Why do puppies chew slippers?:
Puppies chew slippers, toys, newspapers, and other objects for
several reasons. First is simple playfulness. Growing puppies are
supposed to explore everything in their environment. This fact
stems from their ancient wild ancestry when they needed a broad
knowledge of the properties of the objects in their world to survive.
And, puppies teethe. Between 4 and 6 months, the adult teeth begin
to come in. During this time, puppies need to chew on tough objects
to help the new teeth break through. Soft dog food is useless.
Hard dog food will help, but the dog may seek unacceptable items
(from our point of view) to chew on.
Third, puppies go through a "pre-hunting" stage during their growth. This
phase occurs when a puppy is large enough to be interested in prey,
but not able to catch it. In the wild, the adult dogs bring home
large chunks of meat for the puppies which the puppies are supposed
to eat. In the house, a puppy may think that the human pack members
have left something lying around for the same purpose -- to eat!
In fact, if you scold your puppy for chewing an object left on the
floor, you may puzzle the little one for doing something that is
perfectly natural for him or her to do.
Source: Illustrated Dogwatching, by
Desmond Morris, Crescent Books, New York, 1996, p. 109.