We all love the energy and playfulness that puppies bring into our lives. Their big eyes, fluffy coat, and wagging tail are hard to resist, and their carefree exuberance is genuinely contagious. Moreover, it’s a joy to watch them bounce around the house, excitedly exploring every tiny nook and cranny. That is until you find them tumbling off the sofa or running headfirst into the coffee table, or toppling over an indoor plant. Eventually, every dog parent worries and wonders, “How can I protect my puppies from furniture?”
The answer lies in dog proofing — not only will it keep your puppies safe, but it will also safeguard your furniture.
Yes, that’s right. Puppies, especially those going through their teething stage, love to gnaw on furniture.
So how do you protect furniture from a teething puppy?
Can you prevent a teething puppy from chewing on furniture?
If you’ve recently brought home a puppy with a case of persistent nibbles, you may find yourself asking, “how to protect furniture from dogs chewing?” several times a day.
Well, we have good news. Though it may seem impossible to stop your dog from chomping on everything within reach, there are ways to mitigate the problem.
Before we get to how you can protect furniture from a teething puppy, let’s look at some general tips regarding dogs that munch too much.
Understand your dog
Whether you have a pup, adolescent, or adult dog with a chewing problem, the first step is to understand why your pet is determined to nibble.
Here are some common reasons:
- Puppies, like babies, are curious and tend to explore things with their mouths, aka mouthing.
- Puppies are always on the hunt for something to soothe their teething pains.
- Adult dogs tend to chew when they’re bored.
- For most dogs, irrespective of their age, chewing is a coping mechanism for separation anxiety.
- Adult dogs instinctively chew as it keeps their teeth clean and helps maintain jaw strength.
A little understanding, patience, and love from you can go a long way in curbing destructive habits.
Teach your teething puppy the right way to chew
Chewing is just a natural part of your pup’s growth process—whether it’s a pair of shoes, blankets, sofas and pillows, furniture legs, or even your fingers—nothing escapes their little jaws!
So, if you’re thinking of punishing or training your puppy against chewing, it’ll be counterproductive. Not only will you damage your relationship with your pet, but you’ll also make teething puppies more anxious, which can lead to more destructive behavior.
Teething can be painful, and chewing can help soothe their gums. So, try to understand that puppies do have to chew!
So, what can you do? A more practical solution is to train your dog to chew appropriately.
Change begins with you
Take responsibility for your belongings — you are the adult in the situation, and your dog doesn’t know better, but you do.
You cannot fault your little dog for chewing on things that you’ve left around.
If you don’t want to find your favorite pair of shoes in tatters, you should probably put them out of reach, in a shoe cupboard!
Simply speaking, everything that your puppy can access is fair game. To avoid the situation,
- Clear the floor
- Keep things higher up on shelves that your dog can’t access
- Close the doors of cupboards and cabinets so your dog can’t get in
- Block areas with enticing items
Provide your dog with distinguishable chew-toys
If your dog has grabbed the edge of your blanket and refuses to let go, trying to replace it with another, older blanket or cloth will only confuse them as they cannot tell the difference. Avoid sending your puppy mixed signals.
Instead, give them specific chew toys that don’t resemble household items so they can tell whether something is appropriate to chew on or not. Using chew toys helps stop inappropriate chewing.
Don’t chase your dog
It’s a bad idea to run after your dog and snatch your precious belongings before they get destroyed. Why? Because they’ll think you’re playing a game, which might lead them to chew quicker or force them to bite harder as you tug.
Your dog might also think you’re playing a game of chase and dodge. Aside from burning a few calories, you’ll accomplish little else.
The better way to handle the situation is to call your pet to you and offer them an alternative instead.
Set realistic expectations
As a pet owner, teething is something you have to prepare for from the get-go.
If you believe that your dog is exceptionally well behaved and shall deal with teething pains without ruining your things, you shall be disappointed in the end.
Our advice? Don’t wait for your pup to shred your belongings. Instead, be proactive.
Learn how to protect your furniture from your dog before they reach the teething stage.
Above all else, stay patient and calm. Eventually, your pup will transition into a responsible dog that doesn’t destroy your things.
Stop your teething puppy from chewing on furniture
So, you’ve taken everyone’s advice and done everything you can to keep the house clear of chewable things.
However, if you can’t seem to protect furniture legs from your dog’s chewing. Then it’s time to consider alternatives to chew toys — nip the chewing in the bud if you will!
Distract teething puppies with toys and games
The easiest way to stop your pup from doing something they’re not supposed to do is to distract them.
Whenever your dog gets their mouth on the furniture, distract them. Here are a few ideas:
- Get their favorite toy out and make them chase you around to take it.
- Play a game of fetch.
- Take them out for a walk.
Essentially, you have to try to take your teething puppy’s mind off the discomfort of teething and get them engaged in an activity that they shall enjoy.
The stimulation and change of environment will also do wonders for their general health.
Who knows, they might even get their paws on a stick that they like playing with more than your belongings!
Use taste deterrents
You can apply taste deterrents like bitter apple spray to the furniture your dog seems to gravitate towards when they want to get nibbling.
As the name suggests, the repulsive taste will prevent your dog from chewing on the area. Over time, they will learn to associate the area with a foul flavor and eventually give up on their habit.
Deterrents are also significant if you’ve been wondering, “What can I put on my couch to keep my dog off?”
While there are several deterrents available on the market, you could quickly whip up something at home too. Here’s how:
- Mix 2 cups of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of white vinegar
- Pour it into a spray bottle
- Spritz some onto the furniture, and you’re good to go!
Just remember that deterrents tend to wear off. So you will have to reapply the deterrent to keep it effective.
Provide chew treats and toys
Teething can cause a lot of discomfort and pain, so your dog is going to have to chew on something. Once you’ve accepted that there’s no way around the chewing, here’s what you can try:
- Give them some delicious chewy treats to make them feel a little better. It’s also a great way to give them essential nutrition if the teething has affected their appetite. You can also use them to deliver medication if your dog’s in too much pain.
- Try frozen rubber toys. The cold sensation will temporarily alleviate their pain and provide them with some much-needed respite.
Start training early
Begin setting rules and boundaries and training your pup about ‘chewing etiquette’ early on.
Not sure how to go about it? Consider the following:
- Teach your dog which items they’re not allowed to chew.
- Train them to stay off the sofa.
- Be firm when they chew your belongings but do not punish them.
- Occasionally give your puppy treats to reward good behavior.
- Have a regular teeth-cleaning routine.
- Train them about bite inhibition.
It’s always easier to teach your dog the right things than to make them unlearn bad habits.
Final thoughts about teething puppies
If you ask any dog owner what they would like to change about their pups, the answer will undoubtedly be teething nibbles.
Though it’s a natural part of life, and we’ve learned to accept it, it’s still essential to ensure that you teach proper teething habits, as this could continue well into adulthood.
Simply put, you can protect furniture from a teething puppy in a few simple ways:
- Train a teething puppy to chew the right things — namely, their chew toys.
- Use distractions and taste deterrents to discourage them from chewing your furniture, shoes, cords, and everything else that might tempt them.
- Be patient and kind, and don’t punish them. It’s essential to remember teething puppies are babies and don’t know better!
- Play an active role in making things easier for your pup — keep things out of reach and supervise your dog as much as possible.
Now that you know how to protect furniture from dogs chewing, you’re all set to deal with a teething pup.
Enjoy the pup parenthood journey without sacrificing your favorite objects to teething puppy nibbles.
Paul Andrews has years of experience in raising cute puppies into quality dogs. He uses his expertise to help new pet parents via his blog, The Upper Pawside. An animal lover at heart, he strives to educate others on the joy of having a pet to encourage more families to adopt a dog.