If your puppy has started to chew everything in sight, you may be frustrated and upset to see your shoes, clothing and other belongings ripped apart. You may also be worried that your puppy's belly is full of chewed up materials that are not supposed to be there. It is important that you get your puppy to stop chewing on the wrong things -- both to save your sanity and keep your dog in good health. Here are some things you can do to stop this unwanted behavior.
Consider Medical Causes
There are a few medical reasons that may be causing your puppy to chew everything. They may be teething just like a baby would be; in that case, they might feel an urge to chew on anything available in an effort to soothe their aching gums. They may also be nauseous due to an illness, making them chew on things as a coping mechanism. Your puppy might also have intestinal parasites or not be eating a nutritious diet, which can cause pica, a disease where your dog consumes non-food items.
When your dog's chewing seems to be getting out of control, your first stop needs to be at the veterinarian. A vet can rule out health problems as a cause, and they can also check your puppy's teeth and gums for any cuts caused by chewing on the wrong things.
Practice Positive Reinforcement
Instead of yelling or becoming upset when your puppy chews on your favorite shoes instead of their chew toy, it's a good idea to practice positive reinforcement when you can. If you see your puppy with something in their mouth they shouldn't have, don't react in an angry way. Instead, offer them a snack or a toy they can chew on. Then, offer praise and excitement to how you reward good behavior. Your dog wants to please you and wants a treat, so doing this can lead to better behavior over time.
Play with Your Puppy
It seems obvious that you'd want to play with your puppy, but the responsibilities in your day to day life may mean you don't get as much playtime with your dog as you'd like. If you want to get your puppy to stop chewing on your belongings however, it's a good idea to schedule as much playtime as you can. Not only will you bond with your puppy, but a good play session will tire them out. Hopefully, they won't have as much energy left over to find something to chew.
Now that you have some ideas for keeping your puppy's teeth away from inappropriate things, you can work to stop your dog from chewing everything in your home. Talk to your vet, like those at Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital, for more suggestions about how you can make sure your puppy doesn't chew up all your belongings.