Natural Ways to Discourage Puppy Chewing

by Pauline Gill
Puppies teeth until they are 6 months old.

Puppies teeth until they are 6 months old.

Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images

Puppies are notorious for chewing and gnawing. They have no discretion, so handbags, shoes and your phone charger are all fascinating objects for your pup. To discourage your puppy from chewing, you need to figure out why he is chewing. Then provide him with alternatives, lots of exercise and lots of supervision.

Step 1

Determine what is causing your puppy to chew. If he is under 6 months old, he is probably satisfying the discomfort of tender, sore gums from teething. He may also be lonely and bored if he spends a lot of time by himself.

Step 2

Soothe your puppy's tender gums. Freeze a wet washcloth and let him chew on it. Give him an ice cube to chew or lots of chew toys to gnaw.

Step 3

Provide your pup with acceptable items to chew and gnaw. Hard rubber balls, nylon bones and squeaky toys are items he will love to chew. Avoid the old socks and discarded shoes, though. He will think it's acceptable to chew on your good shoes and socks.

Step 4

Replace the unacceptable item with one of his toys. If you catch him chewing on your stilettos, say "no," take the shoe away and give him one of his acceptable chew items.

Step 5

Walk and play with your puppy every day. Ideally, walk him twice a day. Puppies have lots of energy that can cause mischievous behavior if he isn't tired out first.

Step 6

Supervise him while he's in the house with you. Block off an area for him where you can see him, but he can't reach unacceptable items.

Step 7

Avoid temptation. Keep the clothes picked up and in the hamper. Close the closet doors. Place cords out of reach and don't leave your new mystery novel on the floor.

Step 8

Crate train him. When you're not at home, give him some toys, water and a comfy blanket for the crate. Take him out for potty time and place him in his den. Never leave him in the crate for more than one hour for each month of age.

Step 9

Use natural products to stop him from chewing. If your pup is determined to chew your plants, sprinkle some red chili pepper near them. If he can't leave the furniture alone, try soaking cotton balls in vinegar or lemon juice. Place them in an open jar in the room. The smell will keep him away.

Items You Will Need

  • Frozen wet washcloths
  • Ice cubes
  • Chew toys
  • Hard rubber balls
  • Nylon bones
  • Squeaky toys
  • Dog crate

Tips

  • Get on your hands and knees so you can see the world from your dog's view. You'll be surprised what you find that he can chew.
  • Praise him when he goes for one of his toys. He will soon learn what is acceptable and what is off limits.

Warnings

  • Never yell at him. Be firm, but avoid the scolding.
  • If your pup chews on the furniture, consider moving the piece. It may be enough to discourage him.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images

About the Author

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.

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