How to Get a Puppy to Stop Chewing on Its Legsby Kimberly Caines
"This bone will keep me from chewing on my legs."
If Rover is consistently chewing on his legs, bells and whistles should go off in your head, because something is obviously ailing your puppy. Although it might be just a bad habit or discomfort from teething, it can also be a health-related issue. As a puppy parent, it's your job to figure out what's triggering his behavior so you can help him stop his chewing fetish.
Visit the Vet
Although Rover's chewing might be triggered by something stuck in his fur or fleas, sometimes a more serious issue might be at hand and a visit to a veterinarian can provide answers. You might be dealing with an injury, such as a cut to his leg from a sharp object, or it might be an insect bite or allergy that's irritating him and making him chew on his legs. A veterinarian can examine Rover, make a diagnosis and recommend proper treatment.
A bored puppy is a bad puppy who will do anything, including chewing on his legs, to burn energy and to seek entertainment and attention. To keep Rover out of trouble, enrich his life with plenty of outdoor walks, games, such as fetch and tug-of-war, obedience training, puppy play dates and a variety of toys including food-stuffed dog toys and chew toys. Stimulate him mentally and physically so he's tired and would rather take a nap than resort to chewing on his legs.
If Rover is between 3 and 10 months of age, there's a chance his chewing is triggered by the teething process. Chewing applies pressure to his teeth, which alleviates the discomfort of the adult teeth coming in. To keep him from chewing on his legs, make sure he has plenty of alternatives. Freeze a wet washcloth and have him chew on it for soothing relieve. Also provide a variety of chew toys so he gnaws on these instead of his legs.
If you want to stop Rover from gnawing on his legs and teach him which items are appropriate to chew, watch him like a hawk so you can catch him in the act. When he starts chewing on his legs, clap your hands to startle him and to stop him in his tracks. Then show him a chew toy or bone, and praise him when he starts gnawing on it to reinforce the good behavior. Do this consistently and eventually he'll stop chewing on his legs and chew on a toy or bone instead.
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