How to Stop Your Dog From Chewing Up Everything
What happens when your favorite pair of shoes gets ripped to shreds, it can be easy for you to lose your cool. But chewing is a normal behavior for dogs, so that doesn’t mean you can’t teach them what they should and shouldn’t chew.
What should you do with a dog that won’t stop chewing the wrong things? This article is going to go over what could be causing this behavior and what you can do to stop it.
Chewing Is Normal
Dogs of all ages and breeds love to chew. It’s perfectly normal for them. They chew for many reasons, such as for fun, stimulation and to relieve anxiety. Chewing also helps keep the jaw muscles strong and their teeth clean. Puppies also chew to help with the pain from teething and to provide comfort. Just like babies, puppies go through teething where they lose their baby teeth and this can be painful. It usually lasts until about six months. However, chewing can continue into adulthood so you’ll have to provide the right things for your dog to chew on, such as chew toys.
Chewing Because Of Problems
Also, dogs will chew because of problems or issues they’ve having. This could be stress, anxiety, separation anxiety or hunger. They sometimes might also be chewing simply because they want your attention. It’s important to figure out which one of these problems could be causing your dog’s excessive chewing, so that you can solve the root issue. Talk to your vet if you need help identifying the problem.
How to Teach What Is Appropriate Chewing
Let your dog have plenty of chew toys. Introduce these toys to your dog in an excited, friendly way. Toys, like the Kong chew toy can be filled with treats to encourage play.
If you are able to catch your dog chewing on something that he should not be chewing on, don’t get angry or yell. This can only cause more stress for your dog, which would make the chewing worse. Instead, stop the chewing and distract him with another object, so that you that item away from them. You can try offering him a treat in exchange for the item. Over time, you should be able to teach him the command, “give” by offering him a treat for the item he is holding.
Below is a list some tips to stop unwanted chewing. Although these things may not stop your dog from chewing on their own, they may help him to learn faster and lessen the stress on you.
- Do not give him your socks or old shoes to chew on. This will only confuse your dog since he doesn’t really know the difference between an old shoe and your favorite shoe.
- Keep an eye on your dog. Until the chewing is under control, you will need to keep an extra eye on what your dog is doing. Dogs don’t understand punishment if you do it after the fact, the only way to stop the chewing is by catching him in the act and replacing the item with a chew toy.
- Don’t leave anything out that you don’t want chewed up. It’s best at first to keep things out of reach so that there will not be a chewing temptation for your dog. You can’t expect him to learn right away what’s okay and not okay to chew. This will take some time, so to avoid your stuff being chewed, it’s best to keep it out of reach.
- Try using a chewing deterrent. This comes in a spray form and it tastes bad to dogs. It is harmless to dogs and can be sprayed on things that you don’t want the dog to chew. You will probably have to re-apply the spray every so often, so make sure that you follow the package directions for it to remain effective. Not every dog will respond to this spray, but it’s worth a try.
- Give him lots of exercise. Your dog may be chewing because he’s bored or has a lot of energy. Make sure that you are giving your dog lots of exercise. Not only will this help with his chewing, but it’s great for his health too.
Never punish your dog for chewing.
They are not able understand and it will only cause them more stress. If you have any questions about your dog’s chewing or general behavior, it’s always a good idea to check with your vet.