Improper chewing is a fairly common problem in young pups and stems from the fact that canines use their mouths to experience the world around them. Chewing is normal behavior for puppies but becomes undesirable when directed towards inappropriate objects such as your furniture, shoes, or even your hands and feet. If inappropriate chewing is not corrected, it can lead to wide-scale destruction of medical problems, personal property, and erosion of the animal-human bond. In such cases dogs medical aid should be your priority.
A puppy’s deciduous teeth will erupt between three to eight weeks, and around four to six months of age, these teeth will be replaced with permanent ones over time. Teething is a painful process, puppies chew more during this period because their gums are very irritated, and chewing relieves their discomfort. Improper chewing is most likely to occur while the puppy is teething, but if not corrected can become a long-standing problem after all the adult teeth emerge and the teething period ends.
Five Steps To Correct Inappropriate Pup Chewing
The initial step is to ensure that your puppy has no serious medical problems. Nutritional deficiencies caused by a bad diet and intestinal parasitism can lead to pica which may be misconstrued as inappropriate chewing. Gastrointestinal issues may cause nausea which can trigger chewing as a coping mechanism. Hence it is essential to buy pet insurance and consult with your veterinarian to rule out an underlying dog medical aid that may be causing the pup to chew.
Look around your surroundings for possible dangers to your inquisitive canine. Place household chemicals and cleaners out of reach along with potentially toxic plants. Electrical cords should be made inaccessible to prevent chewing, resulting in electrocution. Take away objects of curiosity that might appeal to your puppies, such as children’s toys, shoes and socks, and the like. Stop access to rooms that have not been canine-proofed, and consider crate training your dog for the times when he cannot be looked upon.
Encourage Appropriate Chewing
Provide appropriate chew toys for your pup to enjoy. Each dog will choose what they prefer to play with and chew. Be careful with beef and rawhide bones, as determined chewers can whittle them down to smaller pieces that can be swallowed. They can end up lodged in the small intestine or esophagus, so supervision is advised when giving these special treats, and be sure to take away any tiny pieces that might be swallowed. Avoid chicken bones since they splinter, creating sharp fragments that can easily damage your canine gastrointestinal tract. One must prefer nylabones, dental chew sticks, and greenies since they encourage appropriate chewing while fighting dental disease.
Canine toys such as kongs and balls may appeal to your puppy. Be sure to choose a size that is right for your pup. They should be able to pick and carry it, but it should be of sufficient bulk that it cannot be swallowed. If you buy your canine a kong-type toy, check to ensure the hole in the toy is not so big that the pup can get his lower jaw stuck. There have been several emergency cases where a dog comes in with a toy attached to his mouth. Do not give toys that mislead them. For example, do not give your pup an old shoe to chew on because the canine will not know the difference between the old chew shoe and a new pair.
Discourage Inappropriate Chewing
Follow the second step mentioned above, and you already have minimized the mischief your young pup can get into. If you find your canine chewing on something inappropriate, correct the puppy by taking the object away and warning him. Direct his attention to an appropriate chewing object. Gradually, your canine will learn what objects are his and are not. Sometimes it can be challenging to discourage chewing if the pattern is already established. Taste deterrents such as a bitter apple can be applied to the object, the foul taste will hopefully distract the determined chewer, and he will learn to leave the habit.
Engage In Playtime With Your Pup
A tired pup is a good pup! Spend time exercising and playing with your dog regularly. This reinforces the human-animal bond and expends energy that your dog might be otherwise directed to inappropriate chewing and behaviors. Canines should always be appropriately secured and have pet insurance.