Why puppies need to chew & what to let them chew on

Canine behaviourist Diane, from Superhounds Dog Training gives us some advice on how to help your puppy through the teething stage and keep boredom at bay!

Puppies often arrive having had their first vaccination, that means your puppy will need at least one more vaccination before they can go outdoors safely. This can be a period of extreme frustration for owners and a period of biting, running around and chewing… 

Puppies have an innate need to chew, they are discovering the world via their mouth. It’s important to give your puppy appropriate things to chew over the next few weeks and months. You’ll need to put your shoes/slippers away and make sure you don’t leave items you don’t want chewed lying around! 

Providing your puppy with different sensory experiences can really help and even though you may feel housebound, this is pretty simple to do. 

Think about the kind of things your puppy likes to chew – there are many things on the market you can give them to provide them with an appropriate outlet for chewing, saving your shoes and furniture! You can stuff a KONG with Different Dog food and freeze it to make mealtimes last longer and give your puppy something to chew and lick. The act of licking and chewing releases oxytocin in the brain which in turn has a calming effect. 

Natural chews can be a great stress reliever – pizzles, cow hooves, buffalo ears, ostrich tendons can be popular and appropriate for puppies. Be mindful that some chews are too hard for puppy teeth – stag bars and buffalo horns are much too hard and can fracture teeth so wait until their adult teeth have come through before you offer these. Our rule of thumb is to push your nail into the chew, if you can make an indent with your nail it’s safe for puppies, if you can’t, wait until they have their adult teeth. 

If you have any sensory issues and don’t like the smell of natural chews – some of them can really stink! Then look at Whimsees – these are made from vegetable fat and fibres and are non-smelly. 

If you’re a budding chef or fancy trying your hand at making chews, dehydrating sweet potato or strips of turkey can be good alternatives and free from any hidden nasties. Different Dog have a range of natural treats to choose from. 

Your recycling bin can also be a treasure trove of chew toys! Water bottles can be inexpensive fantastic toys that not only give your puppy something to chew, but can also build confidence for your pup as when they touch it, it moves! Remove the top and the plastic ring, places a few treats inside and let your puppy spin or roll it around the floor to get the treats out. 

Milk cartons can be used in the same way, just be mindful to watch your puppy the first time you introduce these to make sure they don’t chew and ingest the plastic…. 

Toilet roll tubes can be folded at each end – place treats in the middle and let your puppy enjoy chewing the cardboard to get to the treats, place treats in egg boxes and leave on the floor for your pup to find, amazon deliveries enable us to have access to lots of cardboard boxes – scrunch up some newspaper inside and throw some of your puppies favourite treats inside and let your pup forage for them – this is great at building confidence and taps into a natural seeking, foraging instinct. 

Paint rollers were a huge hit in our house with Billy! Upcycling your recycling into toys can be a great way to get the kids involved too! 

Whatever you choose to let your puppy chew, always watch your puppy especially the first time they have an item. Make sure they don’t ingest things they shouldn’t and don’t leave them with chews they may choke on. If you use a KONG, make sure you choose the right size and colour for your puppy. 

Here at Different Dog, our food is suitable for dogs of all ages, so if you're looking to upgrade your pup's diet, why not create your plan today.

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