Puppies like to chew; it's simply in their DNA. They don't do it to upset you or to damage your personal belongings – or at least not on purpose. They do it in order to explore the new world, to relieve boredom, and because it feels good on their tiny teeth. However, this doesn't make their destructive chewing habits okay. In fact, in some cases, the chewing could hurt them. They could accidentally swallow something they shouldn't, break a tooth, or even electrocute themselves.
While teeth should actually be encouraged, puppies should not be chewing on your personal belongings. Instead, they should be gnawing on puppy-approved chew toys. Here are a few tips to stop your puppy from chewing on "illegal" household items:
Tip #1: Puppy Proof the House.
This first step is not just for the puppy, but it is for you as well. Just as you want to baby proof a home, you will want to puppy proof your house. Go around the house and pick up any handbags, shoes, stuffed animals, etc. and keep them out of reach. There's one good thing about having a new puppy in the house: you will definitely start keeping your house cleaner.
Tip #2: Keep the Puppy Confined.
You won't be able to stay at home all the time. When you aren't able to supervise the puppy, make sure that you either have a crate or kennel that you can keep your puppy in. If you don't have one, then use a baby gate to keep your puppy in a blocked off area of a room where that are no temptations.
Tip #3: Consider Using Repellents.
Just like you can put foul-tasting nail polish on your nails to keep you from biting them, there are nasty-tasting products that can be applied to items around the house to keep your puppy from gnawing at them. For example, some dogs don't like the smell of Vicks Vapo-Rub, which can be used on baseboards to keep puppies from gnawing at them. Bitter apple is another product that is often applied to electrical cords to ensure that puppies don't electrocute themselves.
Tip #4: Offer Trades.
When your puppy gets a hold of something that he shouldn't have, don't go chasing after him. This just teaches him that it can be a fun game of tag when he grabs hold of something. Instead, firmly tell your puppy "no," take away the item that your puppy has and offer a more appropriate chew toy in exchange. This shows your puppy that there are things that he can chew on, but it wasn't what he had to begin with.
For more tips on how to care for your new puppy, or if you're worried he has chewed up something harmful, reach out to a veterinarian near you.