Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dogs will chew, especially when they're puppies

My neighbor came by today - he called first to see if I had some extra vetrap - because his pup had chewed her bandage off again and he was out.

About a week or so ago she cut her foot - apparently she found a piece of glass in the dirt in the yard while she was digging and darn near cut a pad from her foot. So, she had stitches and she's been bandaged, but even wearing the lampshade collar, she can find a way to get at that foot!

She's been a bundle of activity ever since he got her - only slowing down when she exhausts herself - but the bandage chewing is making my neighbor crazy. He tried something from the vet called "Yuck" - she likes it. Tried cayenne pepper and tabasco sauce - she thinks they're great!

When she was slightly younger, she demolished the remote for his surveillance cameras, along with some carpeting and a pair of shoes... And while she's getting better, he's also learning which things need to be put out of reach.

My own dogs are long past the chewing stage, but along with my best pair of shoes, they chewed the leg from an ottoman and the corner moldings from the trim around our kitchen and hallway floors.

Experts advise giving your puppy a good variety of chewy toys to keep her interested, making sure she gets plenty of exercise, and... no surprise: keeping her contained where she can't get at things for destruction purposes when you aren't home.

I'd add... put things away when you are home. My best shoes were demolished when I was just in the other room. (My fault entirely - I knew there was something about that lovely soft leather that attracted them, and I failed to put them in the closet when I got home.)

Puppies aren't chewing to be mean - they're teething, and just as young humans need something to chew on, so do they. Later on, they're chewing from boredom, so give them plenty to do. Dogs need jobs just like humans do!

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