A new puppy is a playful, lovable addition to your family. But many puppies are chewing machines, happily relieving the ache of teething gums or boredom on your furniture, shoes or anything else within reach. To satisfy Rover's need to chew, provide him with safe teething toys of his own.
Though dogs and bones seem like a natural combination, you should use care when letting your puppy chew on a natural bone. Bones are unsuitable for young puppies, small breeds or dogs with short muzzles, such as boxers, pugs and bulldogs. Chicken bones are prone to splintering and are not safe for dogs. Beef or pork knuckle bones are a good choice for medium or large breed puppies. Boil the raw bone in simmering water for an hour to soften it before giving it to your puppy. Do not leave your pup unattended while he enjoys his treat, and throw it away when it is small enough to fit inside the puppy's mouth.
Nylon or Rubber Toys
Visit your local pet store and you will find entire aisles devoted to nylon and rubber dog toys perfect for the teething, bored or energetic puppy. These toys are sturdy and provide many hours of chewing enjoyment for your pup. Choose a toy appropriate to your puppy's size and age. Most puppy toys indicate the age range on the label. For extra fun, look for rubber toys with a hollow center to stuff with peanut butter or other canine treats. A treat-filled toy gives your puppy something to do while you’re busy, and distracts him from inappropriate chewing.
Puppies teeth for around six months, according to the Humane Society, and will chew to relieve their aching gums. A frozen chew toy helps numb the sore gums and brings sweet relief for many puppies. Some pups enjoy chewing on ice cubes. You also can wet a washcloth, roll it up and freeze it before offering it to your dog. Add a little variety to Fido's diet with frozen vegetables. Many puppies enjoy raw, frozen peas, green beans and carrots. Don't overfeed these treats, as your puppy might develop digestive distress.
Most dogs of all ages love rawhide chew toys. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but it's best to stay with a long, rolled rawhide, avoiding those with knots on the end that can become a choking hazard. Pick a rawhide treat that is small enough for your puppy to handle, but large enough so the pup can't fit the entire treat in his mouth. Keep an eye on your puppy while he chews, and throw the rawhide away when it becomes too small. If your puppy chews off large chunks of the treat, take them away so he doesn't choke.
- The Humane Society of the United States: Chewing: The Whys and Hows of Stopping a Gnawing Problem
- Perfect Paws: Dog and Puppy Chewing Problems
- The Seattle Times: Veterinary Q&A: What Dogs Can Safely Chew
- Perfect Puppy Care: Top Seven Teething Remedies
- Dr. Basko: Throw Me a Bone! 4 Tips for Feeding Bones to Your Dogs Safely
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images