The Definitive Guide To Prevent Your Dog Chewing Destructively
The truth is that dogs like to chew things. It is a natural part of their world. In puppies it can help relieve the pain of new teeth that are coming through. In adult dogs it helps to exercise the jaws and clean the teeth. Chewing can also stop your dog from being bored, and be a way for him to vent any frustration.
Now that you understand that, this guide will show you how to prevent your dog from chewing up your entire home. The first thing you need to find out if there are any underlying reasons why your dog is so intent on destructive chewing.
Eliminate Destructive Chewing Problems
The first and most obvious reason for destructive chewing is that your dog could be hungry. If he is on a calorie restricted diet, then he may feel the need to chew at things around the home in the hope that he can find some nutritional goodness from them. Your dog will normally focus in on objects that he believes smell like food or are related to food.
If you have to leave your dog alone for long periods of time each day, then he may be suffering from separation anxiety. This will cause him stress, and a good way to relieve this is to go on a destructive chewing mission. You will be able to spot this, as when you come home a lot of your things will have been chewed by your dog and he won’t do this when you are with him.
There are other symptoms of separation anxiety such as barking and whining, pacing around aimlessly, being generally restless and using your home as a toilet. It is a good idea to have someone sit with your dog while you are out to observe these kinds of behaviors.
There are some dogs that will continuously suck on fabrics around your home. This can become a compulsive behavior, and before you know it your curtains will be ruined. There is a theory that this problem is caused by being weaned too early as a puppy.
How To Prevent Destructive Chewing
The aim here is not to stop your dog chewing altogether as this is a natural function. What you want to do is to stop him destroying valuable things in your home. It is important that you “chew proof” your home before your dog’s chewing behavior has changed for the better.
Making Your Home Chew Proof
Dogs like to chew slippers and shoes, so keep these in a closet that is closed so that he cannot gain access to them. He may take a shine to your dirty laundry as well, so keep this in a closed hamper or something that he will not be able to easily open. If he chews books then keep these on high shelves that he cannot reach.
This household items chewing preventative measure has to apply to everything that your dog is likely to chew. It is no good hiding some shoes and leaving others out. He will not understand that it is OK to chew some shoes and not others.
Give Your Dog Things That He Can Chew
The best way to prevent your dog from chewing the things that he is not supposed to is to give him some items that he can chew. There are a number of edible chew items available that will keep him happy and away from your possessions. There are pig’s ears, bully sticks, rawhide bones, pig skin rolls, edible bones and a number of other natural chews.
When you give your dog edible chews, you need to be careful that he doesn’t bite off too large a chunk and end up choking on this. Sometimes dogs can do this if they are in the presence of other dogs because they feel pressured. If he is prone to this type of behavior, then make sure that somebody is watching him when he eats edible chews, so that they can react quickly if he starts to choke.
Be prepared to supply your dog with inedible chew bones and toys that he can chew for hours on end, and mix this up with new ones from time to time. If you don’t change these toys he will become bored and then start looking for your slippers.
You can give your dog natural bones to encourage chewing. Don’t be tempted to give him leftover bones such as chicken wings, as these can easily splinter and cause a serious injury. Just buy natural bones that will not splinter and are intended for chewing only.
Use A Chewing Deterrent Spray
You can discourage your dog from chewing the wrong things by using a chewing deterrent that comes in spray form. These will not harm your dog, but he will not like the taste. Try him out by using the spray first on some cotton wool, and then placing this in your dog’s mouth. He will probably spit it out immediately, and will not touch this cotton wool again. This will create the connection that things sprayed with the deterrent are not nice to chew.
Use the deterrent spray on the objects that he likes to chew that you don’t want him to. You will need to spray these daily for around a month. There are many of these deterrent sprays available. Please note that this is not a “one time” cure. You will need to combine this with other methods to prevent destructive chewing.
Observe Your Dog’s Chewing Behavior
Find out what times of the day your dog likes to chew your personal things and give him a chew toy at these times. You can get chew toys that can be filled with food or treats so that your dog will really enjoy this.
Spend as much time as you can observing your dog to see if the destructive chewing has been controlled. If he attempts to chew or lick anything that he shouldn’t then tell him “no” or something similar, and take the item out of his mouth. Replace this with something that is OK for him to chew and give him praise.
If you are unable to spend the required time watching your dog, then consider leaving him in a confined area. A dog crate can be good for this but make sure that you do not leave him confined for over 6 hours. Don’t leave anything in this confined area that your dog is not supposed to chew. Make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise after his confinement period is over.
Make Your Dog Happy With The Best Dog Crate
Whether you have to leave your dog alone or not, he will love to have his own dog crate. Please read our review of the 5 best dog crates.