Dogs can be the best companions you’ll ever have.
Unfortunately, even the most lovable dog can sometimes come with destructive behavior that takes you by surprise.
Many a dog owner has thrown up their hands in dismay when they come home from work to find the house is a wreck and that their favorite shoes (or rug, or child’s stuffed toy) has been chewed to pieces!
Here are some simple actions you can take to help stop this troublesome and destructive behavior before it gets too out of control.
Understand Why He’s Chewing
Does your dog suffer from separation anxiety? Is he bored? Or is it simply that he’s just too young to understand that certain items are off-limits? Figuring out what’s motivating the chewing can help you cope with the problem at its source and figure out how to address the need before the chewing starts.
Offer Relief From Teething
Young puppies may chew on furniture or clothing to relieve the pain from their new teeth growing in. You can provide relief by giving your puppy a frozen washcloth or ice cube to chew on instead.
Take Care of Your Belongings
In all likelihood, your dog is still learning what is appropriate to chew on and what isn’t. Keeping valuable items put away in a drawer or a closet, or behind a closed door, protects your dog from temptation while keeping your belongings safe.
Keep Them Busy With Toys
Choose a fun puzzle toy to keep your dog busy so that he’s less likely to chew. A toy that you can fill with peanut butter or treats is another good option! A nylon bone gives your dog something safe to vent her chewing urges on, so she’ll be less likely to destroy shoes or furniture.
Spray Items With Chewing Deterrents
There are some scents that are unpleasant to dogs. Products like Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray or Rocco & Roxie No Chew Extreme Bitter Spray might be worth a try if these other strategies don’t help to solve the problem.
Supervise Round the Clock
When it comes to chewing, there’s no better training tool than vigilance. Monitor your dog 24/7 (or as close to it as you can) or make sure your dog is in a chew-safe space, like a crate or carrier, during times you can’t supervise. If you see him start chewing shoes or furniture, interrupt him by saying, “Uh-oh” and replace the item with an appropriate item, like a toy or a treat.
Keep Your Dog Stimulated
Dogs need exercise every day to keep them from getting bored and to provide an outlet for their energy. Regular exercise and stimulation protects your dog from the harmful effects of excess energy and boredom (and this, in turn, can protect your home)!
Use a Crate
It would be great if you could spend every minute of the day and night with your dog, but sometimes you have to sleep or go to work! During these times, a crate gives your dog a comfortable spot to relax and stay out of trouble. SlumberPod Pet also helps to provide this a cozy space for your pup even when you’re on the go.
Don’t Give Your Dog Inappropriate Items
Your pup doesn’t understand the difference between the old sneaker you gave her and the brand-new expensive running shoes you left in the entryway. To her, these are all the same. So don’t give her shoes, socks, or other items that she could easily confuse with belongings that are off-limits.
It’s tough to keep your cool when you come home from work to find some of your favorite possessions shredded. But unfortunately, your dog won’t learn anything from a scolding except to not trust you. He does not make the connection between his destructive behavior from ten minutes ago and your angry reaction right now. As much as you’re able, take a deep breath and try to let it go.
We know that chewing can be distressing for new pet owners. But with time, effort, and lots of love, you can help your dog learn better ways to handle her emotions and energy (and spare your valuables in the process).