Why do puppies chew slippers or shoes? They might also chew children’s toys, magazines, newspapers and the morning mail that is popped through the letterbox. There are three main reasons, the first of which is the most likely and pertinent.
You have to go back to wild dog behaviour to figure out the answer. When a mother brings back a dead prey item or part thereof to the den i.e. the homebase for the youngsters, they expect them to eat it. They are bringing back hunks of meat to eat as an early training session when learning to hunt. In the domestic home the puppy looks up to their human owner as the provider so if they leave their slippers lying around puppies may mistake them for hunks of meat brought to their home to eat and so they chew on them and destroy them. It’s entirely natural, which I suppose is clear otherwise they wouldn’t do it and therefore they should in no way be punished for it, in my opinion. It can only lead to confusion, I would have thought.
Another possible reason is that puppies are programmed to explore everything in their environment and they do so by chewing on slippers and tearing up letters. This is playfulness, albeit a destructive version.
A third possible reason is teething. Adult dogs acquire their adult teeth between the ages of four and six months and at this time there is an increased desire and indeed need to chew on tough objects to help the new teeth break through the gums. Commercial dog food may be useless because it’s too soft so if the dog is not given hard food to chew on they will look for something else which may not be acceptable to their owner.
One website says that the way to stop it is to remove the temptation and they say that shoe chewing is an addictive dog behaviour. What about a substitute as shown in the picture? Dogs will crave the need to chew and therefore you should provide an alternative such as a nylabone or a kong. Another way to stop it is to alleviate boredom in dogs. This will distract them from chewing slippers and shoes.
Postscript: it is said that dogs prefer to chew letters with white envelopes compared to brown ones. This is because brown envelopes are less conspicuous than white ones due to a dog’s eyesight. Brown envelopes contain bills whereas the white ones contain something interesting!