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Teething

 Yorkie Teething

teething Yorkie puppy 5 months old
5 month old Rex
Photo courtesy of Mandi

Milk Teeth

Yorkshire Terrier puppies start to grow their puppy teeth, also called deciduous, milk, or baby teeth, at the 2 to 4 week mark. Typically, all of the milk teeth will be have come in by the 5 to 6 week mark. So, most owners of new 8-week-old puppies will see that all 28 milk teeth are present. 

Change over from Milk Teeth to Adult Teeth

At the age of 4 to 5 months, they will begin to lose those puppy teeth.

These teeth will be replaced with 42 permanent Yorkie teeth (12 more, now that they have room for them all!). A general schedule of when a Yorkie puppy grows and loses their teeth is:

At 4 months old, the incisor teeth grow in
At 5 months old, the canine teeth grow in
At 6 months old, the molars grow in

By 8 to 10 months old, the puppy should have all permanent teeth fully grown in. 

Each puppy is unique. Some may be very late or very early bloomers. However, if your Yorkie has not grown his puppy teeth by the age of 2 months or if adult teeth have not started to come in by 6 months, do bring him to the veterinarian so that a check-up can be performed to spot any potential issues with teeth, gums, bite, bone structure, and proper growth rate.

Sometimes a puppy can have a double row of teeth, if a milk tooth is stubborn and stays in place while the canine tooth is trying to emerge. 

If this happens, removal by the veterinarian may be necessary. It is a relatively simple procedure since the puppy tooth will have a very small, thin root. If this is done early enough, the larger more permanent tooth usually moves into its proper position. 

Care

It is important to note that regular dental care is important; Decay, plaque and tarter buildup can affect proper alignment and health of the permanent teeth. Please see the dental care section if you need information regarding this grooming issue.

Help with Teething Issues

When your puppy is teething, he will have an overwhelming urge to chew on anything and everything that he can get his mouth onto. He will have little to no control over this. One should be understanding and patient, and remember that this is a very temporary stage in relation to the entire life of your Yorkie.

It will be your job to:
  • Safe-Proof your home so that you Yorkie puppy does not chew on anything dangerous
  • Contain your puppy if he is running amok
  • Provide teething relief to help with the itching and the discomfort

Safe-Proofing the House

  • Make sure that all electrical cords out of reach. For those that cannot be moved, use cord-concealer.
  • Keep all shoes out of reach - a puppy can chew on and choke on shoe laces.
  • Never underestimate a teething puppy. Everything is up for grabs. Therefore, take shoes, pocketbooks, small throw rugs, remote controls, computer wires, anything that can be picked up, and moved and place them up high, out of reach. Routinely check for small objects on the floors.
teething Yorkie puppy

How to Contain a Teething Puppy

Maybe you have a teething puppy that is moving from room to room to chew on just about everything he can. 

If he is tearing at carpeting, nibbling on the bottom edge of sofas, or otherwise getting into all sorts of trouble, the best thing that you can do is keep him comfortably contained to a smaller area.

And when you do this, you are offering the added bonus of being able to keep him close to all of his teething toys. If a puppy has an entire room (or house) to roam, it will be very hard for him to ascertain which objects are his approved toys, and which are not. 

Therefore, the best method for this is to give him his very own indoor canine playpen

These are a fantastic method for housebreaking, are perfect for creating a comfortable 'den-like' environment to keep a Yorkie when home alone, and for this aspect of keeping him safe in one spot, surrounded by his teething toys that have been carefully chosen to help him. 

Providing Relief & Choosing Great Teething Toys

1) Offer ice cubes. Not only do many puppies love playing around with the sliding ice, the cold helps to soothe their gums. Plain is fine. But, if you wish and for a bit more incentive, you can add a bit of low-salt chicken, beef broth, or real fruit juice (orange, apple or raspberry) to the water before freezing it.

2) Offer teething specific dog toys. This is not the time for generic toys. The teething process causes a pup to experience intense itching and mild to moderate discomfort. And the only thing that a Yorkie pup will want to do is chew something to help soothe teething woes.

You will want to the teething toys to have several qualities in order to be effective:

1- Proper size. This is a very tiny breed, and many toys are just too big for a Yorkie pup's mouth.  So, teething toys must be sized appropriately. 

2- Proper texture. The texture must feel good on the pup's gums or he will look elsewhere to find relief. Some elements to look for are small nobs (about the size of grains of rice) which are fantastic at scratching the gums. 

Rope toys are also great because the twisted fabric works great on itching. 

3- Options. The itch and pain associated with puppy teething travels. One moment an itch can be towards the back of the mouth, the next moment some discomfort can be on the front gums. 

So, you will want at least one teething toy that a pup can maneuver into just the right places at any one given time. Look for various small shapes all within one toy. 

4- Incentive. While a puppy can be given a toy and if it makes him feel better he will stay at it, other pups need a bit more encouragement to get going and to stay focused on a toy. 

For this reason, having a couple puppy teething toys that are safely flavored can be just the thing to draw a puppy in and keep him wanting to chew on the toy. 

Teething Toy Tips

1) It is completely normal for a teething puppy to constantly have a toy in his mouth; and this is a good thing. Encourage this and give praise. 

2) Keep toys clean; wash them in hot water and dish soap once per week. 

3) Be sure that your Yorkie pup's toys are always accessible.

4) If you have a good sized collection for him, keep two bins. Every week, you can rotate toys out so that he has new ones to spark his interest. 

5) Be sure to bring teething toys with you everywhere that you bring your Yorkie. Whether you are taking your pup with you to run errands, visiting at someone's home, or otherwise away from home. he should always have his favorites with him. 

Recommended Teething Toys - Below are our top recommendations. If you do not see the images, try a re-fresh. On mobile view, you may need to turn your screen horizontal, to see all 4 top picks. 

Teething on Your Hand Vs Toys

A puppy going through this phase simply needs something to chew on; If a chew toy is not readily available, he will be quite happy with your sock (while it is on your foot), your hand, etc.  

It is important to train your puppy to not do this. It can become a habit and therefore he may continue to do this even when the discomfort is gone. Once the teething stage is done, a puppy that was allowed to chew on his owner may then continue to bite, chew, and gnaw indefinitely. 

Any time that your Yorkie bites down on you:

1. Say "Ouch ! " in a strong, firm tone (but do not yell loud enough to scare him; the goal is to startle him a bit and to cause him to pause). Puppies are used to their litter mates yelping loudly when they are bitten too hard during play time.

You can train your Yorkie to know that a bite = pain for you. Make sure to say this in a tone that implies that it really hurt (even if it did not) and pull your hand up toward your body.

2. Immediately give your puppy an approved and appropriate teething toy. When he bites down on the toy, offer great words of praise.

3. Be patient. This stage for dogs is relatively short. Remember that you have more control over this than your puppy does. If you consistently show your Yorkie that he is not allowed to bite you and you offer lots of good, quality teething toys, you can help your puppy control himself.
When a Puppy is Teething He May:
  • Bite you
  • Nip at your heels when you try to leave
  • Lick or chew themselves to the point of obsession
  • Bark like crazy if they do not get their way
  • And many more odd behaviors!
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