Stop Your Dog’s Destructive Chewing Habit

Although chewing is very natural behavior for dogs and puppies, as it keeps teeth and jaws strong and combats boredom, it can be a problem if your dog destructively chews on the wrong thing frequently. Combat your dog’s chewing habits with these tips from your Dunedin vet.

Why Is Your Dog Chewing?

Before you set about correcting the chewing problem, you should figure out what’s causing it. Chewing can occur for a variety of reasons. For puppies, the discomfort of their teeth coming in motivates them to chew, and the behavior should largely diminish after about six months of age. Other dogs suffer from separation anxiety and are chewing out of stress—in cases like these, you’ll need professional help. Still other dogs might chew on things if they’re not getting proper nutrition, in a futile attempt to glean nutrients from any object around them. Visit your vet to make sure your dog’s chewing isn’t caused by a medical or anxiety-related problem.

Give Your Dog Appropriate Chewing Items

Some dogs chew on furniture or shoes because they don’t have anything better to chew on. Make sure your dog has chew toys, chewing bones, or edible chewing items. Puzzle toys with food hidden inside of them can work well too. With any luck, your dog will prefer these items to the chair leg.

Dog-Proof Your Home

Put away valuable objects, keep your shoes and clothes in a closet or dresser, put your purse up on a table, and keep items off the floor. Do so until your dog’s chewing behavior is resolved. It will be harder for your dog to successfully defeat the behavior if there’s a dozen opportunities lying around every day.

Use Deterrents

Using spray deterrents on items you don’t want chewed can work well. It’s important to use these in combination with proper training, though—this way, your dog is trained what not to chew using the deterrent, and also trained what he can chew.

Train Your Dog Not to Chew

When you see your dog chewing something he shouldn’t, scold him gently, then offer something he can chew, like a toy, and praise him greatly. You can also offer treats to help him associate chewing on the toy with good things. Ask your Dunedin veterinarian for more in-depth training options, and call an animal behaviorist or trainer if you need help.


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