When you get a new dog or puppy you likely expect some amount of chewing. But how do you get them to only chew on their own toys? Here, our Doraville vets share some of the common reasons behind chewing and ways that you can get your dog or puppy to stop.
Dog Chewing Problems: Why Won't My Dog Stop?
When your dog is chewing on everything, it is their way of exploring the world around them. Chewing can also be a way for puppies to relieve teething pain and for adult dogs to keep their jaws strong and teeth clean.
That said, while chewing is healthy behavior in dogs, your pup may have crossed over into the realm of dog chewing problems. Here are some of the most common reasons behind dogs chewing on things they shouldn't:
Stress or Anxiety
Dogs are social animals, and so when you leave the house, you are bound to cause them a little anxiety. Chewing may be a way for your dog to comfort himself in your absence.
If your dog spends extended periods of time alone without mental stimulation they can quickly become bored and may resort to chewing on any interesting objects that they find around your house as a way of passing time.
Just like human babies, puppies will go through a period of teething when they are young. Chewing is how your new puppy will relieve any pain that they are experiencing with teething. If you are concerned about this you can always schedule a visit for a dental examination with the vet.
They are Hungry
It is not uncommon for dogs on calorie-restricted diets to begin chewing on objects in an effort to find other sources of nutrition. If your dog is experiencing this, they will likely look for objects that smell like food to chew on.
How to Stop a Dog From Chewing
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 is to focus on redirecting your dog's chewing to more desirable objects, such as chew toys.
Lots of Exercise
Loads of exercise is the easiest way to ensure that your puppy is happy and tired out. Making sure that your pooch 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, Brittany and Springer spaniels need at least two hours of exercise every day, while more laid-back breeds such as Pomeranians, pugs, and shih tzus often do well with as little as 40 minutes of exercise daily.
In order to prevent your dog from feeling bored when you leave the house and to ensure that they enjoy themselves, you should leave them with a form of entertainment. When you leave, provide a puzzle toy stuffed with food, and a variety of fun, special toys that your dog only gets to play with while you are away (to retain the novelty).
Providing your pooch with 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 to chew on.
Dogg and Puppy Proofing
The easiest way to stop your dog from chewing on things they shouldn't is to put the object somewhere they can't reach. 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.
How to Stop a Dog From Chewing
If you catch your dog chewing on your household items, you should say no and offer them a toy that they can chew on. You should then provide lots of praise when your dog chews on that instead. If none of the suggestions above are successful in stopping your dog's destructive chewing, you may want to try spraying any objects you don't want your dog to chew with a dog deterrent spray.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.