8 min read
“Puppies - our little bundle of joy,
They’ll chew down everything in sight.
Teething is painful, we know
But you can help them, as they grow!”
Our puppies are a little bundle of joy. Their teeny-tiny paws, wet noses and warm hearts make our worlds go round. So, if you have just made a puppy a part of your sweet family, then we would like to start by saying congratulations!
As you begin this beautiful journey, you will slowly realise that raising puppies requires a lot of work and one of the most important periods is when our puppies turn 8 weeks old, their 28 baby teeth start to appear. This causes a lot of painful teething that can last till our puppies turn 7 months old.
During this time, your puppy will love to bite EVERYTHING they set their puppy eyes to. Their tiny little nibblers are always on-duty and are looking for the next thing to chew down. Many puppy parents ask this question – “How to stop puppies from biting” and today we will help you with just that.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. What is puppy teething?
2. 7 ways on how to redirect puppy chewing
2.1. Provide plenty of chew toys
2.2. Channel their energy
2.3 Choose long-lasting Yakies chew
2.4. Use a teething spray
2.5. Train them to understand ‘No’ command
2.6. Create a ‘Puppy Corner’
2.7. Keep an eye out
3. Frequently Asked Questions
3.1. Why do puppies bite on furniture, hands and clothes?
3.2. Is it normal for puppies to bite during playtime?
3.3. How can I redirect my puppy’s chewing to appropriate chew toys?
3.4. How much exercise does my puppy need to prevent excessive chewing?
3.5. Is it okay to use a spray bottle or other forms of punishment to stop my puppy from chewing?
3.6. How long does it take for my puppy to outgrow their chewing phase?
3.7. Are there any signs that my puppy’s biting behaviour may indicate an underlying health issue?
Puppies explore their world through their senses, including their sense of touch and taste. They also use their mouths to play and to learn about their surroundings. Another reason why puppies chew is one we already talked about. Teething is painful and it can cause our puppy’s gums to swell up. And the only way for them to relieve themselves of the pain is by nibbling on something – anything.
So chewing not only helps to relieve the discomfort of teething, it also provides a form of stress relief and a way for our puppies to explore their surroundings. But puppies do not know what’s safe for them and they might accidentally chew on something hazardous. They usually love nibbling on your fingers, furniture, rubber slippers, books, plastic baskets, electronic wires among other things. Hence it is important to keep them away from choking hazards by puppy-proofing your home.
HUFT Tip: Ideally puppy proofing should be done before you bring home your puppy. However, if you have not then don’t worry! Better late than never, right? You can start today!
Learn More: How To Puppy Proof Your Home
The teething period will not only be frustrating for you, but it can also be extremely tiresome for our little ones if they do not get the right channels to relieve their pain. There are many puppy biting solutions that we have tried and tested when our dogs too were adorable puppies.
Let’s explore these together, shall we!
One of the best ways to stop your puppy from biting and chewing on furniture, clothes, and hands is to provide them with plenty of appropriate chew toys for puppies. We advise searching for puppy toys that are specifically made for chewing and are durable enough to withstand the sharp teeth of a puppy.
A puppy chew toy channels our puppy’s natural instincts and helps alleviate teething pain. The puppy chew toy can also have a squeaker inside to keep your puppy’s mind engaged. Why a squeaker, you ask? A squeaker imitates the sound of a prey and this is what makes our puppies love it!
HUFT Tip: To keep your furry family member safe and happy, it's always best to select puppy chew toys that are appropriate for their size and age. Puppies who are prone to playing rough may unintentionally damage the toy, so be sure to keep a watchful eye on them while they play. Remember to check that your puppy isn't swallowing any small pieces of the toy, especially if it has a squeaker. If by any chance your puppy does ingest any part of the toy, take your puppy to the vet immediately.
Another reason why your puppy might want to cause ruckus around the house is because they might have too much energy! Puppies also love to chew when they’re bored or anxious so it’s essential to keep them occupied with plenty of exercise and playtime.
A walk outside can not only tire out your puppy, it’s a good time for them to relieve themselves and explore the great outdoors. You can take your puppy on walks once their vaccinations are complete. If they cannot go out for a walk, you can also play fetch with them in your house with an age-appropriate puppy ball toy. Puppies are also extremely smart beings who love some mental stimulation.
You can bring home some puppy puzzle toys and hide some puppy treats in them to keep their minds occupied! The key is to stay on our toes, for our puppies always will.
Even if slippers ease their teething, they can’t taste that good, can they? Treats for puppies are a great way to keep your puppy chewing on something healthy and delicious. We recommend giving your bundle of joy some rawhide-free Yakies puppy chews. Not only do these chews taste good, chewing on these long-lasting chews can help calm down a hyperactive puppy, promote healthy gum, reduce stress levels, and also fight plaque and tartar.
HUFT Tip: Look for puppy-friendly chews. As some chews are recommended for puppies over a certain age limit, remember to always check for age recommendation on the treat packaging.
There are many bitter sprays for puppy teething available that can be used to deter your puppy from chewing on furniture, clothes & other household items.
Simply spray a small amount on the item you want your puppy to stop chewing on, and the unpleasant, bitter taste will discourage them from doing so.
As soon as our puppies leave chewing on these items, you can offer them their favourite treats as a reward.
HUFT Tip: We recommend using these sprays in small amounts and only when necessary as we want our puppy’s experiences to be happy and positive.
By teaching your puppy basic commands like sit, stay, come and no, you’re giving them an opportunity to explore the world in a safe manner. The ‘No’ command comes most helpful when you wish for your puppy to stop chewing on something inappropriate.
When your puppy starts biting on your furniture or slippers, just redirect their attention to something more interesting and appropriate like a squeaker chew toy or chew treat. If your puppy ignores you, firmly say ‘No’. If they have learned the command, they’ll let you remove the item from their mouth. You can then redirect them to the chew or toy.
HUFT Tip: Positive reinforcement is the key while teaching your pet any command.
Puppies who are well rested are less likely to cause destructive behaviour around the house. They need to sleep for 18-22 hours on an average. So it is important to make sure your adorable puppy has a special spot to call their own, where they can feel cosy, safe, and relaxed whenever they need it. You can create this special space by providing a comfy bed or a crate with some plush toys for snuggling and chew toys to help with teething.
By doing this, you'll help your puppy feel more secure and avoid any unwanted behaviour.
It's important to be patient and attentive during your puppy's teething phase, even though it can be tiring at times. Keeping a watchful eye on your little one is key to their well-being, as it helps prevent them from chewing on things they shouldn't. When your puppy starts to nibble on something inappropriate, gently redirect their focus to an appropriate chew toy. This way, they can continue to thrive and grow into a happy and healthy dog!
1. Why do puppies bite on furniture, hands and clothes?
Painful teething can cause puppies to experience severe discomfort due to swollen gums. This will lead them to chew on anything they set their eyes on.
2. Is it normal for puppies to bite during playtime?
Yes! It is completely normal for puppies to play bite and it should not be confused with aggressive behaviour. If you wish to, you can redirect their biting behaviour to appropriate puppy chew toys and non-toxic puppy chew treats.
3. How can I redirect my puppy’s chewing to appropriate chew toys?
When you see your puppy chewing on anything inappropriate, move a little away from them, call out their name and show them their favourite chew toy. If the toy has a squeaker, use it to get their attention. Having multiple chew toys that mimic a prey can help them not get bored easily. Make sure to supervise your puppy when they are playing to avoid any mishaps.
4. How much exercise does my puppy need to prevent excessive biting?
Puppies are little balls of energy that require plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation. Until fully grown, puppies need to be exercised twice a day for only short periods of time. To calculate how long each play session should be, ensure your pup receives 5 mins of play for every month he or she is.
Your puppy’s age (in months) X 5 (mins) = One play session (in mins).
So if your puppy is 3 months old they’ll need two play sessions in a day, 15 mins each in duration.
5. Is it okay to use a spray bottle or other forms of punishment to stop my puppy from chewing?
No! We do not recommend punishing your puppy. Studies have shown that positive reinforcement training, where we reward our puppies for good behaviour, is a much more humane and effective way of training. A lot of treats, praise and love can not only make your puppy trust you but also learn in a much healthier way.
6. How long does it take for my puppy to outgrow their chewing phase?
Every puppy is different and shall have different timelines of outgrowing their chewing phases. On an average, once the teething stops, i.e. 6-7 months is when puppies stop chewing. In the meanwhile, you can use these 8 ways on how to redirect puppy chewing to something safer.
7. Are there any signs that my puppy’s biting behaviour may indicate an underlying health issue?
Play chewing is normal. However, excessive biting or aggression can indicate something more. If you notice any unusual aggression, we recommend reaching out to your veterinarian and/or canine behaviourist to rule out any underlying physical or mental health issue.
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