Dogs go through a second teething stage that often catches owners by surprise. Typically around the age of 8 months dogs will often begin a destructive chewing phase. This adolescent phase can be confusing for parents. This now mature puppy has grown larger and stronger and their jaws can now do even more damage than a tiny puppy. Unfortunately, this is often an age when dogs are turned into a shelter, as parents are exasperated at this normal stage of puppy development.
Often during this stage of puppy hood parents discontinue using the crate. The combination of too much freedom and irritated molars make for a lot of destructive chewing. No furniture leg, shoe or toy stands a chance.
During this ‘second chewing phase’ it is crucial that you once again puppy proof your home; go back to crate training and avoid stuffed toys. No dog toy is ever indestructible – no matter what the packaging may claim. Stuffed toys and rope toys should never be given to your pet unattended, especially during this phase. The main choices of items destroyed by dogs that we hear about are eyeglasses and shoes. Keep a close eye on your dog during this time as a wandering dog may often be looking for something to chew.
We really want to stress the value of appropriate chewing or you will stand the chance of losing important valuables. We offer a wide variety of chews sourced locally and are not sprayed with chemicals or pesticides. We often tell our customers that during 7 – 12 months your dog will often turn into a heavy chewer and therefore you should opt for bones, raw meaty bones, pressed hides, roasted body parts such as ears or snouts, and stuffed frozen Kong’s. After you purchase a chew off our chew saloon put it in the freezer to chill the bones to make it harder and cooler on the teeth and gums.
Dogs hit this stage of development at different times, depending on the breed. This is a great time to involve your dog in an activity such as agility or taking another basic manners class.
Bitter Apple spray is a favorite however some dogs love the taste. If so, keep a close eye on your little teething adolescent.
There are a lot of theories around the benefits of chewing; it releases endorphins, massages the gums, simulates socialization, etc. I promise this destructive chewing phase will pass. An extra walk or an extra game of playing with a ball will also help. A tired dog is a less destructive dog. I’ve always said, “Save a shoe – buy a chew!”