Puppies, especially when teething, are notorious for chewing and gnawing. They have no discretion, so handbags, shoes and your phone charger are all fascinating objects for your pup. To discourage your puppy from chewing, you first need to figure out why he's doing it, then provide him with proper chewing items, plenty of exercise and lots of supervision.
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Items You Will Need:
• Frozen wet washcloths
• Ice cubes
• Chew toys
• Hard rubber balls
• Nylon bones
• Squeaky toys
• Dog crate
Tenderness While Teething
Determine what is causing your puppy to chew. If he is under 6 months old, he is probably satisfying the discomfort of tender, sore gums from teething. He may also be lonely and bored if he spends a lot of time by himself. Soothe your puppy's tender gums. Freeze a wet washcloth and let him chew on it. Give him an ice cube to chew or lots of chew toys to gnaw.
Provide Safe Chew Toys
Give your pup acceptable items to chew and gnaw. Hard rubber balls, nylon bones and squeaky toys are items he will love to chew. Replace the unacceptable item with one of his toys. If you catch him chewing on your stilettos, say "no," take the shoe away and give him one of his acceptable chew items. Avoid offering him old and unwanted socks and discarded shoes, though. If you do, he'll think it's acceptable to chew on your good shoes and socks as he won't know the difference!
Why Playtime is Important
Walk and play with your puppy every day. Ideally, walk him twice a day. Puppies have lots of energy that can cause mischievous behavior if he isn't tired out first.
Proper Preparation & Supervision
Prepare your pup's area so that it's free of the temptation to gnaw things he's not supposed to. Keep the clothes picked up and in the hamper. Close the closet doors. Place cords out of reach and don't leave your new mystery novel on the floor. Supervise him while he's in the house with you. Block off an area for him where you can see him, but he can't reach unacceptable items. Crate train him so he can't chew items if you have to step away for a short while. Place some toys, water and a soft blanket inside the crate to provide entertainment and comfort.
Warning: Never leave a puppy in a crate for more than one hour for each month of age. Be sure to let them out for a potty break, as it takes young dogs some time before developing bladder control, and to get comfortable with being in a crate.
Use natural products typically found in the home to stop him from destructive chewing. If your pup is determined to chew your plants, sprinkle some red chili pepper near them. If he can't leave the furniture alone, try soaking cotton balls in vinegar or lemon juice. Place them in an open jar in the room. The smell will keep him away.
By Pauline Gill
ASPCA: Destructive Chewing
The Humane Society: Chewing: The Whys and Hows of Stopping a Gnawing Problem
Hilltop Animal Hospital: How to Stop Chewing Problems in Puppies
Humane Society: Crate Training
About the Author
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.