- April Schrader, CPDT-KA
Mouthy Mayhem: Why Puppies Love to Chew Everything in Sight
Puppies are indeed adorable creatures that are known for their playful and curious nature. One of the most common behaviors that puppies exhibit is the tendency to pick up everything they can with their mouths. From toys to shoes, puppies seem to have an insatiable desire to explore the world through their mouths. But what exactly drives this behavior?
From a scientific perspective, there are several reasons why puppies pick up everything with their mouths. First and foremost, it is important to understand that dogs are natural scavengers. This trait is deeply ingrained in their genetic makeup, as it is a survival mechanism that has been honed over thousands of years of evolution. In the wild, dogs would use their sense of smell to locate food, and then use their mouths to pick it up and carry it back to their den. This instinct is still present in domesticated dogs, including puppies.
In addition to their scavenger instincts, puppies also explore their world through their mouths. When puppies are born, their eyes and ears are closed, so their sense of touch and taste are their primary means of exploring their environment. As they grow and their other senses develop, they continue to use their mouths to investigate their surroundings. This behavior is a natural part of their development and helps them learn about the world around them.
Another reason why puppies pick up everything with their mouths is that they are teething. Just like human babies, puppies go through a teething phase where their baby teeth fall out and are replaced by adult teeth. This can be a painful process, and chewing on things can help soothe their sore gums. Puppies may be more likely to pick up and chew on objects during this phase as a result.
Finally, picking up objects with their mouths is a natural part of a puppy's play behavior. Puppies love to play and interact with their environment, and picking up and carrying objects is just one way they do this. It's a way for them to engage with their surroundings and have fun.
While it's natural for puppies to pick up everything with their mouths, it's important to ensure their safety by keeping dangerous or harmful objects out of their reach. Providing them with plenty of safe, chewable toys and bones can also help satisfy their natural urge to chew. By understanding the reasons behind this behavior and taking appropriate measures to keep puppies safe, pet owners can help their furry friends thrive and enjoy their exploration of the world around them.