Puppy Chewing Guide
Chewing is 100% normal canine behavior. Actually, it is normal and necessary throughout your dog’s entire life. For puppies, it’s often relentless and intense. Your puppy will find all kinds of things to chew and rip apart, and some of it will be things you don’t want destroyed.
There are three steps to preventing destructive chewing:
- Closely supervise your puppy at all times.
- Safely confine your puppy when you are unable to supervise your puppy.
- Provide appropriate chew items.
Rotate appropriate chew items in and out of circulation for your puppy. Young dogs gravitate toward novel items, so having the same huge number of chew toys out and available all the time is not a good idea. Bring them out one or two at a time, so they always look new and interesting. Here are some ideas.
- Kong Toy (pictured) stuffed with yummy goodies
- Tug ropes
- Deer or Elk Antlers
- Bully Sticks
- Real bones
- Stuffed Toys (remove all buttons)*
- Old socks or rags tied in tight knots*
* Dogs and even young puppies can easily dissect and ingest some items potentially causing illness or injury. In all cases play and chewing should be supervised.
Get your puppy hooked on these items before he discovers woodwork, your couch, your shoes, your dining room table, your rugs etc. Have a variety of toys and alternate their availability. Now you are being proactive instead of reactive. You are preventing an inappropriate chewing situation before it ever starts.
By the way, these chew items, unless they are very durable, should be destroyed by your dog. That is normal and appropriate behavior. So, shop economically. Chew toys are not supposed to last.
If your puppy is already hooked on some inappropriate chew items, you must immediately eliminate access to those items. That simply means removing the items from the scene or cutting off the dog’s access to the items.
Supervise, supervise, supervise. The one question you should never hear in your household is “Where’s the dog?”