Many puppies will chew things as they’re growing up – they love to explore their surroundings, and for a puppy chewing is one way of discovering new things. They might also be ‘teething’, so it’s natural for them to enjoy biting their favourite toys.
However, if your puppy is chewing things all the time, especially if they’re off-limits or dangerous for them, their behaviour needs to be managed. The most common causes of excessive chewing, apart from teething, are boredom or stress.
You should discourage your puppy from excessively chewing and biting things for general health reasons, as well as for their general happiness and wellbeing. If you suspect something is causing them to chew all the time, take them to see your vet. Your vet can help you find the source of your puppy’s behaviour and help accordingly.
While you’re waiting to see the vet, or if your puppy just loves to chew the things they shouldn’t, here are some general tips to help you out.
Tips for stopping a puppy chewing
- Encourage your puppy to stay in their basket when you leave your home. If they’re in their basket, they can’t get up to so much mischief in your absence.
- You might also consider a playpen for when you’re at home but can’t keep your eye on them. They’ll be able to play, but won’t have access to things like furnishings.
- Give them lots of safe chew toys. As well as helping alleviate boredom, it means they’re focusing on something that you don’t mind being chewed.
- When you see your puppy chewing something off-limits, say ‘No’ to signal inappropriate behaviour. Redirect their attention to a safe chew toy that they can enjoy without being told off.
- Praise your puppy when you see them chewing a safe and appropriate toy, so they recognises that their behaviour is good and will focus their efforts on it in future.
If your puppy continues to chew or bite too much, seek help from your vet. Senior or adult dogs that also continue to bite may need their teeth and mouths examined to ensure there’s nothing troubling them.