Any pet parent knows that dogs and puppies commonly face the issue of chewing. Although it's a widespread problem, you can take steps to curb this activity in your dog. In this article, our vets at La Pine explore the reasons behind dogs' chewing habits and guide you on how to prevent them.
Why Dogs Are Notorious for Chewing
Your dog explores the world around them by chewing on objects. Puppies use chewing to relieve teething pain, and adult dogs maintain strong jaws and clean teeth through this behavior. However, despite being a healthy habit, your pup may not always select the appropriate items to sink their teeth into. But why do they make these choices?
Your Dog is Stressed or Anxious
As social creatures at heart, our furry friends often suffer separation anxiety when their owners are away. Dogs, when experiencing anxiety or stress, frequently resort to chewing as a means of comforting themselves.
Boredom in Dogs & Puppies
If your dog spends extended periods alone without mental stimulation, boredom can quickly set in, leading them to resort to chewing on any interesting objects found around your house as a way to pass the time.
The Puppy Teething Process
Puppies experience an uncomfortable teething period similar to human babies. While teething, your puppy will likely chew frequently to alleviate pain and discomfort.
Your Dog is Hungry
Dogs on calorie-restricted diets often start chewing on objects to seek alternative sources of nutrition. They typically focus this chewing on items associated with food, such as plastic bowls or those with food-like scents.
What Can I Do To Stop My Dog From Chewing Everything?
First, identify the cause and eliminate any of the problems listed above to prevent your dog from destructive chewing. Then, redirect your dog's chewing to more desirable objects, such as chew toys.
Give Them Plenty of Exercises
A happy and contented pup relies on adequate daily exercise. Ensure your pup receives ample exercise before you leave the house to curb destructive chewing effectively. High-energy breeds like Border Collies, German Shepherds, Brittanys, and Springer Spaniels require a minimum of two hours of daily exercise. On the other hand, more laid-back breeds such as Pomeranians, Pugs, and Shih Tzus often thrive with just 40 minutes of daily exercise.
Provide Entertainment When You Are Busy
To alleviate separation anxiety or boredom in dogs left alone for extended periods, train your dog to link solo time with positive experiences. When you depart, stuff a puzzle toy with food and offer a selection of unique, enjoyable toys exclusive to the time you're away to maintain their novelty.
Equipping your pup with engaging toys establishes a positive connection with alone time and functions as a diversion from items you'd prefer your dog not to chew on.
Dog Proof Your Home
Eliminating all other temptations can help ensure that your pup chews only designated objects. Place valuable items out of reach, keep your laundry away or in a closed hamper, and ensure that books and children's toys are stored out of your dog's reach.
Take Precautions To Deter Chewing
When you catch your dog chewing on an inappropriate item, firmly say "no," retrieve it, and substitute it with a chew toy. Make sure to shower your dog with praise when they choose to chew on the toy instead. If these approaches fail to curb your dog's destructive chewing, consider using a dog deterrent spray on objects you want to protect.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.