Those cute, adorable, fuzzy, warm chewing machines that we refer to as Lab puppies tend to chew everything that in their vicinity. If you have never owned a Lab, get ready for a wild ride. If you are a Lab owner, you know right where this is going and we hope to offer some tips to help stop dogs and puppies from chewing.
Chewingitis – A non-stop desire to have something in the mouth to chew on at all times, all hours of the day. In some cases this turns from a desire to pure need.
Ok so this is not really a disease but it sums up the Labs desire to chew. Out of all the different breeds, I have been privileged to own none even come close with the desire to chew than a Lab pup. From stories being told of a Lab pulling up boards off a deck (true story) to my first-hand experience with this chewing desire, it is a problem that needs controlled and controlled quickly otherwise your life will be turned upside down.
The Root of Puppy Chewing Desire
In most cases, the problem seems to stem from boredom. This is not to say that your Lab is not being stimulated, it just needs more. Labs are known and loved for their never-ending endurance. In the wrong situation, this can quickly turn from the desired trait to a nightmare. The Labrador desires a lot of stimulation and if is not being provided, it will create some for itself. Do not try to accomplish this non-stop simulation yourself as you would most likely die of exhaustion within a few days. Instead, try some of these great tricks for treating Chewingitis.
This will be your first experience with Chewingitis. During the teething stage, the puppy teeth are coming out and the adult teeth are coming in. This makes your pup’s mouth very sensitive and they are just like a baby with teeth coming in and need to chew on something. Whether that something is your shoe or a toy is up to you….
One of the best remedies I have found for this is ice cubes. I cannot even begin to think of the amount of ice we would go through when teething. The cold ice helps dull the pain all the while filling the pups mouth (this prevents it having your shoe in there).
#3 After Teething
After the teething has stopped the Chewingitis does not regress. Often they have simply moved on from shoes to new items they can reach. Yes, that means to put those remote controls, credit cards, and any other valuable items in an inaccessible place.
Why this desire is continued is still beyond me. All I know is it does not stop and lot soft work needs to be done to keep that pup happy.
Ways to Overcome The Puppy Chewing Problem
A Tired Puppy Is A Happy Puppy – Run, Walk, Play
Plan on lots of walks and time to run and play. This helps get a lot of the pent up energy out and will make for a much more relaxing evening indoors for everyone. Plan on a brisk morning walk to start the day and an evening walk. The pup also needs a chance to stretch its legs by running off leash. If you have a backyard, you can try a variety of games. From fetch (hey, they are retrievers you know) to finding hidden items try to find items that stimulate both the mind and body of your Lab.
What to Chew – Toys
Do not even think about that soft plastic or stuffed toys offered at pet stores. This results in about 5 seconds of pure mayhem ended with a loss of $5.00. Kind of reminds one of a Tornado hitting a matchbox toy car.
One of the best toys I found is the Kong. These come in both a Red and Black color, get the black one. The Red is a softer rubber and will not last very long. Try stuffing the Kong with a variety of treats (our favorite is still to fill it with peanut butter and freeze it). The Kong not only gives your Lab puppy something to chew on but also provides mental stimulation as they try to figure out the quickest way to get the goodies out from inside.
Another great toy is a hard plastic treat ball. Make sure it is large enough for the Lab not to get its’ mouth around otherwise you will end up with another soft plastic toy tornado. Let’s face it, Labs love to eat and this treat ball is the perfect stimulation for the eater. They push the ball, push the ball and finally, a treat is dispensed. Another great mind stimulation toy.
Final Thoughts – Is Chewingitis Curable?
Of course, Yes. Usually, a Labrador Retriever will reach maturity between the ages of 1 and 2 years. During this time they will finish finishing their bodies out and slow down on the chewing. They become much calmer and controlled but will still need lots of time to play. Of course the playtime so fun with a Lab this is never a problem as you both will have years of enjoyment with each other.