Puppy Teething Toys: How to Stop a Puppy Chewing Everything

Puppy Teething Toys: How to Stop A Puppy Chewing Everything | Animed Direct

The information in this article was reviewed and approved by registered veterinary nurse, Beth Walker

Animed Veterinary Nurse, Beth Walker

Bringing a puppy home is always an exciting time. From getting to know their personalities to helping them settle into your family, there is so much to enjoy. However, anyone who has experienced a puppy in the midst of teething will be fully aware of why they are commonly referred to as land sharks! The puppy chewing phase is in part due to their natural curiosity towards new objects, and in part because chewing helps to reduce the discomfort that comes with teething. But don’t despair! Puppy teething toys and chews are a great way to redirect your nibbly puppy away from your new shoes and furniture – and there’s plenty of great toys and chews out there to pick from.

Why Do Puppies Chew?

As pups learn the dos and don’ts, they will often explore the world with their mouth, much like young children do. Puppies chew on interesting objects to investigate them and learn about the world and unfortunately for us, this can lead to ripped furniture, chewed up shoes or mashed up remotes.

Chewing is also a form of pain relief for puppies. Like in human children, the process of baby teeth falling out and adult teeth growing in can cause discomfort in pups, and chewing can ease that discomfort.

When Do Puppies Stop Chewing?

The chewing phase usually ends at around six months of age. However, this is not to say that chewing in puppies stops entirely at this point.

After your pup’s baby teeth have fallen out, a secondary chewing phase known as adolescent chewing (or exploratory chewing) can begin. This can be due to discomfort again, as your dog’s adult teeth settle into the jaw bone. Dogs might also chew as a result of boredom, distress, an unbalanced diet that lacks calcium, or even attention seeking.

How to Stop a Puppy Chewing

The key to stopping your puppy from destroying your household belongings is not actually to stop them from chewing altogether. Chewing is a natural behaviour that your puppy should be free to engage in. However, the solution lies in redirecting this natural behaviour towards a more appropriate outlet.

Whether your puppy is chewing for pain relief or out of boredom, puppy teething toys can be a great solution. They provide mental stimulation and an appropriate outlet for chewing – rather than your furniture!

How Puppy Teething Toys Work

KONG puppy toys use a soft rubber suitable for puppies up to nine months of age who have no adult teeth yet. These puppy teething toys are made from a special formula, which is softer for brittle puppy teeth. As with the classic KONG toy, the puppy version can be filled with something tasty to encourage your dog to engage with it.

KONG puppy teething toy

Unsure what to put inside? Try starting with their normal food. Dry kibble is a great filler for puppy teething toys! While it can be tempting to jump straight to exciting and challenging fillings for that extra five minutes of peace and quiet, it’s important that we build confidence in our younger puppies by sticking to easy activities that help them quickly learn the goal and reward.

The speed at which a puppy will learn and become confident with puppy teething toys will vary but it is important to take it at their pace.

What Else Can I Fill Puppy Teething Toys With?

Once a puppy can quickly empty a KONG full of dry kibble, it’s time to slowly up the effort level. You can try:

Lily's Kitchen puppy training treats

The possibilities are endless with KONG toys, and keeping it varied and interesting will help keep your puppy motivated to the last bite!

However, it is important to be aware that a puppy’s tummy can be a bit more sensitive to changes in diets than adult dogs. If you’re trying new ingredients like vegetables or treats, introduce them slowly and only try one new thing at a time so you can monitor for any reactions. Using a primary filling of your puppy’s everyday food can also help to prevent overeating and excess weight gain.

Add Variety to Your Puppy Teething Toys

In order to stop your puppy chewing household items, the important thing is to make sure that your puppy is stimulated by their puppy teething toys. As well as keeping the fillings interesting, having some alternatives to puppy teething toys is a great way to keep things interesting and redirect that natural desire to chomp and chew. If your puppy loves their KONG toy, why not mix it up with the KONG Puppy Activity Ball or KONG Puppy Goodie Bone?

Alternatively, puppy chews such as Nylabone DuraChew Puppy Bones are perfect for teething pups. Specially formulated for growing teeth and jaws, durable Nylabones help to discourage destructive chewing and encourage healthy chewing. It’s a good idea to stock up and have several dotted around the house so that you always have one to offer your pup in exchange for whatever they’ve wrapped their mouth around. The more variety the better when it comes to stopping your puppy chewing.

Nylabone puppy chew

What If My Puppy is Still Chewing?

As we mentioned earlier, sometimes puppy chewing can be a result of boredom, distress or attention seeking. Puppy teething toys like KONGs are a great way to relieve teething pain as well as encourage your puppy to learn independence, problem solving and the ability to settle. But it’s also important to bond with your puppy, spend time with them, and work on some foundation life skills.

Grab a pack of tasty treats and start a training session. Sit, lie down and rollover are always family favourites and lots of puppies will pick these up quickly. When working with young puppies it is always important to keep training sessions short and fun. This helps them maintain a positive association with learning and will actually help them learn skills quicker.

For more advice on redirecting your dog’s chewing habits as they grow older, read our blog.

Can I Take My Puppy for a Walk to Distract Them from Chewing?

Depending on the vaccinations used by your veterinary practice, it is often recommended that puppies do not go for walks until two weeks after their second vaccination. This is usually around 14-16 weeks of age.

It is safe to allow your puppy to socialise with other fully vaccinated dogs, either those within your household or those belonging to friends and family. This can be in the home or in a garden where you can be confident that no unvaccinated dogs have visited. Find out more about puppy vaccinations.

Wrapping Up

Chewing is a natural behaviour in dogs, and puppies are especially prone to chewing whatever they can get their mouths around! This can be problematic if you’re finding that all your furniture, shoes and other belongings are becoming targets, but it’s important to allow your puppy to engage in this natural behaviour in other ways. Puppy teething toys are the perfect way to redirect chewing to a different, non-destructive outlet. We have a range of puppy teething toys at Animed Direct.