While it's natural for dogs to chew, many pet owners want to protect their valuable items and shoes. In this post, our Meadow Vista vets discuss how to stop a dog from chewing.
What causes dog chewing problems?
Puppies and dogs love to explore the world by chewing on things. For puppies, chewing can also help relieve pain that might be caused by teeth erupting through the gum line. For adult dogs, chewing can also help to keep teeth clean and jaws strong.
However, while chewing is typically a healthy behavior in dogs, there are a few reasons your puppy may chew excessively and destroy items left in his path.
Those reasons and share some hints about how to steer your dog away from your things and towards more appropriate items. Plus, we have a few hints for keeping them entertained.
Like human babies, your puppies will naturally lose their baby teeth. Before this happens, they might feel some discomfort and pain when their adult teeth start coming. Before this occurs, he'll experience discomfort and pain as his adult teeth erupt. During this period, your puppy will attempt to relieve some of this discomfort with chewing.
If your dog spends long periods of time alone without mental stimulation, she'll become bored and may pass the time by finding interesting objects around the house to chew.
Is your dog on a calorie-restricted diet? They may try to find other sources of nutrition by looking for objects to chew. These objects will usually be related to food or smell like food.
Stress & Anxiety
Because dogs are highly social animals, many suffer from separation anxiety while their humans are away. These dogs will often end up chewing to comfort themselves.
Managing & Redirecting Chewing
To prevent destructive chewing, start by identifying its cause and eliminating any of the problems listed above. Then, focus on redirecting your dog's chewing to more desirable objects, like chew toys.
Start by making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise before leaving the house. High-energy German Shepherds need at least two hours of exercise each day, while Pomeranians and other small dogs usually do well with about 40 minutes. Talk to your vet about how much physical activity your dog needs each day to be healthy and happy.
Help your dog feel better when you're not around by making alone time fun. When you leave, give them a puzzle toy with treats and some special toys they only get when you're gone.
Providing lots of interesting toys will not only create a positive association with alone time, but it will also serve as a distraction from the objects that you don't want your dog chewing on and prevent boredom chewing.
To make sure your dog only chews on its toys, get rid of anything else it might be tempted to chew. Keep important items high up, store your laundry properly, and make sure books and kids' toys are in their proper places.
Discourage Unwanted Chewing
Use a special spray on things your dog shouldn't chew. If you encounter your dog chewing on an item they shouldn't be, say "no," take it away, and replace it with a chew toy, and then provide lots of praise when your dog chews on that.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.