Why chew a bone when you can chew a shoe…
I just found this as an unpublished post from April and decided to go forward and publish it because it still has relevance. …
Having two puppies has its challenges, and the chewing phase is definitely one of them. There was a time, a few months ago when I thought I had such good puppies that only chew their toys and bones. Then, as if overnight, it changed. I am not sure if it is more Jake, since he is almost 8 months, or the fact that they love to find our things and fight over them. But I know they definitely feed off each other’s energy.
We bought more toys thinking that would solve the problem. But it was not an easy thing to overcome. If left alone for even a short time they would find something to chew, a hat, a shoe, a paper towel. They ate at least one shoe of three pairs and at least two of my husband’s hats. At the point that Polly started to eat the deck we really realized what a wild ride two lab puppies could be. They chew each other, they chew us if we let them. They even chew their toys and bones.
And now, five months later…we are still dealing with the chewing. The puppies are wonderful and for the most part do not get into things not for them, but much of that is because of our watchful eyes. We have learned that we have to keep tabs on them. The adolescent phase is not time to be lax and believe that just because they look like full-grown adult dogs that they are really capable of resisting temptation.
A few moments of turning a blind eye or getting caught up in what we are doing can net clean up duty and the “poop watch”. The “poop watch” is the time after a chewing incident when we have to judge if they are going and if so, we have to be sure it is not “sick poo”, meaning diarrhea especially containing blood or foreign objects. Not fun, but necessary!
Not long ago we had the Coke can incident. This was a time I was on the computer and thought I had puppy proofed the deck. Well apparently not! One of the pups decided that it would be a good idea to shred, and I mean shred a coke can. There were many tiny shreds and pieces I could not find to piece the can back together, quite like a Humpty Dumpty story. There would be no putting this back together. So the watch began. We seem to have come away unscathed.
Next was the flip-flop morning when we had not put them in the crate before bed and they (I believe Jake, and I will explain) chewed/shredded a white flip-flop. It too was as if it exploded all over the floor. I am fairly certain it was Jake because of his propensity to bring us items when we are not paying enough attention to him. He will walk by with a sandal or a flip-flop and if you look at him, he offers it as a gift and accepts your praise for “giving it” as his prize.
And last but certainly not least, we are now on watch for the tiny pieces of a screw driver. The pups were left alone for a couple of hours and not crated, once again, and the only thing they chewed was a small screw driver with parts that can be inserted to change the end to varying types of jobs. Well, the screw driver was on the floor, end chewed, and no small parts to be found. Since that time, Polly has had two X-Rays and we have not witnessed any distressful diarrhea, so I am starting to believe we are in the clear from this one and we will find those pieces later under a piece of furniture we have not moved yet.
Although this is a bit funny as a story, I share it as experience and a message to myself and others to remember that your puppies are safer, and so are you things, if you crate them when you are not able to watch them. You are not being mean, you are being a responsible pet owner. I am getting a bit tired of the “poop watch” and think going back to the crate for sanity and safety is the way to go.