Your puppy is so cute and playful. You just kind of wish that he or she would stay the same size for the rest of their lives but alas, just like humans, puppies grow and eventually become adults. But in the meantime, you will get to experience a lot of great times with your puppy. However, as they grow, there will be a couple of phases where chewing will become a regular pastime. To prevent that excessive chewing behavior from destroying furniture, clothing or valuables, you need to understand what is going on and how to deal with it. Let’s take a closer look at the situation, shall we?
1 – What The Heck Is Going On?
Well, your puppy is going to pull you through two different chewing phases as it grows. The first one is related to teething and just to make the process a little easier to take, your puppy will want to have things in its mouth. A natural reaction to this is to chew. Once adult teeth appear, at about six months of age, this chewing phase should come to a screeching halt. The second phase of chewing will begin at about eight months of age as your puppy exits puppyhood and may last until he or she reaches two years of age. There is no teething involved in this phase. In fact, your puppy by this point is nearing its teens and as a result, is easily bored and will just chew on things to keep entertained. This chewing phase can be fatal to many of your belongings.
2 – How The Heck Am I Going To Keep Him (Her) Occupied?
Oddly enough, there are several ways in which you can deal with the chewing and prevent possible destruction of things you would rather not have chewed and wrecked by your dog. Keep in mind that in order to combat the boredom and need for some kind of mental stimulation, it is up to you to take on this task in order to keep the peace within your home. Here are some ideas:
A – Exercise That Little Terror
If you have children, you should already know this one. The more energy you burn off with your kids (or dogs) the better off you will be when the exercising fun is over. The idea here is that a tired puppy is not only a happy pup, it also happens to be one that won’t get into any trouble because it should be worn out. The tricky part is figuring out what works best with your dog. Fetch, a walk around the block or some seriously vigorous activity may be required to burn off that otherwise full tank of gas that your dog is storing for no other reason.
B – The Old Switcheroo
This is an easy game to play. What you need to start with is a number of chew toys that you approve of that your dog can gnaw on. In order to play this game correctly, you have to have a couple of these chew toys nearby at all times. Once your pup starts to chew on something he or she isn’t supposed to be chewing on, you remove it and replace it with the approved chew toy. It is easily the most effective ploy that requires a quick hand and sharp observation skills. The rewards are plenty when this move is properly executed on an unsuspecting puppy.
C – Just To Be Sure, Stash The Good Stuff
Sure, your expensive shoes are hidden in the back of the closet. That also happens to be the perfect place for your puppy to hide and chew on them for a few hours. To prevent this from happening, puppy-proof all locations in and around your home where your four-legged friend can find something of value to destroy. While you are at it, be sure to remove and store any product that may cause harm to your pet if chewed in any way. This includes cleaning products and any other toxic materials hidden in floor level cupboards and cabinets. You’ll be glad you did.
D – There’s That Bitter Tasting Spray That Is Supposed To Be A Training Tool
Okay, this is a bit on the iffy side simply because some of these sprays just don’t have the effect they should on all dogs. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try them, either. However, if your pup does find the bitter spray enough of a bother to leave things alone, then you’ll know that you can spray ‘zones’ to keep him or her out. It’s worth a try just to see if it’ll work at all.
E – The Only Thing Roaming Should Be Your Cellphone
One final tip: Keep an eye on your little guy (or gal). They shouldn’t be left to wander around your home without supervision simply because that is one way they can get into all kinds of trouble. It’s the same thing with young children. So, keep a watchful eye on what your puppy is doing and act accordingly. If you have to kennel your pup to keep it in one part of your home, then do not be afraid to do that. Hopefully, both of you will survive the chewing phases without a lot of problems and reduced stress.
The Key To Survival During The Chewing Phases Is Simple
The simple way to look at this is to employ distraction and substitution into your game plan. When your puppy or young dog enters the second chewing phase, remember it is mostly due to boredom. So, if you keep your dog occupied with all kinds of activities, you stand a better chance at getting through this. When chewing begins, use what you have learned here to distract and replace whatever is about to be destroyed with something that can survive a massive chewing session. For more advice on how to do this, consult your vet. For additional tools to help your puppy through this part of his or her life, see your local pet store for products that may be of additional assistance.