Using Dog Chew Toys to Stop Puppy and
Dog Chewing Problem
Teaching your puppy to enjoy dog chew toys plays a fundamental role in setting your puppy up for success and preventing him from chewing your household items.
One of the favorite activities for all dogs is chewing. Chew toys will not only satisfy your dog's desire to chew but will also keep his gums and teeth healthy.
Because chewing is a totally natural behavior, your duty as a dog owner is not to stop this behavior totally, but to rather redirect it towards acceptable items.
By properly managing your puppy's environment and providing safe, age-appropriate chew toys, you are helping your puppy make good choices that will help him succeed in becoming a well-behaved member of your family.
Understanding Puppy Chewing
Why do puppies chew? Puppy chewing is an integral part of being a puppy, especially when those gums are sore from the new set of puppy teeth erupting! It is therefore normal for a teething puppy to want to chew on anything that gives them relief: slippers, carpets, curtains and the occasional remote control are some favorite items. Leather is often a favorite material because not only is it easy to chew, but it tastes good too!
The puppy teething phase luckily starts to fade once the permanent teeth set in, however, chewing will remain a favorite activity for dogs throughout their lifetime.
Puppies, however, also chew for other reasons.
Just as in human babies, puppies explore the world with their mouth.
Chewing also helps release frustration, anxiety and stress. Endorphins, which are known to be special brain chemicals responsible for making dogs "feel good" are also believed to be released upon chewing.
What Exactly are Dog Chew Toys?
Because chewing non-edible items can be dangerous for puppies and dogs, several types of dog chew toys are now offered on the market.
Chew toys, as the name implies, are edible or non-edible toys meant to be chewed by puppies and dogs. It is important to note than not all chew toys are appropriate for puppies; indeed, companies have started to craft a whole line of chew toys specifically for puppies. The perfect puppy chew toy would be safe, durable and fun.
Squeaky toys may appear to be appealing and fun, but they typically have short life spans because they are easily destructible. Should the puppy ingest the squeaker, there are also high risks for an intestinal obstruction.
Stuffed animals may be cute and cuddly, but eyes, ears, buttons and strings are also at risk for being ingested. Toys that can be easily broken apart or torn should also be avoided. Generally, no chew toy can be said to be 100% safe, but there are much safer choices than others.
How to Reduce Puppy and Dog Chewing
As mentioned, chewing should not be totally discouraged, but offering appropriate dog chew toys is recommended for the safety of puppies and dogs, and obviously to preserve your belongings. Managing your puppy's environment is key and this is why it is so important to puppy-proof or dog-proof your house.
Confine your puppy in a crate of pen when you can't supervise him. Also, when you are not around, keep inappropriate chewing items out of reach. If there are items that cannot be moved, such as tables or other heavy furniture, try investing in chew deterrents such as Bitter Apple Spray.
With nothing around to chew, your puppy should consequently be interested in his dog chew toys. Invest in safe chew toys that will keep your puppy entertained for quite some time.
A big favorite among many dog owners is the "Kong", also known as the "king of chew toys".
Kongs are hollow, strong dog chew toys that can be filled with treats for an interactive and entertaining chewing session. The puppy Kong toy is made exclusively for teething puppies; its soothing rubber formula is great for soothing gums.
Benefits of Chew Toys for Dogs
Chew toys for dogs are beneficial in many ways. If your puppy tends to suffer from mild separation anxiety, leaving a stuffed Kong upon your departure may help your puppy associate being left alone with something good.
The choice of right chew toys will keep your puppy entertained for quite some time and out of trouble. A chew toy offered a few minutes before bed time may help an excited puppy wind down and get ready to sleep.
Chew toys are also great for offering dogs the opportunity to display alternate behaviors. A puppy or dog chewing enthusiastically on a dog chew toy will be less likely to bark, whine or engage in some other unwanted behavior. A chew toy can ultimately be an invitation to settle down and relax.
Placing a chew toy on a blanket in a special corner of the room or in a crate may be a great way to train a dog to "go to his place" as needed.
Personally present a new chew toy to your puppy. This will not only let him know that the toy is his but will also teach him to differentiate it from other items around the house.
To teach your puppy to chew on his toys, keep several available at all times. If you catch your puppy chewing on something that he shouldn't, interrupt him and direct his attention to one of his chew toys. Praise him for switching to his toy.
Here are some additional DOs and DON'Ts...
- Provide several toys for your puppy.
- Always encourage your puppy to play with his toys.
- Praise your puppy every time you see him chewing or playing with his toys.
- If you catch your puppy chewing on something he is not supposed to, distract him and replace it with a dog chew toy. It's too late to reprimand him, so don't.
- Don't leave things unattended. Hide everything you don't want destroyed by your puppy. You'll be protecting not only your belongings but also your puppy from chocking on something you forgot to hide.
- Don't be too harsh on him when you catch him chewing on household items.
- Don't chase him in an attempt to take something away. He will think you are playing with him and will run away. Try to distract him and replace the item with one of his dog chew toys.
- Children's toys are not made for chewing and can cause your puppy to choke. Avoid them.
Dog chew toys offer great ways to help your puppy or dog feel less bored. By rotating your dog chew toys frequently, your dog will find them more attractive as this will help break the monotony.
It is important to always monitor your puppy or dog while chewing on dog chew toys. Any time a chew toy breaks apart or becomes small and easy to swallow, it should be removed and replaced with another safer chew toy. Help your puppy or dog settle down and behave properly by providing a safe, durable and fun dog chew toy.
You may also wish to explore the following articles:
Want to learn more?
To learn more about how to deal with a teething puppy and which types of toys are safe and which ones are better to avoid, I recommend the Secrets to Dog Training guide.
Find this article interesting? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments, and as always, your +1's, Shares, Facebook likes and retweets are appreciated.
Search this site or click here to search the Web