We all have our Texas drought stories this year but in my life, I have found I appreciate just watching rain. I will grab a book or something to work on and sit in an easy chair and make good use of our enormous picture windows. While enjoying the rain the other day, to my disappointment, I just happened to notice that one of our new Crepe Myrtles in the yard appeared to have been trimmed badly while the other was untouched. I donned my raincoat for further inspection and, being the great detective that I am, I knew right away what set of chompers was to blame! It had puppy mischief written all over it. It’s otherwise known as “Puppy Hieroglyphics”.
I have had this problem with some of my young dogs ( no names are mentioned so as to protect the guilty). It’s rare that it happens but the fact that I now also have only 3 blueberry bushes instead of four will explain. That happened last year. Puppy chewing can be so frustrating but like with any problem, there are remedies.
The real culprit is the teething process each puppy has to go through. To start with, for anyone that is interested in numbers, puppies have 14 upper teeth and 14 lower teeth. They begin to loose these teeth sometime between 3 and 7 months and it continues to be a problem until new teeth come in. They should have their full set of adult incisors, molars and canine teeth between 4-7 months. An adult dog has 21 upper teeth and 21 lower teeth. That urge to chew is just part of growing up and their way of dealing with it. That’s a lot of teeth to deal with.
After the Crepe Myrtle incident, I just thought to share a few pointers in case it will be a help.
How do you recognize the problem? There are several ways that are on the top of my list.
1. If you begin to miss socks and shoes and find them later and decide that you will never be seen in public with them again.
2. If your child can’t find his favorite toy or if they are missing parts.
3. If you find yourself tripping over frayed carpet strands.
4. If you go to sit in your favorite lawn chair and fall through to the ground.
5. If you find bushes and small trees are badly trimmed unexpectedly.
So…….if you find yourself thinking that those pearly white teeth are a terrible nuisance , take heart. There are solutions. 21 weeks seems to be about the time the heaviest chewing urges hit. Be prepared!
1.) Your puppy’s crate is your ( and his) friend. When you can’t supervise your puppy, keep him safely inside. Be sure and have plenty of play time when you are at home and able to be with him.
2. Provide plenty of chew toys and try pressed rawhide. Try putting his toys in the freezer or give him ice cubes. Don’t buy toys that are of the shape or texture of anything you don’t want him to chew. Again, take plenty of time to play with your pup with his toys and have fun together! Nylabone and Kong toys are tough and stores have a great selection.
3. Declutter and puppy proof your home and yard, removing tempting objects. You can try putting attractive little fences around the Myrtles and Blueberries!
4. Don’t let up on puppy training. Be consistent in letting your puppy know you are the boss and what you expect. Puppy classes and Obedience classes are great for puppy and owner alike and can be a wonderful distraction.
5. Try Bitter Apple and spray some on the tempting objects.
Your puppy will go through many different stages Just be Patient, Prepared and Positive!