Whether it's your favorite slippers, stilettos or socks, your puppy has no discretion when choosing her chew toys. If she's teething, it seems her chewing and gnawing is unstoppable. She will chew and gnaw anything within reach. Discouraging her is possible if she has appropriate alternatives, lots of supervision and plenty of exercise to tire her little body. Train her now before your prize possessions become her lifetime chew toys.
Discover what is causing your puppy to chew. If she is under 6 months of age, she is most likely satisfying the discomfort of tender, sore gums from normal teething. Older puppies may become bored easily and may be lonely if left alone for long periods.
Soothe your puppy's sore gums. Freeze a wet washcloth for her to chew. Ice cubes work well for puppy's tender gums and chew toys are great for gnawing.
Provide your pup with plenty of acceptable items to chew. Nylon bones, squeaky toys and even hard rubber balls will keep her occupied. Avoid giving her old socks or old shoes to chew. It will only confuse her and before you know it, she is chewing your best shoes and socks.
Supervise her when she's not in her crate. If you see her chewing on your phone cord, say "no," take the cord away and replace it with one of her chew toys.
Block off an area of the house for her where you can observe her, but she is unable to reach unacceptable items. If she chews on furniture, move the furniture out of her way until she learns to leave it alone.
Avoid hazards and temptation. Place your plants out of her reach. Tie up the window blind cords so she can't reach them. Keep clothes picked up and doors shut.
Walk and play with your pup every day. If your schedule allows, walk her twice a day. A tired dog is less likely to snoop around for items to chew.
Crate your pup when you're not home. Make sure she has some toys, water and a blanket for extra comfort. Before leaving, take her out to potty. Never leave her in the crate for more than one hour for each month of age.
Spray items with bitter apple spray. You can purchase the spray at your pet store. It won't harm your puppy, but it will keep her from chewing. Use it on furniture legs or items that you can't move out of her reach.
Never scold or yell. Be firm and use the same phrase when she does something wrong.
Soak cotton balls in either lemon juice or vinegar. Place them in an open jar near unacceptable items. The smell will deter your pup.
Praise your pup when you see her chewing on her toys.
If your puppy chews your fingers or toes, say "no" and give her a chew item.
Items You Will Need
- Frozen wet washcloths
- Ice cubes
- Chew toys
- Nylon bones
- Squeaky toys
- Hard rubber balls
- Dog crate
- Bitter apple spray
- Soak cotton balls in either lemon juice or vinegar. Place them in an open jar near unacceptable items. The smell will deter your pup.
- Praise your pup when you see her chewing on her toys.
- If your puppy chews your fingers or toes, say "no" and give her a chew item.
- Never scold or yell. Be firm and use the same phrase when she does something wrong.
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.