Puppies are adorable, but let’s be honest: They can also be destructive. Puppies chew, and they chew a lot. That’s part of puppyhood.
“Chewing is a normal part of a dog’s life,” said Dr. Julie Buzby, an integrative veterinarian in New Jersey and the creator of the Total Tender Care system for puppies and dogs. “It’s how they explore their world, how they release energy, and how they relieve boredom.”
You might be asking yourself “why does my puppy keep chewing on everything?”.
Well, puppies love to chew because it is a natural instinct. They need to chew so they can explore their surroundings and learn about their environment.
Your puppy also needs to chew because it helps with teething pain. If your puppy has chewed on something she should not have, it may be a sign that she is anxious or fearful.
Puppies will teethe until around 6 months of age, so during this time, they will chew on anything and everything they can get their little gums on.
If your dog is not getting enough exercise or mental stimulation, she may turn to chewing as an outlet for her pent-up energy.
Read on, this article will help you find a solution on how to get a puppy to stop chewing.
Puppies chew on everything
People commonly have challenges getting their puppy to stop chewing because they do not understand why the puppy is doing it. Puppies chew on things because it is a natural instinct, because it helps them learn about their environment and explore their surroundings, and because it relieves the pressure of teething pain.
The first thing to understand is that chewing is part of being a dog. Dogs will chew throughout their lives, but puppies are especially vulnerable to the habit. In fact, your puppy may need to chew as much as he or she needs to eat and drink in order to grow!
Chewing is normal behavior for dogs. Puppies explore the world with their mouths and teeth, and adult dogs chew to keep their jaws strong and their teeth clean. Chewing also gives your pet something to do when she’s bored or anxious.
If you’re looking for ways to get your dog to stop chewing on everything he sees, it’s important to understand why he does it, so you can take steps that address his actual needs.
These are the main reasons your puppy chew on something
Puppies chew on things because it is a natural instinct
Puppies chew on things because it is a natural instinct that helps them learn about their environment. Chewing helps puppies explore their world and helps relieve the discomfort of teething. Puppies may also chew out of boredom or anxiety.
- Chewing helps relieve the discomfort of teething
- Helps puppies explore their world
- Can be out of boredom or anxiety
Puppies are just like babies—they learn about the world with their mouths. They’re going to try chewing on everything they can get their jaws around, so it’s up to you to give them something good to chew on. The smarter way of doing this is by introducing them to good things they can safely put in their mouths and giving them positive reinforcement when they do it right.
Chewing helps your puppy to help strengthen their teeth
Puppies are born with baby teeth, just like human babies. These teeth help them eat as they’re nursing and weaning off of their mother’s milk.
It should come as no surprise that puppies chew on things when you consider that they have 28 baby teeth (in addition to 4 wisdom teeth) and will have 42 adult teeth by the time they reach adulthood. (That’s a lot of tooth!).
At around 4 months old, they’ll begin losing their baby teeth and growing their adult teeth, which will take the place of their baby teeth.
Until then, your puppy is stuck with a mouthful of sharp little baby teeth that are probably starting to cause some discomfort. This is one reason why puppies start to chew — it helps to loosen those baby teeth and make room for their new adult teeth. It also helps strengthen the jaw muscles and relieve any pain or discomfort that comes from teething.
Puppies can take up to six months to finish teething, during which time they can be extra mouthy as they work out all those little baby chompers and get ready for the adult ones that will replace them.
Separation anxiety, leads to chewing
As puppies grow up and transition into adults, they will naturally start chewing less. However, there are a variety of other reasons why your dog might be chewing on things around the home.
While you may be away from home a lot, puppies and young dogs may still need to adjust to being left alone. If you find that you’re constantly coming home to chewed shoes or other destroyed objects, your dog may have separation anxiety or just not be getting enough attention when you’re not around.
Puppies also typically experience “fear periods” — times when they become nervous about new things. This fear period can occur during 2 to 5 months of age. During this time, puppies can exhibit anxious behavior like chewing on objects or pacing around the room
Dogs need stimulation for the optimum mental health
Dogs are social animals and need stimulation for their mental health and well-being. Second, there’s teething. Like babies, puppies experience discomfort while their teeth are pushing through the gums, and gnawing or chewing on things provides some relief. And finally, there’s just plain puppy curiosity. The world is a new place to them, so they’re going to want to explore it with their mouths!
Do not encourage the chewing behaviour
Now I know some people will say, “But what if my puppy chews on something he or she shouldn’t? What do I do then?” The answer is simple: you have to immediately redirect their attention back onto something they are allowed to chew on.
Is chewing dangerous for your dog?
While chewing on a chew toy is supposed to be a fun, relaxing activity for your dog, it’s really only safe when you’re watching. According to the ASPCA, if left unattended, chewing can lead to blockages of the bowels. No one wants to find that their beloved puppy has died from eating an old shoe or another dangerous substance.
Some equally innocent-looking items are dangerous for dogs to ingest and should never be left where they can get their paws on them:
- Avocados (the pit is too large and the fruit is toxic),
- Chocolate (all forms),
- Grapes and raisins,
- Macadamia nuts,
- Milk (dogs often have trouble digesting lactose),
- Onions and garlic (can cause hemolytic anemia in dogs),
- Raisins (can cause kidney failure),
- Sugar-free candy/gum/baked goods (xylitol causes liver failure),
- Yeast dough (causes bloating, which can be fatal).
Thousands of dogs are accidentally poisoned every year because their owners don’t know how to puppy-proof their homes and select the wrong puppy chews for the puppy.
Here is the list of food items you eat, that are bad for your dog.
You can structure your pup’s environment so he doesn’t have access to destructible objects until he learns what’s appropriate to chew on and what isn’t.
So what are you waiting for? Let us help your puppy (and you!) get through the teething process together!
This is how can you help your puppy while he or she chews
There are things you can do to help your puppy get through teething more easily:
Give them plenty of chew toys
The purpose of giving your puppy plenty of chew toys is to give them something to do. Chew toys are a must for puppies because it makes it easier for them to cope with their environment. Toys will not only satisfy the chewing instinct, but they can also provide a companion for lonely puppies, too.
Bring the chew toys out when they start chewing on things they shouldn’t be chewing on
Teach your dog what he can chew on by giving him access to plenty of safe, durable dog toys.
Keep toys around for your puppy, and redirect them when they start chewing on something that isn’t a toy, like your favorite shoes!
The important thing about dog toys, however, is that they need to be safe for your dog to chew on. They also should be durable enough to withstand the growing teeth of your puppy.
Purchase the right toys for your dog. Not all toys are created equal, and you should choose which ones are appropriate for your pet based on the size, age and toy preferences that he has. If you have a puppy, buy toys that can be chewed on without posing any risks of injury to him.
So what other things you can do?
If you’ve got a dog, you know the problem.
You can’t just leave him/her out of an open crate in the kitchen at all hours of the day and night. But what if it were possible?
Wouldn’t you feel better knowing that your dog was enjoying a happy, secure home on his or her own schedule? You would!
If you want your pup to be as well-adjusted as possible, it’s important to provide him or her with as much freedom as possible.
If nothing works final remedy would be a Dog Chewing Deterrent Spray, like this one which has the long-lasting bitter taste and is safe on animals to keep your puppy away from chewing the things or places like furniture.
- EFFECTIVELY DISCOURAGES CHEWING Stops pets from licking and chewing skin, fur, bandages and wounds.
- TWICE AS BITTER The super bitter taste pets hate, thanks to our double-strength extreme bitter formulation. LONG-LASTING ALCOHOL-FREE FORMULA Works...
- WITH CALMING COPAIBA OIL FOR SOOTHING HOT SPOTS Spraying on rough, tender skin? Stop the aggravating behavior—AND help soothe and heal hot spots...
Choose the right chew toy for your puppy
In the end, it’s all about finding the right chew toy for your pup. As you can see, there are both benefits and drawbacks to each option, making it seem that a choice is never clear. Instead, you may simply want to allow your pet to decide for him or herself. After all, as we stated earlier, chewing can also be seen as a way for puppies and dogs to express their emotions.
Don’t be angry and offensive when you see your puppy chew on things, instead follow the positive things we discussed earlier.
Therefore, along with positive training find some good chew toys that truly do the trick for them and it will end your puppy chewing problem!
Last update on 2023-06-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API