Any pet owner can attest that dogs and puppies often chew things. While this behavior is widespread, there are methods to reduce it in your dog. In this article, our vets in Orlando will explain why dogs chew and offer steps to prevent this behavior.
Why Dogs Are Notorious for Chewing
Chewing objects helps your dog explore their world. Puppies use chewing to ease teething discomfort, while adult dogs use it to maintain strong jaws and clean teeth.
However, even though chewing is a natural dog behavior, your furry friend might not always make the best choices when deciding what to chew on. But why do they do this?
Your Dog is Stressed or Anxious
Furry friends, being social creatures at heart, often struggle with separation anxiety when their owners are not around. When dogs feel anxious or stressed, they frequently resort to chewing as a means of self-comfort.
Boredom in Dogs & Puppies
If your dog spends long hours alone without mental stimulation, they can become bored quickly and might start chewing on any intriguing objects they come across in your house to pass the time.
The Puppy Teething Process
Puppies go through an uncomfortable teething period just like human babies. While your puppy is teething, they are likely to chew frequently to relieve their pain and discomfort.
Your Dog is Hungry
Dogs on calorie-restricted diets often start chewing on objects to seek additional sources of nutrition. They typically focus their chewing on items associated with food or those with food-like scents, such as plastic bowls.
What Can I Do To Stop My Dog From Chewing Everything?
When trying to prevent your dog from destructive chewing, it is essential to start by identifying the cause and eliminating any of the problems listed above. Step two focuses on redirecting your dog's chewing to more desirable objects, such as chew toys.
Give Them Plenty of Exercises
Adequate daily exercise is the key to a happy and contented pup. Making sure that your pup gets plenty of exercise before you leave the house is one of the best ways to curb destructive chewing. High-energy breeds such as Border Collies, German Shepherds, Brittanys and Springer Spaniels need at least two hours of exercise daily. In contrast, more laid-back breeds such as Pomeranians, Pugs, and Shih Tzus often do well with as little as 40 minutes of exercise daily.
Provide Entertainment When You Are Busy
To alleviate separation anxiety or boredom in dogs left alone for long durations, consider training your dog to link solitude with enjoyable moments. When you depart, offer a food-stuffed puzzle toy and a selection of engaging, unique toys exclusively designated for solo playtime (to maintain their novelty).
Furnishing your canine companion with abundant captivating toys will not just establish a pleasant connection with solitary moments. Still, it will also divert their attention from items you'd prefer them not to chew on.
Dog Proof Your Home
Removing all other temptations can help ensure that your pup only chews designated objects. Place valuable objects out of reach, make sure your laundry is put 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 something they shouldn't, firmly say "no," remove the item and substitute it with a chew toy. Remember to offer plenty of praise when your dog opts for the toy. If these steps don't work to curb your dog's destructive chewing, you can consider using a dog deterrent spray on the items they target.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.