Dogs have a number of habits that need to be worked on. Dogs like to chew things in their nearby environment. It is not only a good way to keep their teeth clean and jaws strong, but it is part of how they learn about their environment, as well as hone their hunting skills. However, this habit needs to be tamed, especially for dogs who spend a lot of their time inside. Otherwise, a dog that likes to chew things can leave a large swath of destruction in their wake, especially if they are left alone for a long period of time. Thus, while chewing demonstrates a healthy animal, it is nonetheless a habit that needs to be curtailed at some point.
What Causes Destructive Chewing in Dogs?
There are a number of different reasons that dogs may start chewing on materials that they should not be chewing on.
Some dogs may have been weaned a little too early. This can lead to sucking on fabric, and the behavior may have become compulsive. Other dogs may not have been fed enough. Chewing is their way of dealing with hunger. Other dogs may be dealing with separation anxiety by chewing on things.
In short, there are several different reasons it could be behind your dog’s chewing. Your options are to either find a behavioral specialist in your area to train your dog’s new habits, or hope you can find the right product to help your dog.
Normal Chewing in Dogs
Dogs normally tend to chew on a lot of different items in their environment. For all dogs, it is a way of strengthening jaws as well as keeping their teeth clean. It is also a way of relieving boredom.
In younger dogs, it is a way of dealing with the pain of teeth as they grow and pushing them up to where they belong. This is why good owners provide a number of different materials for their dogs to chew on, such as rubber balls and cloth toys, as well providing tough foods such as jerky and various teeth cleaners.
Between all of these dogs learn that some items are acceptable to chew on.
How Can You Get A Dog To Stop Chewing and Eating Everything
Before you look at hiring a trainer or purchasing products, there are a number of things that you can do to stop destructive chewing in dogs.
The first step should be to dog-proof your home. Make sure that there is nothing prohibited but tempting chewables within reach of your dog. Provide the dog with plenty of chewable options, such as rubber toy balls and tough or crunchy foods. If you can determine a time when the dog chews on things, then distract him during that time. Basically, the simple version is to provide alternatives and monitor the dog.
The other issue, as mentioned, is to get any potential chewables out of the dog’s area. Puppies tend to find some of the worst items to chew on, such as dirty underwear and used tissue paper; not only are these unsanitary but could also be potentially dangerous to your pet. Make sure that cords are kept out of reach of dogs, as they provide an easy target but one that is likely to be deadly, especially to smaller breeds and puppies.
Plants are another potential problem. Too many owners place decorative plants on the ground without realizing how toxic some plants can be to dogs.
Dog-proofing a house is something that should be done for the absolute safety of your things and your pup. Last thing you want is to force your dog to throw something up, or go to the vet due to an emergency.
Some Items To Help Stop Chewing
If a dog refuses to stop chewing, then you need to either find a trainer that can deal with the problem, or obtain something that can help deal with the problem.
Here are some products that can help with unwanted doggy chewing:
- Bodhi Dog New Bitter 2 in 1 No Chew & Hot Spot Spray : A spray that can help to teach dogs not to chew on objects.
- OUT Bitter Cherry Chew Deterrent: Another spray to teach your dog to stop chewing.
- Critter Cord Cord Protector: A way to protect your cords from a chewing animal.
- Calming Treats: Treats to help calm your animal and alleviate separation anxiety and other issues.
- OraVet Dental Hygiene Treats: Something to keep your pets teeth clean and help with chewing problems.
How Do I Train My Dog to Stop Destroying Everything?
There are a number of ways to train your dog to stop chewing items you do not want them to chew on, although most of these ways are more in line with not doing things.
Obviously, make sure that the items you give the dog to chew on are items you want them to chew on. Having things they’re allowed to chew on will distract them from things they’re not allowed to chew. Reward and praise your pup for chewing on their toys.
Do not give them normal household items like cushions or old shoes. Do not muzzle them or use duct tape; this is just more inhumane than anything else. Also, do not spank them or punish them, because they won’t understand what they did wrong. However, you can spray the dog with a dog-safe deterrent when you catch him chewing on inappropriate items.
Do Dogs Grow Out of Destructive Chewing?
Not all dogs will grow out of chewing.
Some puppies go through a phase of exploratory chewing at an early age, while others chew just to deal with teething pains. These puppies do tend to grow out of chewing.
Some breeds – especially those with rounded skulls, hunting breeds, and extremely active dogs – will tend to chew on things throughout their lives. These mentioned breeds need something to chew on and that should be provided by you, their human.
Dog Chewing – A Problem or Not a Problem?
When it comes down to it, chewing is not necessarily a bad habit; it is just one that needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible. While this is a necessary and healthy dog behavior, especially for younger canines, it is one that needs to be curtailed somewhat. You do this either completely – in the rare case of extreme chewing – or by introducing specific toys for most other dogs to encourage the behavior.
Dealing with this habit is fortunately relatively easy to deal with. It’s also well worth it, for the safety of both your pupper and your beloved things!