Q & A: Puppies chewing objects

Q: My five-month-old puppy seems to want to chew all the time and does not only stick to his toys. He chews our furniture, shoes and anything else he can find. What can I do to discourage him from chewing my valuable items?

A: All dog lovers with a new four-legged addition to the family have come home to despair and destruction – a chewed high heel or shredded sock, or even an annihilated school textbook.

If you don’t want your puppy to chew your TV remote, make sure he can’t see it or get to it. Just like we baby-proof our homes as soon as baby is mobile, we should also puppy-proof our homes. This includes making sure he doesn’t have access to electrical wires or any potentially toxic substances or plants. Bitter-tasting products can also be sprayed on objects to try to deter your puppy from chewing them.

Get your puppy a variety of his own chew toys. Don’t give them all to him at once. Rotate toys on a daily basis so as not to let the novelty wear off.

Puppy socialisation combined with clicker training is highly recommended. This is great bonding time, puppies love it, and they are exhausted by the time they get home.

Dr Kristen Lachenicht, veterinarian