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How To Stop Your Dog From Chewing
Chewing is an unpleasant but natural part of puppy development. It is very similar to teething in babies and the chewing stages are necessary to help with teething problems. Expecting a puppy not to chew is not reasonable, but they can be taught to chew on the right thing, rather than your shoes and furniture. Adult dogs who chew frequently are bored or suffer from separation anxiety disorder. Usually, adult dogs that chew can be relatively easily taught to limit their behavior or chew appropriately. Some will require the professional help of a trainer or dog behaviorist.
Puppies chew when they are teething. This usually occurs sometime before the six-month stage, depending on the particular breed of dog. Some of the larger breeds may continue to chew past the six-month stage, and some breeds are simply known for their chewing behavior. Regardless of breed, up to six months will be problematic for most puppies. There are several steps owners can take to minimize the damage that can occur from chewing:
· Puppy proof your home. This means removing all hanging wires, electrical cords, curtains and other hanging objects. Hanging plants that touch the ground can also be tempting to chew and can also be poisonous.
· Keep chews in drawers or out of reach of puppies. For example, toys, shoes, remote controls, books, backpacks and briefcases, phones and even laptops should be put away or kept on tables or desks out of reach of puppies.
· Provide a wide variety of chew toys while you are away. That means different shapes and sizes. Thick pieces of cotton rope with knots at the ends are great for chewing. Nylabone heavy rubber balls or chew toys are safe and virtually indestructible.
· Freezing dog bite rings and leaving them in the cage or dog area of the house provides gum relief as well as fun.
If you notice your puppy chewing on something that isn’t right, don’t punish them. Simply say “No” and substitute whatever you want them to chew on. Praise them when they chew the right things. Make sure you say something like “Good boy/girl for chewing your ball (rope, toys, sticks)”. This helps the puppy learn the word for what it is chewing. Later you will be able to say, “Get the ball/stick/rope” and the puppy will know what you mean.
Toys to avoid
Some toys, even those sold in pet stores, should never be used with a puppy. Toys that are flimsy or have many chewable parts are a choking hazard. Toys that have long strings or cords that could wrap around a puppy’s neck are potentially deadly toys.
Stuffed animals are fine for some older puppies and dogs, but for younger puppies who chew all the time, the stuffed toy will quickly be shredded. This leaves parts of the fabric and filling material that can be swallowed, leading to blockage of the gastrointestinal tract and possible choking problems.
Natural bones, even raw bones, are generally not recommended for puppies. They are usually too hard for puppy teeth and lead to chipping and breaking of existing teeth. Additionally, puppies are more likely to try to swallow debris, which can lead to bone fragments getting stuck in their gums or throat. If you want your puppy to chew on bones, make sure they are raw beef bones that are from the joint. Never allow your dog to eat pork bones, and never allow raw or cooked poultry bones of any kind. Supervise the puppy while it is chewing on the bone and remove it at any sign of splinters or when the bone becomes small enough that the puppy may try to swallow it.
The chewing stage in puppies, like the teething stage in children, will pass. By making a few arrangements with household supplies, providing plenty of alternative chew toys, and teaching your puppy what to chew on stage, it will go smoothly now and in the future.
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