5 Steps to Stop Your Dog From Chewing
If your dog is chewing, it’s a normal healthy sign of an active pooch. But it’s frustrating when chewing on toys turns into chewing on your new shoes, your furniture, or your hands and feet.
Here are the five steps you need to curb your dog’s chewing before it becomes a problem:
1. Rule out medical problems. The first step is to make sure that your dog doesn’t have a medical condition. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to pica, which may result in inappropriate chewing. Gastrointestinal issues may cause nausea which can trigger chewing as a coping mechanism. Mak an appointment with your vet to rule out medical issues causing the chewing.
2. Puppy proof your house. Take a scan of each room your dog as access to. Lock away cleaners, chemicals, soaps and toxic plants. Cover your electrical cords or take them off the floor. Hide away anything you wouldn’t want to come home to see chewed up, like a favorite purse, toy, socks, food etc. It’s always good to err on the safe side and put away more than you think you need to.
3. Encourage appropriate chewing. Provide yummy chew toys for your dog to enjoy. Over time, you’ll learn your dog’s preference of chew toy. Some things to try: nylabones, greenies and dental chewsticks, balls or kongs. Don’t give your dog anything that resembles something you don’t want him to chew on; for example do not give your dog an old baseball glove to chew on because he will not know the difference between the old mitt and a brand new one.
4. Discourage inappropriate chewing. If you find your dog chewing on something inappropriate correct the dog by taking the object. Put him in a dog to assert your pack leader status, and then give him a replacement chew toy. Over time (and hopefully not too many destroyed objects), your dog will learn what’s his and what’s yours. If your dog just won’t leave something alone, like the leg of the couch, taste deterrents such as bitter apple can be sprayed and the taste should defer your dog from chewing on it.
5. Play with your pooch. A tired dog is a good dog! Play with and exercise your dog on a regular basis. This deepens your bond, and expends extra energy that leads your dog to chewing on unwanted objects. You can always bring your dog in for a full day of Doggie Daycare so they can burn off all the extra energy and come home tired and ready to cuddle!