It is very normal for puppies to go through a stage where they gnaw on everything they see. This article focuses on how to stop a puppy from chewing and destroying valuable items in your house. A puppy usually stops incessantly chewing after it develops its adult teeth set.
If you want to know more about a teething puppy and why a puppy or dog chews everything they see for a few months, you can go to the article Why is my puppy chewing everything in sight? Puppy chewing phase 101.
So, back to the main topic, how to stop a puppy from chewing. What are the steps you can take to control this destructive behavior? Continue reading to find out solutions.
Why is it necessary to know how to get a puppy to stop chewing?
In some cases, a dog or puppy will stop chewing even without any disciplinary action or training, but depending on a dog’s ability to stop gnawing is not good enough. Dog owners need to know that if the puppy faces any dental problems during teething, it will have permanent severe consequences.
Another reason why a dog owner needs to know how to get a puppy to stop chewing is that if dog owners do not control and correct the destructive gnawing behavior at a young age, this habit will continue even in the adult life of the dog.
How to stop a puppy chewing everything in sight?
During the teething stage of a puppy, that is from the age of two weeks to 8 months; it will gnaw on every item that it lays its eyes on to get relief from sore gums. Sometimes puppies chew on things out of curiosity. Here is a set of steps on how to stop a puppy from chewing things:
Pay attention to the puppy
Dog owners are required to keep an eye on their puppies as much as possible. These adorable creatures are no different from babies and need constant supervision so that it does not engage in anything that may prove to be harmful to the puppy.
Provide the puppy with a familiar scent
If your job requires you to leave your pup alone for an extended period, experts recommend that you provide the puppy with a toy that has your scent on it. You can leave your scent on a toy or comfort blanket by rubbing your hands over it. This way, the puppy will not feel so alone even when you are gone and reduce the chances of separation anxiety. Reducing chances of separation anxiety is a way to stop a puppy from chewing excessively.
Puppy-proof your house
Puppy-proofing is not as complicated as it sounds. This step means that dog owners should keep all household items that have the potential for a puppy to bite. Keep shoes, door rugs, plants, trashcans, and the like out of the reach of the puppy’s sharp teeth and a curious mind.
Choose only appropriate dog chew toys
Make sure the chew toys which you buy for your puppies are of good quality and not easily torn or broken. The chew toy should not have sharp or pointed parts. If the chew toy has small pieces that the puppy may swallow, it is not the right choice. An excellent choice for chew toys is nylon bones.
Divert the wrong behavior
If you catch your dog chewing a shoe or carpet or any other item that it should not be chewing, interrupt the action, and distract it with a chew toy or any other acceptable chewing. To encourage proper chewing behavior in dogs, dog owners can praise the dog or give it treats when it moves from chewing shoes to chewing the chew toy.
Give your puppy a chew toy, not old shoes
You might think it is okay to give your teething puppy an old shoe because it likes to gnaw on shoes, and you are not going to use that pair again. However, according to experts, dog owners should provide a puppy or dog with a proper chew toy instead of the latter. This reasoning is because dogs cannot differentiate between a new pair of shoes and an old pair of shoes. If you give it an old shoe, it will think that chewing on a new pair of shoes is also acceptable behavior.
Daily physical and mental activities
Some dogs and puppies chew because they are bored or have pent up energy. These dogs do not know how to get rid of it and hence resort to biting whatever they see. To avoid these kinds of situations, dog owners can take their dogs and puppies out on walks and other physical activities so that by the time they return home or are indoors, these dogs do not chew on furniture and shoes.
The tips given above will help to stop a puppy from chewing things if it is going through the teething phase. However, sometimes the behavior does not stop for reasons other than teething. Sometimes, even after the puppy grows into an adult, it does not stop chewing. Dog owners start to ask themselves, “how can I stop my puppy chewing everything?”
The answers to the question above will depend on why your dog may be chewing even after passing the teething phase. Some reasons why your dog may be chewing other than teething and curiosity are as follows:
Your puppy or dog is suffering from separation anxiety
A dog or puppy who is suffering from separation anxiety shows signs of distress and discomfort when the dog owner leaves it alone. Chewing is one of the most common symptoms of separation anxiety. To learn how to stop a puppy from chewing furniture and shoes if it has this anxiety problem, a dog owner can follow these steps and tips:
- Provide your puppy or dog with an item that has your scent on it
- Do not leave the dog abruptly; keep your leave and arrival as low-key as possible
- Provide your dog with a chew toy which will help to keep it distracted
- Introduce the use of a “safety cue,” like a word, and associate it with the fact that you will come back from where you went.
Some dogs have more severe separation anxiety, and the steps above may not be effective in treating it. For severe cases, dog owners may need to implement desensitization techniques and teach their dogs and puppies to remain calm even if it is alone. You can leave your dog for short periods under ten minutes to show it that you will return soon. It is best to seek the help of a behavioral expert for such cases.
Not teaching a puppy the right chewing behavior
How to stop a puppy from chewing furniture if a dog owner did not control it during the puppy chewing phase can be tricky. At this point, the puppy is accustomed to chewing everything because no one tried to stop it when the behavior started. To prevent a puppy from chewing, a dog owner may need to go to the basics and begin the teaching process from scratch.
Do not use the crate as a punishment for chewing on shoes and furniture. This punishment will only get you further from the solution for “How can I stop my puppy chewing everything?” Dog chew toys are beneficial in teaching a puppy that what they are doing is wrong.