If you get a pup, along with the ‘Aww, so cute’ phase comes the ‘Oh my god! Their teeth are sharp’ phase. All puppies go through a teething phase where their puppy teeth fall and their adult teeth come in. Firstly, when I got my first pup, I did NOT know that. Some of the more experienced dog owners may be judging me a bit right now with thoughts like “Duh! Obviously!” but it is truly surprising how little people mention that one day you will see blood on your pups toy and a missing tooth. So be prepared.
During this phase, similar to babies, they will try and put everything in their mouth to chew it up and they have these wicked sharp teeth. In fact, German Shepherds’ are called ‘Land Sharks’ because they have razor sharp teeth and really like chewing on arms, hands, legs, ankles, and anything else they can grab. So during that phase, you may get a few ‘ouchies’ but its nothing to worry about as long as you train them out it. More on the actual training in another post. But while you aren’t quite training them you need to help them with their teething and there are a few treats that can come in hand.
Carrots are very nutritious for dogs and most of them do enjoy eating them, so this works as a great treat to keep them occupied for a few minutes. Make sure you aren’t giving them carrots all day long though, too much of anything can be bad. So along with giving them raw carrots I also used to give my boys frozen carrots! You basically take the top fat half of the carrot, run it under some water, and then pop it in the freezer to freeze for a few hours. It basically turns into an ice block of sorts and makes the carrot last longer as it is harder to chew and since its frozen, it soothes their aching gums! This is also good for the summers as its cool and refreshing for them.
There is some debate on the giving ice cubes to pups as some people feel that the ice is too hard for young dogs that don’t have strong teeth yet (puppy teeth and adult teeth). But in my experience, I have not had any problems. However, as with any treat or toy (edible or not) that you give your baby, you have to be observant and around to see how they interact with it and in case they ever choke to help them. So my boys were always very good with the ice cubes, no accidental swallowing or breaking of teeth. I personally may have slipped a few times thanks to the puddle left when they didn’t want the ice cube, but that is a hazard I am willing to live with.
Broth Ice Cubes
Like ice cubes, you can make your own chicken broth ice cubes. Just don’t add salt or any other seasoning. Then dilute it with some drinking water and freeze it in regular ice cube trays or other shaped trays if you want to get creative! Broth is also very very good for their health; in fact I occasionally add broth (chicken or lamb) to their meals even now.
Frozen Watermelon (or other fruits)
You can make your own version of pup-sickles! Do a bit of research on what kinds of fruits you can give your pooch (such as berries, watermelon, apple, banana, etc) and also what they actually like. For eg. both my dogs do not like bananas! One super simple way is to make fruit cubes, just deseed and place a few pieces of fruit in an ice tray and cover it with water and freeze. Easy! Or you can make a puree out of them and freeze it. Not to mention just freezing the piece of fruit directly. I am trying some recipes to make cooling pup-sickles for my babies and will write those after they try them out. Keep a look out.
A lot of dogs really like peanut butter, for those that do you can use it in very innovative ways. Like putting it inside a kong toy, lathering it on a biscuit or apple or rusk! You can freeze it in an ice cube tray and give it them as well.
Special mention for a store bought treat
Before I list out the treats you can buy, I want to say that a lot of people will advice you to give your dog rawhide. Please avoid that as much as you can because it is very difficult to digest by most dogs, especially pups. Also, most of the ones available in India are truly worst you will find. I will write more on that in another post. What I have noticed in India is that the market has just started expanding with more natural treats and chews for our babies that are not rawhide based. Currently, you can buy imported treats and hopefully, very soon they will start making local treats too!
These have been one of treats that have saved me many times. Every time I needed by pup or even 1-year-old boy to calm down and just settle down (lets say when guests were over), I would give him one of these. I started by buying the split ones for my pups so it was easier for them to get to the marrow but obviously it finished much faster because of that. As they grew up I got the full ones and those go on for a while.
Hope this helps! I will write another piece on long lasting chews for dogs (pups and adults) that should help you know the best chews to look out for. Keep an eye on this blog for that!
Have a woofy day! And don’t forget to give your pooch a treat
“What do you mean I get only one, I have seen YOU eat a whole packet of biscuits in one go!” ~ Leo