I’ve had puppies before, but as I mentioned in a previous post it has been nine years since my last voyage through puppydom. We brought Luna home four weeks ago, and every day since then I have been on Puppy Chewing! alert. We’re three flip-flops, one Barbie doll, two socks, and one roll of toilet paper down. Maybe Vienna, our pug, just didn’t chew as much as Luna does, because I don’t remember having to exert so much effort into intervening between puppy-mouth and everything else. Granted, I didn’t have children the last time I had a puppy, which means my floor was free of toys and shoes.
Puppies do love to chew. They chew because, like human babies, they explore the world with their mouths, and they chew to relieve teething discomfort. From a puppy’s perspective everything is a potential chew toy; your shoes, your kid’s books, your toes. It’s important to take away unacceptable items from them right away and replace them with acceptable ones. Have a few different toys on hand; soft, stuffed toys, harder toys like a Kong, and ones that squeak. Teaching your puppy what’s allowed and what is not allowed in their mouths is very important to the safety of your dining room table legs.
Destructive chewing is different than normal puppy chewing. If you come home one day to a hole in your wall, there’s likely something else going on other than teething. Dogs may chew when they are anxious or scared; it’s an outlet to release what they are feeling. If your puppy/dog has been taught what their acceptable chew toys are, but then suddenly starts gnawing on your furniture, talk to your veterinarian or a canine behavior specialist to determine the cause and treatment of the destructive chewing.
For a puppy, chewing is normal. My own experience has proven that some puppies chew a little, and some chew A LOT. Prepare your house with toys, like the ones mentioned above, before you bring your new puppy home. And hide all your shoes!
The toy shown in the photo is by VetDogs, “The Veteran’s K-9 Corps® is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and serves the needs of disabled veterans and active duty personnel”. I purchased this toy at Beastie Boutique in Vancouver.