Your dog’s chewing behavior is a natural dog behavior that you must deal with at some point in time. Whether you are a new puppy owner or an experienced dog owner, you will consider this behavior unacceptable.
However, before you attempt to control your dog’s chewing problem, you need to understand why your dog is doing it. Dogs explore new things with their mouths. Moreover, chewing also offers relief from pain and discomforts during teething time.
Because of this natural behavior in dogs, chewing has been known to cause much damages to the owners’ belongings. Closets have been damaged, clothes have been torn, shoes have been gnawed and other damages.
The following are some tips to help you deal with your dog’s chewing problem.
Is your dog teething
If you are having puppies at home, their destructive chewing behavior could be due to teething. Consult your veterinarian to determine whether this is the case and what can be done to ease their discomfort.
Puppy-proof your home
Secure all doors and cabinets to prevent your puppy from getting into them, especially those holding dangerous materials, such as cleaning products. Otherwise, your curious puppy might find them and chew on them.
Keep expensive items out of reach
This very simple way of preventing your dog from chewing these items can save you a lot of headaches.
Keep your dog physically active
Give you dog plenty of exercise to work off excess energy. Even small dogs will need it. If your dog does not get sufficient exercise, he will get restless and is more likely to start chewing on things.
Play with your dog
Besides physical exercise, your dog also needs plenty of mental exercise. So, give your dog sufficient playtime to keep his mind busy. This will likely reduce his tendency to chew.
Confine your dog while you are away
When you need to be away from the house, keep your dog in a crate or in a particular room. This will keep him from gaining access to the things you do not want him to chew on.
Provide plenty of chew toys
If you dog finds a chew toy that he likes, he will then be less likely to chew on other things.
Replace his chewing objects with toys
When your dog is chewing on something that you do not want him to, take that object away and immediately replace it with a toy. Your dog will eventually learn what is and is not acceptable to chew on.
Reward your dog
Always reward your dog for good behavior. When you see your dog chooses a toy instead of an object you do not want him to chew, praise and reward him. This will teach him to chew only on his toys.
Use bitter apple spray
Use a bitter apple spray on large items in the house that cannot be kept out of reach, such as furniture. This will discourage your dog from chewing on them.
Be calm and consistent
When training your dog not to chew on inappropriate objects, you must always be calm and consistent. Do not punish him when he misbehave. Neither should you be lenient either. Soon, you will find that he is learning quickly.
Although chewing is something natural for dogs to do, you can definitely eliminate, or at least greatly minimize, the problems associated with it. There is no need to have your shoes or furniture being destroyed as a result.