What about all the magnificent and fancy toys your dog has? Well, when they are lying all around, they are not special to your dogs. Your pooch will get bored eventually and that’s how he will start looking for the things out of his reach and make them their new chew toys. A dog’s chewing problem is what new pet parents should be prepared for.
So what can you do about their inappropriate chewing? A short answer is you need to keep your dog happy, physically active, and teach him what things are ok to gnaw on. Read on to know more about finding a solution to your dog’s chewing problem.
Understand Your Dog
Some problems can’t be solved with general tips. So it is always recommended to understand your dog first to see what can be done to target the problem.
Puppies, like toddlers, are on the mission of exploring the world by putting different objects in their mouths. And like babies, they teethe for about six months of age, which usually creates discomfort. Chewing does not only facilitate teething but also helps feeling better with sore gums.
On the other hand, adult dogs may engage in destructive chewing for multiple reasons. In that case, you must look for why your dog is chewing. Edwin from PetLovesBest says, “Your dog doesn’t do it just to spite you. And it’s your job to find out why and do the necessary.” Here are some possible reasons for his destructive chewing.
- They are bored.
- They are experiencing separation anxiety.
- They’re scared of peculiar things around.
- They’re just seeking attention.
Please note that you will have to visit a canine behavioral expert or a vet for anxiety and fear-related behavior.
Teach Them to What To Chew
You’re responsible when your dog chews on your things. Simply put, if you don’t want your dog to chew on your things, make those things out of reach of your pooch. Don’t provide old socks or shoes of yours to let them happily chew on. This indicates that you allow your dog to chew on shoes and socks only to know that your expensive shoes have become his new chew toy.
Supervise Your Dog Until He Learns House Rules
Always be present when your dog is in the house. You can keep him on a leash if you think he needs it. And when you are not around, keep him confined or in a dog-proof room where there are only his favorite toys and fresh water available.
Let Them Know What Things They Can Gnaw
Dogs can’t really differentiate the difference between expensive shoes and his toy. They will chew if they want to chew no matter what. Simply, do not confuse your dog on what things are allowed and what are not and make unallowed things unavailable for them.
Provide Enough Human Interaction
Your dog doesn’t learn everything being in a confinement. Moreover, dog-human interaction also keeps away multiple canine behavioral issues. If you’re too busy to be with your dog, you can have your friends, neighbors, family or a pet sitter to look after your dog when you’re not away from your beloved buddy.
Provide Them Enough Physical Exercise and Mental Stimulation
A tired dog is a happy dog, the saying goes. Destructive chewing sometimes is a result of pent-up energy in your dog. In a nutshell, your dog should do enough exercise and get mental stimulation. Also, remember that the amount of exercise depends on the age and the breed of your pooch.
When you see a dog chewing on something he shouldn’t, distract him by a loud noise and offer him a toy. Further, when he accepts the toy, treat him lavishly.
Build a Toy Obsession In Your Dog
Use toys while feeding your dog.
Give Them a Frozen Washcloth to Chew When They’re Teething
Freeze a washcloth and let your pup chew on it. The cold washcloth will soothe their sore gums. BarkBones are great for teething puppies as well.
Make All Unchewable Items Unpleasant For Them
Try using deterrent and unpleasant sprays when your dog decides to chew on something you don’t want to. You can use taste deterrent like Bitter Apple to coat furniture and other items.
Never Chase Your Dog To Interrupt Their Chewing
It is a play for your dog when you chase him. Do not try to chase when you see him inappropriately chewing from a distance, chasing him will only encourage the behavior. Instead, try to stop them by vocal commands and offering treats.
Have Some Realistic Expectations
At some point your dog will chew something that you value. Be patient and try to understand that your dog is getting used to a new setup.
Be Wary With Punishment
You see a chewed shoe, and you want your dog to know that what he has done is inappropriate, it’s too late.
Dogs associate punishment with what they are doing when they’re being corrected. Your dog cannot reason, “I chewed this shoe an hour ago and now I’m being scolded for that.” You must be wondering, why dogs then give those ‘guilty looks’ anyway.
Well, guilty looks and hiding when you scold them is a submissive posture of your pooch. Your dog gets affected by your facial expression, sound, and tone of your voice. All in all, punishing them for chewing up things simply isn’t going to work.
The Final Note
Dogs chew because they feel the need for it as a puppy and can be seen as destructive behavior. Moreover, some other behavioral issues due to anxiety and fear can also lead to excessive chewing. You should understand your dog and diagnose what makes your dog chewing inappropriately. If you’re not sure what’s wrong with your dog after trying out everything I’ve discussed here, you should visit your vet.