Why Do Puppies Chew Everything That Gets Near Their Mouth?

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Everyone loves puppies (if you don’t, then go seek help, please). But not everyone finds it cute when puppies chew everything that gets near their mouth.

Puppies might chew on shoes, dog beds, books, sticks, headphone cords, phone chargers and literally everything else – even your fingers.

There are a few reasons why puppies chew on everything and I’m going to share the most common reasons with you in this article.

I’m also going to discuss if you should let your puppy chew things or not.

By Mila Bander.

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Why Do Puppies Chew On Basically Everything In Their Way?

There are a few main reasons why puppies chew on things. Here are the most common and expected ones.

Puppies Experience Discomfort During Teeth Growth

As puppies grow and develop, their teeth start to grow. Puppy teething happens when the dog’s permanent teeth begin to grow.

As you’ve experienced yourself when you were little, this is a uncomfortable process.

A few common symptoms of puppy teething are drooling, red and swollen gums, fever, slowed down eating, crying or whining, and of course excessive chewing along with nipping and even blood spots on their toys from the chewing.

Puppies might chew on various objects to help alleviate their discomfort and pain while their teeth grow.

In this sense, they are very similar to human babies.

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Puppies Learn About Their Environment By Chewing

Puppies and dogs in general are very curious about their environment.

They enjoy smelling things, investigating and also chewing things, but they don’t just chew things for fun.

Dogs learn about their environment by smelling and chewing; they can gather a lot of information about things just by putting it into their mouths.

This is especially true for puppies, since everything is new to them. So that’s why they chew on everything.

Colin Tennant, the chairman of the U.K. Canine and Feline Behavior Association, shares that: “Chewing, for a dog, is like a human opening a door and looking into a room (…) they investigate with their mouths, because they don’t have hands.”

Just Because Chewing Fun

Dogs love to chew things to learn about them, but sometimes they chew on things just because it’s fun.

Dogs in general, puppies and mature ones, love to play and be engaged in different activities.

If a puppy is feeling bored, they might just pick something new and super interesting up and start chewing it to entertain themselves.

Anxiety Can Make Puppies Chew on Things

Unfortunately, a puppy can feel anxious and start destructive chewing because of various reasons:

  • They might be adopted and are insecure about their future,
  • They might be feeling uncomfortable because of their teeth growing,
  • They might be feeling bothered by noises, children or strangers, among other reasons.

No matter the reason why they’re anxious, it’s important to be empathetic and exercise patience during any challenges you and your puppy might face while taking them regularly to a vet.

Should You Let Your Puppy Chew Things?

Even if it’s normal and natural for a puppy to want to chew on various objects while they’re at the teeth growing stage, it’s important to not let them chew anything they want.

There are objects that simply shouldn’t be chewed, such as hard objects, rocks, plastic, wood and more.

The puppy could end up crooking or breaking their permanent teeth, and also hurting their gums.

How To Help Your Puppy Stop Chewing On Everything

I want to share some of the best ways to help your puppy during the teething stage.

They are actually quite simple!

First, you can give the puppy proper chew toys

They will be so comfortable (and even tasty!) to chew, the puppy might lose interest in chewing other objects.

Train your puppy from a young age

That way they’ll grow feeling more confident that you’re a good leader. This reduces anxiety while also making them more obedient.

Photo by Amy.