Puppies start teething at about six weeks old, when they get their baby teeth. At about six or seven months, they start losing these teeth and getting their permanent teeth, which are fully grown by the end of the first year. All during this time, the dog is chewing a lot in order to relieve the discomfort of teething. Teething pain can be alleviated somewhat by giving the dog a frozen wet washcloth to chew on [source: Dog Channel].
A puppy doesn't know how to differentiate between what's proper to chew and what's not, so you must train your dog to chew only what you permit. Here are some guidelines:
- Put valuable objects away until your puppy chews only appropriate things.
- Keep books, clothes, shoes and laundry out of sight and out of reach.
- Give your pup its own toys and chew bones. Notice what kinds of toys it enjoys chewing and keep it well supplied.
- Give your pup a new toy or switch toys around every few days in order to add variety and prevent boredom.
- Provide your puppy with natural bones made specifically for chewing. Don't offer cooked bones or chicken wings, since they tend to splinter and can cause serious injury. Bear in mind that an intense chewer may break off small pieces of natural bones, or even chip its teeth while chewing. Ask your veterinarian what's safe to give your pup.
- Give your puppy natural, edible things to chew, such as bully sticks or rawhide bones. Be aware, though, that dogs can choke on edible chews if they manage to bite off and swallow a large chunk. If you see that your puppy tends to do this, keep it away from other dogs while it's chewing edible chews, so it won't feel compelled to compete with them and gulp down the edible chew.
- Watch your puppy whenever it's chewing an edible item so that you can take action if it starts choking [source: ASPCA].