Looking for long lasting puppy chews? Want a natural puppy teething toy, and chews that are actually good for your dog? Read our guide to the best puppy teething toys UK.
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Jack Russell teething facts
How many teeth do Jack Russells have? It changes with age. They have 28 milk teeth which appear 2 or 3 weeks after birth. They will start falling out at around 3 months and at around 6 months old, a Jack Russell will have a total of 42 adult teeth. These are made up of 12 Incisors, 4 Canines, 16 Premolars, and 10 Molars.
There are 4 types of soothing activities for puppies. Some dogs may only seem to do one thing like chewing, while others will enjoy all 4 activities. Here are the 4 ways dogs self soothe along with things you can do to encourage them in a positive way.
- Buy natural rubber toys and fill them with food for an extra tempting treat
- Get rope toys to help clean teeth
- Get plenty of edible chews, but make sure they are age appropriate
- For teething, carrots can be frozen to soothe sore teeth
- You can buy snuffle mats or just hide treats in blankets or long grass, pups will enjoy hunting them out and it helps to develop their senses
- When they get good with their nose, play “Find” hiding treats around the house and guide them to the right areas
- Try lots of new foods, fruit veg and even herbs are great for learning pups. But always make sure they are safe for dogs;
- Cover toys like a Kong with peanut butter or mashed up food
- Get a lick mat to encourage slow feeding and calmness
- Discourage face licking early, it won’t be so cute when they have just eaten some fox poo!
- The best things in life are free! Remove any tape or staples from old carboard boxes and let your pup shred them up, it can be hours of fun. Make dens, ramps and snuffle boxes. Cardboard is great as a confidence builder in puppies
- Get soft toys that can be shredded, but always supervise your pup with these toys as loose bits can cause choking or intestinal issues
When do Jack Russells stop teething?
Teething and chewing should be expected between 2 to 6 months old.It’s natural and shouldn’t be punished, pups don’t know if something is valuable so try not to give them a hard time. Instead try and remove access to items, or find them something better to chew on.
If your pup is in pain you can buy puppy teething gel to ease symptoms. No chew sprays are popular, but they can have nasty chemicals and aren’t always that effective.
To stop them from chewing on things they shouldn’t use these simple rules;
Ignore, Redirect or Remove
- If it’s not something important ignore the behaviour and play with something else. If they are tugging at your socks and you are tugging back, it’s a fun game! If you’re more interested in a toy, they will soon get bored
- Redirect your pup. If they are chewing it’s probably because their teeth are sore, find them something better to chew on like a teething toy
- Can’t stop chewing the door mat or table cloth? Take it away for a few weeks or block off the area. Your pup will find something else to chew on and they won’t get destroyed
Best chew toys for Jack Russell puppies
We like to avoid using chew toys that are plastic (Nylabones etc) as they are not only bad for the environment but they break up and get swallowed by our pups. Instead we’ve chosen long lasting natural teething toys for puppies.
Natural chew toys for puppies
Olive branches are without doubt our favourite chew toy. Natural, healthy and they don’t splinter (unlike regular sticks). These puppy chew toys last for weeks and outlast many other toys.
Kong’s are our second favourite Jack Russell puppy toy. Made with durable rubber, they can be stuffed with food to provide lasting entertainment to our pups. They can also be frozen for a longer lasting puzzle. Kong’s are great for crate training as they are durable and have no small parts that can cause choking.
Rope toys are really great for building a healthy playful relationship with your puppy. Jack Russells love to tug and chase, and rope toys are a great outlet. Plus as they get older, most rope toys can actually help to clean their teeth.
Soft toys are great for puppies. Yes, you will have to supervise them and remove any broken pieces that may get swallowed, but often they are the favourites for both puppy and owner.
We love this recycled teddy from Beco Pets. They also have a giraffe, flamingo and a monkey!
Edible chew toys for puppies
For more of a short term chew fix, edible chews are a great way to keep Jack Russell puppies busy. Look for 100% natural meat, with no added fillers.
Another great option are Whimzees Natural Daily Dental Treats. Available almost everywhere, they are made with non-GMO ingredients and no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, gluten, or meat. They’re perfect for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities.
For long lasting dog chews for crate training, try chews made of collagen. With just one ingredient, they are great chews for dogs with food allergies or stomach sensitivities.
We also love Smart Bones rawhide free dog chews made from chicken and an outer layer of vegetables, tailored to dogs of all sizes. These dog chews without rawhide are wheat-free, vitamin and mineral enriched, extra low in fat and easy to digest. Plus they’re good for teeth; the abrasive effect naturally cleans their teeth and helps keep them healthy.
While not technically a chew toy, we also love puppy lick mats. They promote slow feeding, and are great for keeping your puppy busy while you are doing things. Spread on some wet food or peanut butter as a treat, and keep them entertained.
Puppy chews to avoid
Yak sticks and deer antlers, though natural and popular, are too hard for a puppies teeth. Many puppies won’t be interested anyway!
The thumbnail test — if the toy doesn’t “give” a little bit when you press it with your thumbnail, then it’s too hard for your dog and could break and crack their teeth.Dr. Beth Turner – Vet – How to choose safe dog chews
Other dog chews to be wary of include plastic, rawhide, pigs ears and bones (cooked or uncooked).
How to evaluate if a chew toy is safe?
- Hardness – If the chew is harder than the teeth, there’s a probability of causing tooth injuries.
- Obstruction risk in the gastrointestinal tract – The risk of chunks that are indigestible coming off and being swallowed.
- Choking hazard – Same as above, but in this case the chucks get lodged in the trachea or oesophagus and don’t make it to the stomach or intestines.
Puppies love new and exciting things, but reusing old toys is just as fun (just make sure to always clean the toys between sessions).
How to stop a puppy biting?
Teething is part of testing out surroundings and pushing boundaries. Use a tug toy to allow this playful behaviour without it being acceptable to bite humans.
A rope toy or rubber ring is perfect for Jack Russells who have a natural instinct to tug and shake things, if the game gets too rough and you get nipped stop the game.
It’s a fast lesson as they are desperate to play again. A firm no and ignoring your JR should be enough to stop a puppy from biting, as they hate social isolation.
If that doesn’t seem to work another method is to yelp, as the other pups or mother would if they were hurt by a bite.
You can use taste deterrents like rubbing white vinegar on your hands if biting is persistent (be careful with essential oils as Tea Tree Oil can be very harmful to dogs).
But it’s best to teach your pup to be gentle when they are playing with humans, as they need to know this as an adult too.
“Walking away from a puppy is one of the best ways to tell them the behaviour isn’t acceptable. They hate to be ignored, they will work out the pattern a lot quicker than when being told off”.
A note on aggressive Jack Russells
A Jack Russell showing teeth usually means it’s scared, it’s a warning that they are feeling uncomfortable and need space.
Sneezing, showing teeth and growling are all signs they’ve had enough. If they are pushed past their comfort zone, even by what you may see as affection, biting may be the next stage.
If you see any of these signs, evaluate your behaviour and give them some space. Could what you are doing be intimidating to a small dog? Are they in a situation that makes them uncomfortable?
Nobody wants an aggressive dog, if we learn their boundaries and respect and protect them, there shouldn’t be any issues.
If you think you Jack Russell is becoming aggressive or snappy, read this guide on ‘How to stop a Jack Russell growling or biting’.
How to avoid Jack Russell teeth problems in later life
Jack Russell teeth falling out can be a common issue with age. It’s important to get into the habit of looking after your dogs teeth early.
Start brushing your JRs teeth from a young age, like with nail clipping it gets easier the more you do it and the earlier you start.
While chews can help with dental hygiene they can’t replace brushing several times a week. Get a pet toothbrush and remember to use doggie toothpaste (as there are sweeteners in some human toothpastes that can be harmful to dogs).
Why is my Jack Russell chattering teeth?
Jack Russell teeth chattering can be a worrying sight, especially if you don’t know what has caused this odd behaviour. It might be down to any number of reasons such as anxiety, excitement, feeling cold or issues like separation anxiety.
But before you look into any of these, does it happen just after they have smelled of licked something? If so it’s just their way of getting a better taste (think of a wine taster when they sip and breathe in through their teeth).
It’s the same sort of thing with dogs, instead of wine it’s something disgusting like another dogs pee!