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simple ways to stop a Puppy from chewing on everything

How to Get Your Puppy to Stop Chewing on Everything

There is nothing quite as adorable as a puppy. However, there’s also nothing (other than a natural disaster) with the same potential to wreak havoc on your home and possessions!

If you’ve ever had the joy of raising a puppy, you know what I mean. For every soft, floppy puppy cuddle and wet, puppy-breath kiss, it seems like there’s also a chewed up shoe, a mutilated table leg, or even a carpet that’s been peed on (to learn what to do about your dog’s urine marking, see this post). And as much as you treasure the experience of sharing your puppy’s babyhood, you may find yourself thinking (for the sake of your furniture anyway) that you’ll be a little relieved when it’s all behind you.

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Puppy chewing on everything? Here are some simple ways to get him to stop.

Although chewing is a natural part of puppyhood, there are things that you can do to minimize the damage. And with less time spent worrying about the things your puppy might destroy, you’ll be free to enjoy this precious, all-too-short stage of his life.

Why Do Puppies Chew?

Chewing is completely natural for dogs of any age, but puppies take it to a whole new level! Puppies chews for a variety of reasons, but most commonly, it’s because:

How to Stop Your Puppy’s Chewing

Training

From the time you bring your new pup home, begin teaching him the “Leave it” command. This will make it easier to discourage him from chewing an inappropriate object and redirect him towards something else.

In addition to teaching your puppy to stop chewing on inappropriate things, it’s important to provide him with appropriate things to chew. When you catch your pup chewing something he shouldn’t, firmly but gently tell him, “no” and offer him a chew toy you know he likes. Praise him when he begins to use the new toy. This will help him to learn what’s OK for him to chew.

For more puppy training tips, check out my interview with my good friend, Greg Kleva, from BarkBusters:

Don’t Leave Him Unsupervised

There will be times when you’re not home or when you’re too busy to keep a close eye on your puppy. Giving him the run of the house at these times is just asking for disaster.

Crating your puppy is a great way to keep him safe and out of trouble when you can’t supervise him. Dogs are den animals, so spending time in a crate isn’t a punishment. It’s an opportunity for them to enjoy some downtime, take a nap, and stay safe while you’re gone.

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Photo of a Border Collie laying on an AIPERRO Dog Crate Pad Washable Dog Bed Mat

You can make your puppy’s crate inviting and homey by giving him a comfy crate pad to snuggle into while he’s napping.

You don’t want to leave your puppy in his crate for more than a few hours at a time. You should also make sure to walk him immediately before and after crating him so he has a chance to burn off some energy and take a potty break.

Keep Him Busy

Puppies have LOTS of energy, and if you don’t provide them with opportunities to work it off, they will take matters into their own paws (or teeth).

Playing with your puppy and taking him for walks are great ways for the two of you to form a strong bond, and they’ll help to keep him out of trouble too. A tired puppy is a “good” puppy. Your puppy should have 2-3 walks or play sessions every day. If there are several human members of your family, sharing playtime duties will give everyone a chance for some quality time with your puppy. It will also help to exhaust his extra energy without totally wearing everyone else out.

Photo of a Chuckit! Fetch and Fold Launcher

One of my favorite interactive toys is the Chuckit! Ball Launcher. It’s one of the best ways to make sure that you’re puppy’s stamina for chasing a ball doesn’t outlast your arm.

It’s also a good idea to walk or play with your puppy at about the same time every day. Dogs (even the really young ones) appreciate predictability. Try to establish a routine so that everything in puppy’s life — waking up, eating, potty time, playing, and rest — follow a fairly predictable schedule. This will help keep him out of trouble.

Chew Toys

Toys for puppies are usually smaller and softer than those designed for older dogs. It’s important to avoid hard bones, as these can damage delicate puppy teeth and prevent his adult teeth from growing in properly.

Never give a puppy (or any dog for that matter) a toy that has parts that could easily be chewed off and swallowed. No matter what toys you “chews” for your pup, make sure that you inspect them regularly for loose parts or threads that could be swallowed, and replace them before they become a choking hazard.

Photo of a baby blue KONG Puppy Teething Binkie

Kong Puppy Binky Toy. Kong makes a full line of puppy-sized toys, but the adorable binky shape makes this one of my personal faves! These chew toys also dispense treats, so they’ll not only sooth puppy’s teeth and gums, they’ll keep his little doggy brain busy too.


Photo of a pack of N Bone Puppy Teething Rings Chicken Flavor Dog Treat

Chicken Flavored Puppy Teething Ring. This toy’s chicken flavor gives it serious puppy appeal. And that’s good news for your shoes and furniture!

I give these rings to my puppy, Tulip, and they not only soothe her teeth and gums, but they keep her busy for a good period of time. For extra relief try throwing it in the freezer for a few minutes before your pup begins chewing.


Photo of a Gnawsome Spiky Squeaker Ball Dog Toy

Balls. A traditional game of fetch will keep your pup active without totally wearing you out. My favorite puppy fetch toys are these Kong Squeakair Tennis Balls and this Gnawsome squeeking teething ball.

The teething ball feels good on puppy’s teeth and cleans their teeth and gums as well. 


Photo of a Spunky Pup Organic Cotton bunny Dog Toy

Stuffed Animals. Every puppy needs a buddy, even if it’s stuffed! My two favorites are this organic cotton bunny rabbit and this Kong stuffed teddy bear. The bunny is a perfect bedtime companion!

The Kong bear is ideal for dogs who tend to rip their stuffed animals apart quickly. It has an internal rope that bears the distinctive Kong indestructibleness. 

Chilled carrots. A carrot will give your puppy something cold to soothe his gums, and it’s a nutritious treat too. Since carrots are high in fiber, limit your pup to no more than one a day to avoid upsetting his tummy. I’ve seen a single carrot piece keep a puppy entertained for twenty minutes! A big bonus for busy puppy parents.

Chewing Deterrents

Photo of a bottle of Bodhi Dog Not Here! Spray

Sprays like this one have a taste that dogs don’t like, so it’s a great way to discourage a teething puppy from chewing on table legs, door jams, or other objects that you want to remain bite-free. Before you spray anything on fabric, however, it’s a good idea to test a small spot to make sure it doesn’t leave a mark.

The puppy months will be over before you know it, and as exhausting as this time is, when it’s behind you, you’ll most likely look back on it with fond memories. If you watch your puppy carefully and provide him with plenty of appropriate outlets for his chewing needs, you’ll probably find that most of those memories are not in the form of little teeth marks in your furniture!

The puppy months will be over before you know it, and as exhausting as this time is, when it’s behind you, you’ll most likely look back on it with fond memories. If you watch your puppy carefully and provide him with plenty of appropriate outlets for his chewing needs, you’ll probably find that most of those memories are not in the form of little teeth marks in your furniture!

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Kristen Levine is a nationally acclaimed pet expert and influencer with over 30 years of experience in the industry. She's helped millions of pet parents provide the best care at every stage of their pet’s life.

Her blog, Pet Living with Kristen Levine has been featured in Pop Sugar, Good Housekeeping, New York Times, USA Today, and more.

She's also the founder of FWV Fetching, the first marketing agency exclusively serving pet and animal health companies.

Her early work with the SPCA led her to a lifelong career in the pet industry, advocating for pet adoption and rescue as well as for pets and their parents here on her blog and in the media.

She’s frequently booked on satellite media tours and national shows, like FOX & Friends, Good Morning America, and Daytime, to talk about pet trends and new products.

Insanely passionate about pets since she was a little girl, Kristen has had more than 30 pets in her lifetime — including dogs, cats, goats, donkeys, a horse, a gerbil, mice, and chickens!

Today she lives in Florida with her dog Tulip, cat Olivia, and husband Paul.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I’m literally at my wits end with my dog …
    We go though cover after cover in her cage is there anything I can wash my pets blanket in that will stop her ripping it up the minute new covers are put in

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