Now that you have brought a puppy home, you may want to puppy-proof your house as soon enough the puppy decides to start chewing anything that would fit in its mouth. However, before spilling the plan of action it is also imperative to understand this phase that all pups go through.

Puppies love to chew things as this makes them feel good at the time of teething when itching and irritation in their gums make them uncomfortable.

Puppy chewing is at its max when your pooch is between four and seven months old. This is also the peak time for their teething. What is challenging is if not handled properly, chewing can become a long-term habit and you may end up raising a dog that destroys everything it finds comfortable chewing.

Now back to puppy proofing your place. This is the first thing you should do if you do not want your pups to destroy your household items, including your expensive sneakers that you just bought.

Puppy-proofing your place starts with self-discipline. What this means is no more laid-back attitude when it comes to putting things where they belong and of course out of the reach of the pup.

You should also try and find anything that you, as per logic, feel your puppy can be interested in exploring. Now that household items like your shoes, socks, small toys, cables, and wires that your puppy may be interested in are beyond its reach, it is time for you to get chew toys and treats for it.

There are many chewable treats in the market that can keep pups engaged for hours. Another excellent choice is ‘choo choo’ toys. Pups just love these toys as they love the sound that comes from such toys.

Often underrated, tug-of-war is a game that not only helps create and increase the bond between a pup and a pet parent but also helps pups fall in love with their chew toys. Just make sure to be gentle with your pups while playing this game.

Just puppy-proofing the place — which also means giving your pups no access to household items that can be destroyed by its small jaw but needle-like teeth — and giving the pup its toys and treats to chew should help in solving 60 percent of the problem. The remaining 40 percent is tricky as the immovable items like sofas and furniture are still at risk. For this, you will need to be vigilant.

Puppies just love to chew sofas and other furniture items, including door thresholds. The only way to stop is positive reinforcement techniques. For this, you will have to constantly divert the pup’s attention from chewing the items you do not want the pup to destroy to the toys and treats you just got it. However, do not overdo it as overdoing it sends the signal to the pup that it is being rewarded for its behavior.

Increase the playtime with your pup. Spending more time with the puppy will help you be more vigilant and alert. Take the pup out as much as you can and let it explore the world — under your supervision of course.

Always remember that a tired dog is a happy dog. So play with your pup as much as you can so that it sleeps more. Puppies already sleep between 10 to 14 hours a day. However, sometimes this sleep pattern is not uniform. Try and bring uniformity to this pattern.

Another great idea is to start the training of your puppy early. You also need to understand that a bored dog is more likely to chew compared to a dog that remains mentally engaged or stimulated. Training is just the way to do it. As pups are inquisitive and playful, learning anything new not only keeps them engaged but also remedies boredom.

There are some toys like ‘Kong’ that you can fill with treats and give to your pooch. Such toys keep the pups engaged for hours and also helps get rid of gum irritation which leads to chewing behavior.

Finally, before bringing home a puppy make sure that it is at least 45 days old. This is crucial because more of their nibbling, biting, and chewing habits get corrected while they are still in the litter and their mums. Going ahead, you will also want to resist putting your hand in the pup’s mouth just because it is too fixated on nibbling it.

Also, being a pet parent it becomes key for you to draw the line between nibbling and biting as many times playful chewing or nibbling gets converted into puppy biting. Any such behavior must be acknowledged and corrected either with positive reinforcement techniques or training the dog early on.