By Kong Company Staff
Many new puppy owners need help establishing healthy habits for their new furry family member. Teaching your clients how to encourage good behavior—and discourage bad—not only helps keep puppies healthy and happy, it also helps you improve your relationship with them by being a trusted information source.
As you know, one of the most common problems many puppy owners have to deal with is inappropriate chewing. To start, you can help them understand why their puppy is acting like a chewing machine. When 28 needle-sharp teeth erupt through tender puppy gums, it can hurt. Chewing on things helps soothe the pain, so puppies constantly search for objects to gnaw on to make them feel better.
Instead of letting their puppy resort to chewing on shoes, electric cords or cables, you could recommend safe, appropriate options to your clients, such as Kong Puppy Rubber toys. These are made with an all-natural rubber formula created to help soothe teething pain by promoting the entry of new teeth. While it’s irresistibly soft and chewy, the rubber is durable enough to stand up to those sharp puppy teeth. The toys come in a variety of shapes to keep curious puppies interested.
With safe, intriguing, toys on hand, your clients can quickly give one to their puppy whenever he starts gnawing on something on the Do Not Chew List. Let them know that constantly reinforcing good chewing behavior helps puppies develop appropriate chewing behavior that will keep them safe for the rest of their lives.
Stuffing toys with tasty treats (e.g., Kong Puppy Easy Treat, an all-natural, easily digestible paste) makes them even more irresistible and keeps puppies playing longer. Some Kong Puppy toys, like the Activity Ball (image right) and Teething Stick (top image), also feature Denta-Ridges, grooves on the outside that are designed to help sooth sore gums and promote dental health. Your clients could add a squirt of Puppy Easy Treat in the ridges to encourage chewing.
Chewing on frozen toys further eases puppy teething pain as the cold temperature reduces gum inflammation. Your clients could keep a few stuffed toys in the freezer to have on hand for teething episodes. Freezing a stuffed toy keeps puppies busy longer, and a busy puppy is a happy puppy. Chewing on a toy is not simply busy work, it provides developing puppies with mental stimulation and instinctual satisfaction that helps them grow into emotionally balanced young dogs.
You should advise your clients to transition to adult Kong rubber formulas when their puppy’s adult teeth come in, at about 9 months of age. Sending them an email or a postcard reminder is a fun way to keep them on track—and remind them of your value as their pet professional.