Chewing is a typical behavior for dogs, but it can become a problem when they damage your belongings. If you're dealing with this issue, our expert veterinarians from Grenada have some useful advice to share. We'll explain why your furry friend chews and provide tips to help you prevent destructive chewing.
Why Dogs Chew Things
Dogs like to explore their surroundings by chewing on things they find. Puppies chew to relieve the discomfort of teething, while adult dogs do it to keep their teeth strong and clean. Although chewing is generally good for dogs, they may not always choose the right things to chew on. In this article, we'll explain why.
Stress & Anxiety
Dogs are naturally social creatures and often feel upset when they are away from their owners. This can cause them to experience separation anxiety, which may lead to stress and anxiety. One way they may try to alleviate these feelings is by chewing things.
If your dog is left alone for a long time without any mental engagement, they may get bored easily and resort to chewing on various objects in your home to entertain themselves. Therefore, it's important to provide your furry friend with activities and toys to keep them occupied while you're away. This will prevent destructive behavior and ensure your dog's physical and mental well-being.
Just like human babies, puppies also experience a difficult teething phase. During this period, your puppy may feel discomfort and pain, leading them to chew on things more often to alleviate it.
It's quite common for dogs that are on a limited diet to start chewing on things as they try to find other sources of nutrition. This kind of chewing is usually focused on things that are connected to food, or things that smell like food, such as plastic bowls.
How to Stop a Dog From Chewing Your Stuff
If you want to stop your dog from chewing on things they shouldn't, it's crucial to figure out why they're doing it and fix that first. Once you've done that, you can teach your dog to chew on things that are okay to chew, like toys made for that purpose.
Providing sufficient exercise daily is important to keep your dog happy and prevent destructive behavior. This means ensuring that they get enough physical activity before being left alone. Certain breeds like Border Collies, German Shepherds, Brittanys, and Springer Spaniels have higher energy levels and need at least two hours of exercise a day. On the other hand, more relaxed breeds such as Pomeranians, Pugs, and Shih Tzus may only need about 40 minutes of exercise each day. By making sure your furry friend gets the exercise they need, you can help them stay healthy, happy, and well-behaved.
If your dog spends a lot of time alone and gets bored or anxious, there are things you can do to help. One way is to train your dog to enjoy being alone by making it a positive experience. You can do this by giving your dog a puzzle toy filled with food and special toys that they only get to play with when you're away. This will help your dog associate being alone with fun and happiness, which can lower their anxiety.
In addition to helping your dog feel more comfortable being alone, providing them with lots of interesting toys can also keep them from chewing on things they shouldn't. This is important for promoting good chewing behavior and protecting your dog's health and teeth. Just be sure to choose safe toys that won't make your dog choke or damage their teeth.
Some safe items for your dog to chew on are:
- Firm rubber dog toys (appropriate for your dog's size)
- Rope toys designed for dogs
- Machine-washable stuffed toys that are durable and the right size for your pup.
- Tennis balls (make sure they aren't ripped or broken)
Dog Proof Your Home
Remove all other temptations to help ensure your dog only chews on designated items. Keep valuable items out of reach, ensure your laundry is safely put away or placed in a closed hamper, and make sure books and children's toys are stored out of your canine's reach.
Also, keep your dog from chewing on items that are dangerous for them to chew on such as:
- Broken dog toys
- Children's toys or toys/items that are too small and can be easily swallowed
- Ribbon and string
- Rubber bands
- Water bottles
Discourage Unwanted Chewing
If you catch your dog chewing on something, they shouldn't, tell them "no," remove the object, and give them a chew toy instead. Praise them when they chew on the toy. If these steps don't work, you can try using a dog deterrent spray on the items your dog shouldn't chew on.Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.