Chewing in Puppies

Have you just adopted a new puppy? Congratulations? Little Fido’s first year is a crucial—and very adorable—stage of his life. Your canine pal has a lot to learn, and a lot of growing to do. One thing puppy owners often find themselves dealing with is chewing. A Livonia, MI vet discusses problematic chewing below.

Why Puppies Chew

There are many reasons for Fido’s gnawing habit. Teething is a big one: your pet’s mouth will be sore as his teeth grow in, and he may chew to get relief. (Tip: try giving him a Kong toy or a few ice cubes to chew.) Dogs also chew because of hunger, boredom, and/or curiosity. Chewing is considered a bad doggy habit, for obvious reasons: no one really likes finding out their pet chewed up a new shoe! However, it is important to understand that this is a natural, and even healthy, behavior for dogs. Chewing helps keeps Fido’s jaws strong, and also helps keep his choppers clean.

Stopping Problem Chewing

If you see your pet chewing inappropriately, tell him ‘No’ firmly, and then offer him something more suitable. Never punish little Fido for chewing improperly. He may not realize that he did something wrong, and could feel anxious or confused by negative reinforcement. However, you can use a taste deterrent to help stop your pooch from gnawing on inappropriate or unsafe items, such as wires and cords.

Good Habits

To teach your furry buddy good habits, offer him suitable chew toys, and reward him with praise, treats, and attention for using them. Don’t give little Fido old items, even things you were going to throw away: this will just confuse him.


Choosing proper chew toys can get tricky. Look at the labels, and choose products with healthy, identifiable ingredients. Avoid things made overseas, as not all countries regulate the safety of pet products. Many dogs love edible chew toys, like bully sticks. These do have the potential for danger in some cases, so ask your vet for specific advice.


Fido could get seriously hurt by chewing on toxic plants; small or sharp items; plastic bags; wires or cords; chemicals; medicine; or other potential hazards. Keep these things out of paws’ reach! Ask your vet for more puppyproofing tips.

To find out more about chewing, contact us, your Livonia, MI animal clinic, today. We’re here to help!

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