Puppies chew for a variety of reasons. Most of these reasons are perfectly normal, the main one being teething. Puppies begin teething as young as four weeks and generally have a strong need to chew until their adult teeth have all come in, around six months of age.
During this period of time it is important to supply your puppy with proper chew toys – ones that will alleviate their desire to chew without turning them into a permanent chewer. This is usually a good time to provide him with a toy box that contains their chew toys.
Just as our children need safe teething rings so, too, do our puppies need safe toys to aid in relieving the discomfort of teething. Correcting your puppy for chewing during teething will only confuse him since he really cannot help himself. Instead, supply him with a safe chew toy such as a heavy sock scented with peppermint extract so that he knows the difference.
Some puppies chew out of boredom. Puppies that are left alone for long periods of time without some kind of constructive activity often turn to chewing. To prevent this, make every effort to teach your puppy what he can and can’t chew on in your home. This is a good time to use your puppy crate/pen. If you are unable to supervise your puppy, put him in his playpen with his chew toys. I also recommend leaving a radio or television on for your puppy if you are going to be away for any long period of time. The noise will alleviate some of the loneliness during solitary confinement.
Poor diet can be another reason your puppy is chewing. If your puppy is not getting enough chewing action from his food he may turn to other items such as your furniture. Sometimes a change in food, to one that requires more chewing, will solve this problem.
If you catch your puppy chewing on items he is not to chew on, a simple correction is usually enough. Softly swat him on the bottom of his chin and take the forbidden item away from him. This is a good time to teach your puppy to seek his own chew toys out of the toy box that you have provided him.