Posted by Derek Vore on 6/25/2012
For dogs, their teeth and mouth are like their fingers and hands. You may see your dog bite something softly and move on without causing it any damage. That wasn't because they had a change of heart and thought they'd spare you the headache, it was because they were testing it to see what it was and decided it wasn't to their liking. Puppies bite, lick and chew everything from the carpet to the new 70" LED television you're still paying off, and it's because they are familiarizing themselves with their environment. This will go on for about a year, and will progress from furniture to clothing, baseboards, and pretty much anything they find in a garbage can.
However, you're not at a complete loss. There are a few things you can do. Diet, exercise, and bones are going to be your three best go-to solutions for this continuously destructive puppy problem. Start by feeding your dog a higher-quality food with less fillers and more protein. A lot of dog foods contain high percentages of corn, which is not easily digestible and can even cause allergic reactions. Another thing a lot of dog foods do is spraying. Lots of dog food companies will spray their food with an animal fat to make it more appealing to dogs. This is not only unhealthy, but can make dogs eat too fast. Do a little research and talk to a veterinarian about the best choices for your dog.
As far as exercise, it depends on the size of dog you have. If you have a small dog, it may be as simple as throwing a ball back and forth across the living room in the evening and taking short walks outside. If you have a larger dog, you're going to have to take things a little further. Larger dogs can be run along side your bicycle using a bike leash, or you can take your pup to your local dog park if he/she is good with other dogs. Whatever you choose, make sure to stick with it. Exercise is the most important factor for keeping your energetic dog happy, healthy, and UNDER CONTROL. You'll be amazed how well behaved your dog is after a 2 mile jog along side your bike.
Last, but not least, make sure to keep plenty of healthy, natural chews on-hand. Natural pet chews not only keep them busy, they strengthen their jaws, help clean their teeth, and can even benefit their health by supplementing their diet with much needed vitamins and minerals such as glucosamine, chondroitin, protein, and fiber.
Bully Sticks are a great chew for any sized dog. They take a little while to get through, they're packed full of proteins, and their fibrous texture flosses between teeth and gums during chewing to help clean teeth and prevent gum disease. Another good chew for larger dogs is Beef Tracheas, which are a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine and chondroitin help to maintain hip and joint health and rebuild cartilage.
So remember the three key elements to a happy, healthy, well behaved dog: diet, exercise, and plenty of chews and bones.