Q&A | How to stop a puppy from chewing shoes?

“Louboutins or Manolos, they all taste the same…” is a kind of note that should be given to all new puppy parents, especially their shoe-loving mums. Brands aside, the note will serve as a friendly reminder that puppies, whether you like it or not, like to bite things.

Unlike us, humans, dogs don’t see things first… They SMELL them. Then they TASTE them. This simple exercise is their favourite way to learn about life and things its made of. The sights comes useful, of course, but mostly as a navigation device to get the pup from the scent to the source. Presto.

And once they arrive, puppies sink their teeth into whatever they want to learn about. Naturally the damage can be big and turn your possessions into shreds in no time.

To avoid this from happening, here are some simple rules that every puppy parent needs to follow, not even for the sake of saving a pair of shoes, but mostly, for the safety of your pup who can, unfortunately, swallow things he should not.

Puppy-proof the house before you get the pup;
Prevent or stop any bad habit from happening from the start otherwise you will end up with a dog who will be destroying things for the rest of his life because it’s fun;
Put away shoes and things that may look tempting;
Give him plenty of toys (see my earlier post about best chews for puppies);
Stimulate him mentally through puzzle toys and training – and physically, though age-appropriate exercises (walks, training etc.)
During teething, use bitter apple spray on furniture – the taste will discourage him from chewing;
Do not leave the pup alone for hours – first of all, it’s not a good idea full-stop, secondly, he is likely to get bored and end up chewing something; thirdly, cockers can develop separation anxiety and, as a result, destructive behaviour, if you aren’t careful;
If your puppy shows signs of pica (the need to eat odd things like, say, plaster or soil) consult a vet and examine his current diet.

See? Easy enough. Almost tempting to say “Christian Louboutin would approve”, but I guess that would be advertising.

Photo source: Bionda Castana Spring/Summer 2016 campaign (photography: Dima Hohlov) c/o Natalia Barbieri

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