So you adopted a sweet new puppy. Oh, the velvety ears. The chubby belly. And ouch! The razor-sharp, needle-like teeth!
Those tiny teeth chew through literally anything. Shoe leather. Purse straps. Sofa cushions. Your hand. (Again, ouch!)
Before that brand-new $200 pair of shoes becomes your new baby’s next chew toy, Raleigh Pawz has a few suggestions.
Hide anything you want to keep safe
That sweet new Gucci handbag you purchased the other day? You’d better hide it. You can be sure that your little chomping machine will find your most prized possession and destroy it. Take full stock of every room and imagine a tiny tornado taking out everything at floor level — because that’s basically what will happen. Move any valuables up and away from the path of destruction.
Watch out for electric cords!
They are about the right size for his mouth, made of a delightful chewy material. But those little needle teeth can penetrate down to the wire in no time flat — and no one wants that. Secure dangling electric cords wherever you can and spray cords with bitter apple — a nasty-tasting substance that should stop your chewing puppy in his tracks.
Get some chew toys geared specifically for chewing puppies
Teething hurts — and your poor pup is just trying to alleviate the pain. Chew toys made for teething puppies can make this process a little less painful. Consider toys with soft rubber nubs to massage your puppy’s sore gums, or “cooling” toys that you can either fill with ice or put in the freezer. The cold will help take the edge off and provide considerable comfort.
Discourage undesirable chewing behavior and reward good habits
If you catch your puppy chomping on your furniture for relief, stop them with a firm “no” and give them a chew toy instead. Reinforcing good habits now will prevent bigger problems later. A 100-pound pup chewing on your furniture? Well, that’s just no good.
If you find a destroyed item after the fact, let it go
If you find the worst has happened and your little love bug has destroyed the new shoes you spent hours shopping for, the ones that perfectly matched your outfit for the party Saturday night, be the bigger person. Take a deep breath and let it go. You might feel like screaming at the top of your lungs, but your puppy won’t know why they are being scolded and this may cause lasting issues like anxiety or depression. You want to have a loving bond with your pet and build the trust between you, and that’s way more important than some silly ol’ shoes.
Remember that your poor puppy’s hurtin’ for certain, no matter how many chew toys they chomp on in a day. Why not let them know you feel their pain by throwing a little private pity party? Give some nice snuggles, maybe while watching one of those guilty pleasure tearjerkers you can’t get anyone else to watch with you. While you cry and dig into the Chunky Monkey, give them a doggy ice cream treat of their own. Go ahead and have another scoop. We won’t tell anyone.