If you have recently brought a puppy into your life, you may be surprised by how much they chew. Puppies are notorious for chewing on anything within their reach including shoes, furniture and other inappropriate objects. Know that when your puppy does this, he isn’t trying to be bad. He’s simply trying to alleviate the pain and irritation of teething.
Puppies lose their baby teeth just like children do. A puppy will begin to lose its baby teeth starting around four months of age. This process can take a couple of months. Your puppy’s adult teeth will begin to come in around six months of age, and again, this can last for several months as well. During this time your puppy will be doing a lot of chewing.
You don’t have to live with your pup chewing on things he shouldn’t. There are ways to modify your dog’s natural behavior in a safe and human manner. One effective way is by correcting him when you catch him chewing on something he should not be chewing on. A verbal correction of “leave it” can be a good enough correction, while at the same time carefully taking the object way from him. It’s a good idea to replace the object that he is chewing on with something that he is allowed to chew on like a chew bone or a chew toy. This way he learns that some things are allowed to be chewed on, while other things are off limits. While your pup is going through its teething stage it’s wise to have a good variety of chew toys on hand. Puppies like to play with new things, so having a variety of new and interesting chew toys on hand can make your job easier.
The downside to only relying on a verbal correction is that while your puppy is learning to not chew certain objects, he may be smart enough to realize that when you are not around there is no one to stop him from chewing that “oh-so-lovely-to-chew” object. This is a problem that many puppy owners face. It is important to know that when correcting a dog you need to catch him in the act. You can’t give him a correction for something he did in the past. So if the moment passes, you will be unable to correct your pup for the object you just lost to his chewing.
A good way to solve chewing that happens when you are not around is by using a dog crate when you are unable to supervise your pet. You can place his chew toys in the crate, giving him something to chew on when his gums start to agitate him. Using a dog crate, you can rest assured that your puppy is in a safe place, out of harm’s way, and is not chewing on things he shouldn’t.
Boredom can be another cause of chewing. Make sure that your puppy is getting the exercise he needs. Get your pup out for a walk, let him burn off his excess energy, so that when you do bring him back in the house he won’t be actively looking for things to play with that he shouldn’t.
Another very important thing to do when your puppy is in this stage is to puppy proof your home. Make sure wires, or objects that might seem interesting to him to chew on are not around, or are well out of his reach. This is a stage in a puppy’s life when they can easily hurt themselves by getting into something that they shouldn’t In your puppy’s eyes your home is a wide, wide world for them, and they will be eager to explore, taste, play with, and chew on anything that looks interesting to them.
Bringing a puppy into your home can mean a lot of change and adapting on your part. You will also find that despite the difficulties you may endure, a puppy will bring a lot of joy and unconditional love into your home. Some day when this stage in your pup’s life has long past, you may actually look back at this time in their life and actually miss it.
About the author: Justin Paone writes on dog related topics such as dog care, dog training and dog product reviews. He is the online marketing manager for Dog Supply Network a store that specializes in designer dog beds, wood dog crates and other products that are designed to make homes pet friendly and pet safe without having to compromising on style or beauty.