Chewing is the natural way in which puppies explore the world around them. But as they begin teething and seek out your belongings to soothe the pain, you can run into potential problems.
However, if you provide your puppy with the right toys, you can sway them from not ruining your belongings but from potential harm (think cords, chemicals, things he can choke on, etc.) If you’re lucky enough, you can get through the teething phase without any damage to your items or your new puppy. Here are five essential tips to consider for a teething pup!
1. Take Your Puppy Toy Shopping
The trick here isn’t to purchase a bunch of random dog toys for your pup. But to select chew toys that they clearly love. A good way to do so is to take your puppy along for a shopping trip, allowing him to pick out dog toys of his liking. That way, your chances of picking toys he isn’t interested in are less likely.
Moreover, he won’t abandon his things for more enticing objects like your shoes. Consider toys that are either flavored or scented, too, to keep their interest peaked.
2. Control the Environment
Many pet owners find it difficult to accept that they are responsible for some of their puppy’s bad behavior. Remember that you are in control, so taking responsibility for the environment is crucial. For off-limit rooms, keep the doors closed or put up a pet gate to keep your puppy in designated areas and out of trouble.
Keep closet doors closed, with shoes, clothes, bags, cell phones, stored away. If you have children, make sure they put away their toys and other belongings when done with them. If they don’t, they’ll learn pretty quickly when they walk in on the puppy munching away at their favorite toys.
3. Invest in Anti-Chew Sprays and Deterrents
Taste deterrents are an excellent way to convince your puppy that chewing on the table legs, pillows, sofas, and even rugs is a bad idea. There are many popular anti-chew sprays available on the market. You can also make it by mixing cayenne pepper and water in a spray bottle. Spray it on surfaces and items you don’t want your puppy to chew on and destroy.
To test if either of these substances will be useful, introduce a small amount on a piece of tissue and place it gently into your puppy’s mouth. The reaction you’re looking for is retching, spitting it out, and your puppy shaking his head irritably. These are all signs that your puppy detests the deterrent, and while he may sniff it again, he won’t put it back into his mouth.
The idea with this method is that your puppy will be familiar with the scent, and likely won’t even attempt to chew anything that smells like it. You can also use taste deterrents on your puppy’s skin to keep him from licking or biting areas on himself that he shouldn’t. However, before using any such kind of products, you must check with your vet.
4. Provide Proper Training
Now you’ve got a ruined shoe, might just hand it over to your puppy since that pair is useless now, right? NO! This act is one of the biggest mistakes made by puppy parents. Giving these “gifts” to your puppy sends the wrong message, unintentionally undoing all that hard work you’ve put into training your puppy while also teaching them to think shoes or socks are okay to have.
You’re essentially saying: “As long as you destroy something you want, you can have it.” That’s the wrong message. Once you catch your puppy chewing on something he’s not supposed to, stop him and give a stern: “NO.” Never yell, though, a positive approach is the best path to successful training. Then give your pup one of his toys, praising him when he takes it. (Not with treats in this case, since the toy is the treat!)
5. Soothe Your Pup’s Sore Gums
Your puppy will be in a lot of pain while he is teething due to inflamed gums. Frozen or cool treats/toys are a great way to soothe your puppy’s sore gums. You can fill a rubber kong with peanut butter or yogurt, put it in the freezer, and then serve your puppy as an icy treat. *Just be sure that both yogurt and peanut butter are Xylitol free. If your puppy enjoys ice cubes, you can put a few in his water dish or whip up some broth flavored ice cubes to peak his interest. Teething is a particularly stressful time for pups. You can, also, consider using 1-2 drops of CBD Oil to relieve the puppy of the anxiety it is feeling. CBD oil is known to contain no THC, is 100% safe for consumption and most effective against anxiety and stress. Pups do not understand what is happening. Sometimes, they act out. And it becomes imperative as a dog-parent for you to soothe your pup and spend time with it.
Commercial teething toys designed to go into the freezer like freeze teethers are also reasonable solutions. These teethers help relax the gums and reduce inflammation.
Consider changing your puppy’s diet from dry kibble to soft, wet food to ease the strain on gums. Frozen fruits, like strawberries, bananas, and carrots, are tasty treats to help soothe your puppy. Plus, this tactic has the bonus of getting your pup used to fresh fruits and veggies! These are ideal snacks for canines as they age, thanks to the many vitamins and minerals that alleviate physical discomfort.
The teething process is different for all puppies. Some manage just fine with plenty of chew toys, a healthy diet, and proper training. Others may suffer much more and even lose their appetite and become ill. Take this time to comfort your puppy as much as possible; if he reacts severely to teething (vomiting, diarrhea, etc.), contact your vet as soon as possible.
With routine training and care, your puppy will grow into a well-behaved adult dog that, while he may still chew, will do so with his toys. In the meantime, soothe him during this process and make him comfy in his new home. And congratulations on your new best friend!