Puppies that Chew – Pet tip 159
Chewing is a natural activity that most puppies like to engage in. It gives them something to do with their surplus of energy and it also relieves the discomfort of teething. The problem with this 100% natural activity is that the objects that puppies choose to chew on are often inappropriate in our human opinions. Shoes, socks and furniture are 3 puppy favourites that are not favoured by their human owners. The question becomes then, how do we get them to chew on appropriate items and what are these appropriate chewing items?
Different puppies will like to chew on different objects depending on their breed and size. In all cases it makes good sense to allow your puppy to chew on items that look (and taste) completely different from objects that it is not allowed to chew on. For instance many pet owners will give their puppies older socks to chew on. Then they are surprised when puppy chews up their brand new pair of comfy socks. How is the puppy supposed to know which socks are for chewing and which are forbidden? The answer is that socks are a bad chew-toy for this exact reason; it will always be a struggle for your puppy to differentiate between socks it is and is not allowed to chew. Old shoes are also bad for the same reason. These items are likely to remain serious temptations for your puppy though so keeping them behind closed doors and closets also makes good sense.
It is highly recommended that you go to a pet store and choose chew-toys there. They should be too large for puppy to swallow but small enough to give your puppy a good chew. Ask the manager or store employee for their advice on breed specific toys. Make sure that your puppy cannot bite through a small piece of the toy and swallow it. Two toys in particular that are specifically made for puppies of different sizes are Kongs and Nylabones. Kongs can be filled with treats or peanut butter and can keep a puppy busy for hours.
Once you have purchased a selection of different toys you’ll find out pretty quickly which ones your puppy likes. Then if your puppy still chooses an inappropriate object to chew on you can take it away and give it a stern “No”! Then immediately give your puppy a toy it is allowed to chew and praise it for chewing the appropriate chew-toy. It should not take too long for your puppy to learn which objects are forbidden.