Oh my god, the excitement of having a pup in the house! It is unlike any other feeling in the world. As much as the little ball of excitement can be fun, they are going to need to be watched 24/7. Okay, that’s an ideal scenario, but yeah, they are going to get up to mischief, eat what they really shouldn’t, poop where you really wish they wouldn’t, and destroy a lot of things. They are going to be pups who know no difference between right and wrong. I have personally lost countless pairs of slippers, my own stuffed toys, the legs of tables and chairs, and had to clean up messes from everywhere, including very recently from my mom’s Mandir (prayer room)! Yes, my pup decided that the mandir needed his scent. Sigh.
I won’t lecture too much this time because despite all the messes, it is a time like no other. It is fun, energetic, crazy, funny, and overall memorable. Just keep an eye out because pups will eat anything. You don’t believe me? I took my 4 month old for a walk in the park and his nose located a very dead garden lizard, and before I could even yell his name, Ari picked it up. As I ran towards him, he took one look at me and swallowed the very dead lizard whole. I saw the tail disappear in slow motion. It is a funny story NOW, but I was petrified when it happened, calling the vets, feeding him salt water to make him throw up, and putting my finger down his throat for the same reason, just praying that nothing happens to him. Thankfully, nothing did happen to him, lucky bum.
So watch them like a hawk! They are sneaky, fast, and eat everything! Reminds me of a photo I once saw online.
Some methods to help with the chewing:
- Get lots of puppy toys, essentially toys that don’t have small parts that can be swallowed. And make sure the chew toys are of all kinds, soft toys, hard bones (no chicken bones!), balls in a big enough size so they can’t swallow it, etc.
- You can get toys like the Kong, but make sure to start with the appropriate size and the harder ones if they are more aggressive chewers (or older).
- You will find the right toys only through trial and error because dogs are choosy and picky.
- Do not give your pup or dog rawhide (whole blog post coming up on that topic)
- If they try to bite you give a quick loud yelp and stop playing with your pup for a minute, it simulates the way their siblings or mother would stop playing with them if the pup is hurting them.
- To help them with the pain of teething you can give them a frozen carrot (the fatter top part of the carrot). Cut the top 1/3rd of the carrot, wet it, and put it in the freezer. It helps numb and soothe the pups gums.
- You get these natural sprays such as a bitter apple spray that can help discourage chewing or licking of things you want them to avoid, like the legs of tables and chairs. One that worked for me was the Bitter Apple spray by Grannick (it is imported) and now available on Amazon India http://www.amazon.in/Grannicks-Bitter-Apple-Bottle-Ounces/dp/B00028ZMEO
Keep in mind though that this does not deter some dogs as strongly as others. Trial and error!
This is a temporary phase and you will get through it, so don’t worry. I will write a post dedicated to correcting their chewing during this phase.