5 Causes of Puppy Chewing

Puppy chewing is a normal behavior. They chew to explore their surroundings and to play, but this can turn into a destructive behavior. Puppy chewing can be avoided by behavioral training, and you must be aware of the causes.

1. Exploration

Puppies are curious and want to explore every inch of their environment. They chew on different things ranging from electric cables to wooden furniture.

You can train your dog not to chew, as certain objects may be dangerous for your pet's health. Give your puppy chew toys of different textures, to make sure he will stay busy while chewing on these.

2. Boredom

A puppy that is left by himself will most likely get bored. This is when chewing and behavioral problems may start.

3. Playing

Puppies are more playful than adult dogs, so they will chew on different objects while playing. Chewing gives the dog a stimulating workout.

If you want to keep your puppy away from chewing power cords and clothes, give him multiple types of chew toys.

4. Teething

When puppies are teething, the teeth will press on the gums, causing pain. Puppies will chew on hard objects to relieve the pain and to stimulate teeth growth.

Puppies are born without teeth. When they're 3 to 4 weeks old, the teeth will start to erupt. The teething period should last until about week 8 of the puppy's life. By this time, the puppy will have 28 baby teeth.

However, the baby teeth are exchanged for permanent teeth at the age of 4 to 5 months. At this time, the dog will start chewing again to relieve the pain caused by teething. New teeth will also erupt, as an adult dog has 42 teeth.

To prevent your dog from chewing your furniture or shoes, you can get some hard textured chew toys and chew treats that will give your dog a challenge, and will stimulate teething.

5. Anxiety and Stress

A puppy that is left in his own may suffer from separation anxiety. He fears that the owner won't return and may develop damaging behaviors such as chewing or barking.

Train the puppy as early as possible to deal with your absence.

Try to make him used to you being absent. Leave him alone for short periods of time at first and increase the duration as the puppy gets more comfortable without you. Give treats and use reassuring words every time you return home.

While away, keep your dog busy with chew toys.

Typically, puppies will stop chewing when they become adults. However, if the dog chews due to stress and anxiety, the behavior will continue even after puppyhood. Certain dog breeds will also chew more than others.

Chew toys are essential in preventing destructive chewing. Talk to your vet about the most suitable chew toys recommended for your puppy's age and chewing capacities.

Never give your dog old shoes, rugs or household items to play with.

Use repellent sprays on furniture and cover the power cords.