Chewing Problems

A classic source of dog-owner frustration is chewed-up shoes, books, furniture, etc. Chewing is a natural and beneficial behavior, and it plays a vital role in your dog’s physical development — especially in puppies.

Like humans, dogs have two sets of teeth in their lives. The 28 baby teeth erupt through the gums between the third and sixth weeks of age. Puppies don’t have to grind much food, so they do not have molars. Puppy teeth begin to shed and be replaced by permanent adult teeth at about four to five months of age. The teething period can be frustrating and painful; the puppy clamps his mouth on everything he can reach, from body parts to expensive sneakers. In an attempt to relieve the discomfort, our Puppy rubber toys are gentle for growing teeth and jaws and help promote entry of growing teeth while establishing healthy chewing habits.

Although there is some variation in breeds, most adult dogs have 42 teeth, with the molars coming in last, at about six to seven months. The order of tooth replacement is incisors first, then canines (fangs), and finally premolars. During this growth period, teeth and jaws are getting stronger, and dogs need toys that can keep up with that change. When these new adult teeth are fully set, dogs should move from a Puppy KONG to a KONG Classic or black Extreme KONG based on chewing behavior.

Since most puppies love to chew, it’s important to teach your dog which items are acceptable to chew. Teach this lesson in a positive and fun way by introducing a KONG toy stuffed with treats; provide constant praise when your dog plays and chews on it rather than your favorite shoes. Remember to use a variety of KONG toys and treats to keep lessons fun and interesting and to always monitor how your dog is chewing until you’re comfortable (it usually takes around two weeks to determine your dog’s chewing temperament).