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Val Caron Animal Hospital

3055 Highway 69 N
Val Caron, ON P3N 1R8



Most dog owners are all too familiar with the horror stories regarding a puppies destructive chewing. Chewing is a normal behaviour for all dogs, especially puppies. In fact, it is safe to assume that dogs see all material as chew toys, put on earth only for their pleasure. Because dog's have a strong drive to chew, we have to provide them with a suitable outlet, for a good chew fix.

To start this, we need to give your puppy appropriate and safe objects or toys to chew on. Start with a variety of toys for your puppy to pick from. Dogs will show preferences for different types of material to chew. Some prefer harder objects, while others like softer plush toys. How do we go about getting him hooked on chew toys? First, we don't give him/her any other choice. When we catch him/her chewing on anything else but his toys, he gets a strong verbal reprimand, and then we do not leave him along to choose his own chew toys, like your furniture or shoes. Isolate the puppy in a chew proof area when he/she has to be alone.

To get him hooked on the toys that are safe, use them in enthusiastic play. The verbal praise and social interaction will encourage him to want to play with his/her chew toys. Another thing we can do is to make these toys more attractive, by hiding food or treats in them. Kongs, hollowed out commercial bones, and buster cubes, are great for stuffing scrumptious treats inside. You can use Cheese Whiz, liver pate, or peanut butter. You are limited only by your imagination. Rawhides can also be soaked in beef or chicken broth, to make them more attractive to your dog. The more habitual his chewing becomes on these safe objects, the less likely your dog will turn to things he shouldn't be chewing. When you can't directly supervise your puppy, activities keeping them in a dog crate, can help prevent destructive chewing of valuable or unsafe items, such as poisonous plants, and electrical wires.

For more information, please read Destructive Chewing