Your puppy is chewing all your favourite shoes and your furniture is covered in drool. Don’t panic. There is a solution.
Is the only family member with better taste in shoes than you, your puppy? Rest assured, chewing is a normal puppy behaviour that can easily be redirected. With some positive training, puppy care, and understanding, you can stop your puppy from chewing to ensure your blossoming bond (and footwear!) remains intact.
Why is my puppy chewing?
Your puppy may be teething
You’re not the only one hurting when your new shoes become a dog’s breakfast. Similar to when babies are teething, puppies’ gums can be sore when they go through the developmental phase of teething. Your puppy will start teething when they are about 4-5 months old and, depending on their breed, can teeth for up to 6-7 months of age. During this time your puppy’s permanent teeth will push out and replace all of their baby teeth. Understandably, this can be painful for your poor pup, causing them to chew or bite to help relieve the discomfort. Try giving them some dedicated toys to chew on during this time so they stay away from your belongings.
Your puppy is exploring
It’s a brave new world for your furry little explorer. Because puppies can’t grasp with their paws, they use their mouths to discover their surroundings. Rather than trying to stop chewing altogether, teach your puppy what is ok for them to chew and what isn’t. Limit the potential damage by puppy proofing your home and removing valuable or dangerous items from their reach.
How to stop puppies chewing
Stay calm but firm
Your puppy may chew when hungry or bored. Even if you catch them red handed – gnawing at the leg of your dining table or nibbling away at your hands and feet – try not to lose your cool. A simple “no” will suffice. Getting upset may excite your puppy and encourage attention-seeking behaviour. Instead, make sure they have plenty of activities to entertain them throughout the day so they don’t resort to chewing.
Provide toys as a distraction
Greencross Vets recommend toys of different shapes, tastes and textures – giving your bundle of enthusiasm some variety so that they don’t get bored. To distract your puppy from the pain of their mouth, a chase toy is a good, interactive start. Alternatively, a plush squeaky toy stimulates a variety of their senses. Read our guide on how to choose the best chew toys for your puppy.
Use taste deterrents
If your puppy remains attached to your shoe collection even after you’ve supplied them with suitable toys to sink their teeth into, apply an anti-chew spray to your puppy’s items of choice. These have a bitter taste which will soon discourage your puppy from going near your things with their mouth.
Make sure they aren’t hungry
Providing quality food at regular intervals should prevent your puppy from feeling compelled to supplement its diet with a shoe. If you’re having trouble getting your puppy used to chew toys, try using a Kong smeared with something tasty. For additional pain relief, stuff a Wobbler Kong with a treat and freeze it – the cool helps numb teething pains.
Your puppy’s adult teeth start growing in when they are 4-5 months old. Visit your local Greencross Vets for a puppy dental checkup to make sure all their teeth are grow in properly before their permanent adult teeth set in.