We all know dogs chew on things, but some dogs are crazy about chewing on anything within reach! For dogs, like babies, chewing is a natural instinct. Chewing can feel good when puppies are cutting teeth, and it helps older dogs strengthen their jaws and keep their teeth clean.
But chewing can cross over into the destructive realm. If your dog is chewing up furniture and other valuables, it’s a big problem and can be difficult to stop. Chewing may be caused by stress or boredom or other bad habits, but there are steps you can take to retrain your dog and keep your stuff in one piece.
5 Tips to Stop Your Dog From Chewing
- Be sure your dogs gets out for regular exercise. Go for walks or play in the yard and let him work off extra energy. Activity and attention will help prevent boredom.
- Put away items you don’t want your dog to chew on — sort of like child-proofing. Don’t leave your dog free to roam around the entire house when home alone. Create a contained area either in a room or crate or kennel so he can’t access your stuff.
- Provide chew toys that are approved to chew on. Keep a variety on hand to mix it up and even spread a little peanut butter or cheese to improve the appeal.
- Purchase deterrent spray made especially for dogs. Same idea as painting your child’s fingernails with a bitter substance to help break the biting habit. Spray it on objects your dog likes to chew on or lick excessively (like bandages, casts, or other surfaces).
- As you catch your dog chewing on things he shouldn’t, do not yell at him or scare him. Instead, tell him firmly “no” and then redirect his attention to a toy or snack that is allowable.
The key to any successful training is patience and consistency. Don’t make exceptions or change the rules because it creates confusion. Continue to redirect, offer allowable chew toys, give your dog exercise and attention and, before you know it, you will notice less and less undesirable chewing and more happy dog.