Why Puppies Chew & How to Stop Puppy Chewing

by DFS-Pet-Blog on June 29, 2011

Izzy looking innocent!

Izzy looking innocent!

**Guest post from Ellen B.**

Puppy chewing driving you crazy? I understand. My 5-month old puppy, Izzy, has challenged me with her endless need to chew. A few facts might help you understand why puppies chew. Did you know…

  • Between the age of 2 – 8 weeks, puppies get 28 baby teeth.
  • By the age of 8 months, all those baby teeth are replaced by 42 permanent adult teeth.

That’s A LOT of teething, ouch! The discomfort puppies feel in their gums causes an incredible desire to chew.

My puppy is done losing her baby teeth and is in process of growing her adult set of teeth. When a new tooth is popping through, her gums are visibly red and tender. It looks painful and I can understand why she wants to sink her teeth into something.

Other reasons why puppies chew include:

  • Boredom – Puppies have a lot of energy. If they’re not sleeping or eating, they want to play! If they have nothing to do or do not get proper exercise, chewing will likely occur. Remember, a tired dog is a good dog! Plenty of exercise will help your puppy behave.
  • Curiosity – Puppies mouths are their tool for learning, and they use it to explore their new home.

My best advice for how to stop puppy chewing :
Always have access to an item which is appropriate for them to chew!


Izzy loves dog toys, but chew toys are her favorite!

Izzy loves dog toys, but chew toys are her favorite!

To help my puppy through teething pain and all the other reasons she chews (and to help keep my furniture and rugs intact), I encourage her to use her chew toys. The basic idea is chew toys are an alternative to an inappropriate behavior. Especially when she was 1 – 3 months old, I would not even sit down without having a few toys within my reach to use as distractions when she started to chew on something – or somebody. If she started to chew on something inappropriate, I would say a firm “NO” and present her with a chew toy to distract her.

Since I work at a pet supplies company, I tend to buy A LOT of dog toys. Chew toys are really important because chewing is a natural urge for any dog, regardless of age. But from my personal experience with raising a puppy, I do have my Top 5 chew toy recommendations – or I should say Izzy’s has her favorite chew toys!

Puppy Teething Rings

These rings are a low-fat, digestible chew treat that must be mighty tasty! Izzy REALLY loved these and one ring would keep her busy for quite a while. (I think my 3-year-old dog snatched it away from her sometimes.)

Puppy Teething Rings

Puppy Teething Rings

Nylabone Durachew

Nylabone Durachew

Nylabone Durachew
The product description states “Massage nubs stimulate and exercise gums and jaws while varied textures increase sensory information.” Whatever the reason, this has always been and continues to be one of Izzy’s favorite chews. Although she likes regular Nylabones, this particular design seems to be more appealing to her.
Everlasting Treat Ball
I purchased my first Everlasting Treat Ball about 4 years ago for my previous dog, Lucky, who passed a few years ago. My 3-year-old dog then inherited it and cherished it as much as Lucky did. When Izzy joined the family, she immediately enjoyed it, too. I now own TWO Everlasting Treat Balls because if one dog has it, the other dog wants it! I recommend the large size because it holds the treat more snug than the smaller ones. Izzy loves to lick the treat part (that lasts for many hours) and she often gnaws the thick, durable proprietary material that withstands aggressive chewing.

Everlasting Treat Ball

Everlasting Treat Ball

Busy Buddy Bone

Busy Buddy Bone

Busy Buddy Bone
This is a “special-occasion-only” chew toy in our house! Again, I must have TWO Busy Buddies so each dog has their own…it’s that popular. There are three different textures (hard Nylabone, rubber, and bristles) and Izzy uses all three areas of the bone. I think the bristles and the rubber parts feel particularly good on teething gums.
Pro Action Dental Chew
The bone is another oldie but goodie. Izzy has had this one out often lately, although she also enjoyed it as a younger pup. “Three different surface textures provide teeth-cleaning and gum-massaging action. Nubs and ribs on the hard nylon ends are great for cleaning teeth, while the slightly softer ridged middle works to massage your dog’s gums. Natural bacon flavor gives these bones tempting aroma.”

Pro Action Dental Chew

Pro Action Dental Chew

I admit I have a few rugs that fell victim to Izzy’s chewing, along with a few extra teeth marks in a wood chair or two. But, the toys really did a great job at distracting her away from her inappropriate behavior. At the age of 5-months now, she LOVES her toys. Although her chew toys are still her favorite, she also really likes toys that squeak or make some sort of noise. Every day she digs around in the toy basket and finds just the perfect one to fit her mood.

Please feel free to add a comment to share any tips you might have to stop puppy chewing!

Related Posts:

See All Posts in Ellen’s “New Puppy” Series:

  • Our Decision Process – Pet ownership is a long term commitment, so a new pet decision should be thoughtfully made. May this story help you think through your decision.
  • The 1st Few Days – What to expect when you first bring a new puppy home, and a few tips to help start your puppy’s life out on the right paw.
  • Housetraining a Puppy – Housetraining is one of the biggest challenges of owning a puppy. These tips and “must-haves” for housetraining a puppy will help ease the process.
  • Puppy Chewing – Why Puppies Chew & How to Stop Puppy Chewing
  • Puppy Training Classes – The foundation for a well-behaved puppy starts with a well-trained owner!


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

gusguslover400 June 30, 2011 at 11:04 am

i now the puppy im staying with likes to chew on everything so when we bring cushions out to sit on the lawn chairs we have to bring them back inside so she wont chew them to shreds.its funny because when shes caught dead in her track she acts all innocent.

JulieD July 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm

We did the same thing, Ellen! It’s funny, Charley’s toy box looks the same as Izzy’s!

Ellen B. July 1, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Julie & Gus…oh, the joy of puppies! (Julie, I think both Charley and Izzy *might* be a bit spoiled!!! LOL)

Amy McElhaney March 15, 2012 at 9:40 am

The busy buddy bone is a great chew toy! Kongs are also wonderful. If my puppy starts biting too hard on me when we play, our dog trainer said to yelp like a puppy and turn my back signaling play time is over or he’s being too rough. It WORKS! You may sound dumb yelping but it helps him learn bite inhibition. #Celebrate

Heather March 15, 2012 at 9:41 am

Great ideas – thank you!

Julia March 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm

My Treeing Walker Coonhound does a number on her toys. She has them annihilated usually within a day. Kong toys do wonders though, as well as the everlasting treat ball. #CELEBRATE

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