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    Why Do Puppies Chew and How Can I Prevent Destructive Chewing?

    • 4 min read

    If you have a puppy, then you may have experienced the sight of coming home to a house strewn with shredded pieces of your favorite pair of socks or even a sofa cushion. For most puppies, chewing is a common habit, but that doesn’t mean your puppy’s chewing has to come at the cost of your valuables! 

    Here’s what you need to know about why puppies chew and what you can do to puppy-proof your home.

    Why Do Puppies Chew?

    Puppies chew for many reasons, with the most common being teething and anxiety relief. But just because teething is a common motivation for your pup’s chewing habits doesn’t mean you should chalk it all up to puppy teeth. Here are a few reasons behind the chewing:

    • Teething
    • Playing
    • Stress Relief
    • Entertainment
    • Underlying health problems

    Puppy Chew On Shoes

    When Is Chewing a Problem?

    Though most puppies love to chew, in some instances chewing can be a sign of a problem. Here are a few reasons why your dog may be chewing more than expected or in a destructive way:

    Separation Anxiety

    Is your new puppy showing signs of chewing when you go to work or are out for a few hours? This may be a sign that your pup is anxious to be away from you. You may come home to find torn items around the house or that notorious chewed-up sock. To correct chewing from separation anxiety, try rewarding your puppy with a toy or treat right before leaving so that he associates your separation with positive reinforcement.

    Chopper Sucks on Fuzzball

    Compulsive Fabric Sucking

    Puppies who are weaned too early may show compulsive behaviors like fabric sucking. This is when puppies chew on, suck, and lick at different fabrics. For this behavior, you may want the help of a professional dog trainer to resolve the compulsive behavior.

    Boredom

    Dogs with high energy might not have the mental or physical stimulation they need to be calm around the house. You know what this leads to—yep: chewing. Try to take your dog out for regular physical activities and engage with your dog at home. Puzzle toys and playdates at the dog park are perfect interactive ways to reduce chewing from boredom.

    Frustration

    Frustration leads even the calmest person to crumple up a piece of paper sometimes and toss it in the bin. Your dog is no different, only she might use chewing as an outlet for frustration. If your dog seems timid around other dogs or energetic children, it may help to intervene and give your dog a quiet setting to help her relax. If your dog is frustrated by a squirrel or other animal outside, a playful chew toy or snuggle buddy might be the perfect distraction from your dog’s pent-up frustration.

    Hunger

    Some dogs may even chew on items around the house out of hunger. If your dog is on a restricted diet or shows signs of over-eating, contact your veterinarian to rule out any health issues.

    Preventing Destructive Chewing

    Once you’ve ruled out any underlying issues in your puppy’s behavior, it’s time to find healthy ways to modify destructive chewing. Here are a few tips for preventing destructive chewing and tips for what to avoid doing to get your puppy to stop chewing on your valuables.

    Do:

    • Puppy-proof the house
    • Play with your puppy
    • Provide chew toys 
    • Rotate puppy toys
    • Train and encourage your puppy
    • Identify when destructive behavior is worst
    • Supervise your puppy
    • Section off a space for your puppy when you’re not home

    Don’t:

    • Scold or punish your puppy for bad behavior
    • Leave your puppy in the crate for more than six hours
    • Put a muzzle on your puppy

    At Home Dog Training

    Chew Toys for Puppy Teeth

    Puppy teeth are still growing, and some dog toys are more for adult teeth. With this in mind, you’ll want to pick a toy that is good for puppy teeth to protect them and help alleviate teething pain. These bestselling chew toys for puppies have softer surfaces that leave a mark when you press into them with your nail, so you know they’re good for little pups’ mouths.  

    Beco Bone

    Beco Bone

    What dog doesn’t like a bone? The Beco Bone has all the fun of a traditional bone without the potential dangers of classic toys. You can relax knowing your dog won’t have splinters harming his gums or chipped or broken teeth.

    Tough chewers have met their match with this eco-friendly rubber dog bone. Made from 100% natural rubber and rice husk fibers, this bone is a formidable toy for even the most ferocious chewer. Not to mention, it’s biodegradable!

    Tizzi Dog Toy

    Tizzi Dog Play Toy

    It’s bright; it’s quirky, and dogs love to play with and chew on the Tizzi dog toy. Though this toy is softer than rubber dog toys, don’t let its softness fool you—the Tizzi toy is durable and made from 100% non-toxic, latex-free material that is ideal for puppies.

    You can even turn the Tizzi toy into a treat finder for added fun or give it a toss for a round of fetch, making the toy a multipurpose, high-engagement favorite for dogs.

    Flying Saucer Chew Toy

    Flying Saucer Dog Chew Toy

    This flying saucer is out of this world. From its fun shape to the convenient way the saucer sits on the ground, your puppy will love working through this treat-dispenser toy to get to the yummy goodies in the middle. 

    Made from 100% natural rubber from the rubber tree, the flying saucer toy is biodegradable, veterinarian-approved, and comes in two convenient sizes for medium and large dogs.

    Until next time--

    Chopper & Otis