How to put an end to destructive chewing?
Destructive chewing is not only frustrating for you, it could potentially cause health problems for your beloved pooch. Toy pieces or fabric from a shredded dog bed, for instance, can become lodged in their digestive tract leading to a serious medical emergency often requiring surgery.
Thankfully, this problem can be managed with a little time and patience. Until your pup knows exactly what they can and can’t chew, it’s up to you to show them what’s okay and what isn’t. Try the following options to keep their chompers happy and your home intact.
Provide gentle guidance
If you catch your dog in the act of chewing an inappropriate object, try saying “ah-ah” or “uh-oh”, remove the item, and replace it with something he or she is allowed to chew. Make sure to praise them when they chew on the preferred toy. Keep in mind that scolding your pup long after they have already chewed something inappropriate is not effective and will only frighten and confuse them.
In addition to correcting their behavior, you can also try spraying inappropriate objects with a chewing deterrent like bitter apple, which most dogs generally find extremely unappetizing.
If your dog is on a calorie-restricted diet (or if their appetite is insatiable), they may chew just because they’re hungry. If you think this may be the case, it might be worth reassessing their diet with your veterinarian or offering low-calorie snacks like carrots to curb their hunger pangs.
Keep the area free of valuable objects while unsupervised
When your pup is unsupervised, it’s best that valuable objects -- including laundry and shoes -- are kept tucked safely away and out of their reach. It’s also a good idea to keep your pooch confined to a crate or small room without valuable items if they’re known to chew while you’re away from home; just be sure they’re not confined for more than 6 hours at a time. Also keep in mind that crates should never be used as punishment; your pup should think of their crate as a safe, positive den-like environment where they feel secure.
“Should I offer my pup a dog bed or blanket to sleep on while I’m gone?”
It’s common for dogs to chew their beds for the same reasons they go after your shoes; It may be related to the stress of being alone, boredom, or lack of other toys. If your pup tends to shred their beds and blankets, it’s best to remove those for the time being until you can figure out the cause of their chewing. If you don’t want to forego the cozy bed, try a comfy chew-proof alternative like our Chew Proof Dog Cot
-- they’re virtually indestructible.