By Raina Townson
Young dogs go through teething periods as their puppy teeth grow in and as those puppy teeth are replaced by their adult teeth. Chances are, they can and will chew everything in sight if given the opportunity.
Not only does chewing provide them some relief during this teething period, it might be fun for them and self rewarding. Be sure to provide your puppy with many toy options such as rubber kongs and other durable chew toys. Be sure to check the toys frequently to make sure they aren’t torn to shreds and need to be replaced. It is a great idea to avoid any toys that look like shoes or other inappropriate household items.
If you see your puppy chewing on something he shouldn’t be, redirect him with one of his toys and praise him any time he chooses his toys. The best way to prevent unwanted chewing is to keep items away from your puppy’s reach, tether him to you or keep him on a drag line for an easier way to supervise and redirect him, and crate him any time you are unable to fully supervise him. You can also use a deterrent such as bitter orange on items the puppy should not be chewing on.
It is important to end any playtime and attention immediately if your puppy begins to use you as a chew toy. To some, this can be cute when they are tiny…but it’s not so cute when they are a full sized dog with full size teeth!