequently, so that will continue to deter the puppy from turning it into a chew toy.
A little work and patience will help you and your shih tzu get through the teething process. Just remember to start protecting your items before the teething begins and have some chew toys handy.