Learn how to stop your dog from chewing with these tips from Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Dogs like to explore, there’s no question about it. One way they express their curiosity is by using their mouth. Chewing on stuff is just another way that dogs get new information, like their senses of sight and smell. Unfortunately, this can pose a danger to your dog and your home. If your dog is a notorious chewer, there are a few ways you can stop him. Use these tips from Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Why Dogs Chew
Puppies – Puppies want to explore and one way they do that is by putting stuff in their mouth. They also go through teething for about six months. Chewing can help with discomfort and helps sore gums feel better.
Adult Dogs – Adult dogs, on the other hand, may have some other issues at hand. It’s important to figure out why your dog is destructively chewing in the first place. There are a number of possible reasons, but some common ones include boredom, separation anxiety, fear and need for attention. If the chewing is a result of separation anxiety or fear, you may need the help of a behavior professional.
How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing
Before you work with your dog, it’s important to take responsibility for your own stuff. Keeping your belongings away from your dog is the first step. Keep your shoes, clothing, books, trash, etc. out of your dog’s reach. Besides keeping your own things out of reach, there are some other ways to stop your dog from chewing.
Give Your Dog Enough Exercise – Boredom can lead to destructive chewing, so it’s important your dog gets enough mental and physical exercise. Otherwise, they may try to entertain themselves by chewing on your favorite pair of shoes or the corner of the couch. Take your dog to the local dog park, go for a walk, run around in the yard–there are plenty of ways to get physical exercise. Of course, the amount depends on the health, breed and age of your dog.
Stock Up on Toys – You have to teach your dog to differentiate between household items and their own toys. Make sure their toys are actually toys, and not socks or shoes. Your dog won’t be able to determine which socks or shoes they can and can’t chew on. Treat and dog food puzzles (such as Kong toys) can be used to your advantage. Your dog will want to play with those toys instead if there is food or treats involved.
Use a Bitter Spray – Dog bitter sprays can be used to discourage chewing, as well as licking and biting behaviors. If you use a bitter spray, keep an eye on your dog the first time you try it. Sometimes dogs will continue chew, even if it tastes awful.
Whichever method you choose, it’s important to keep your cool and remain patient with your dog. After all, they’re learning to stop a behavior, and there could be other issues at hand. For more tips on caring for your four-legged family members, visit our Pet Care blog.