Most dogs love to chew but destructive chewing directed towards objects other than chew toys Is often a sign of a deeper problem such as separation anxiety. Chewing is a potent stress reliever and releases pleasurable endorphins into the body, while destructive chewing on doors or window frames can be a sign that a dog is trying to get out of the home. As with any behavioural issue, take your dog for a full medical check up to rule out any medical causes that might be exacerbating the behavior.
How Can I Stop My Dog From Chewing?
- Regardless of the cause, exercise and enrichment are key to modifying the desire to chew. A tired dog is a happy dog and has less energy to indulge in destructive behavior.
- Create a dog-proof room or use baby gates to keep your dog in a safe chew- resistant area when unsupervised. Make sure this room is close to busier areas of the home so your dog does not feel isolated.
- Provide appropriate chew toys for your dog to enjoy but make sure they are durable and able to withstand heavy chewing.
- Find appropriate outlets for your dog’s energy. Physical exercise is important but mental stimulation is crucial. Enrich her life by playing fun games and giving her puzzles and interactive toys to play with.
- Find a sport you and your dog love to do to help release any pent up stress or tension she might be feeling.
- Hire a positive trainer to help if the above suggestions are unsuccessful as the chewing might be related to a deeper anxiety issue.
Chew This, Not That!
Dogs need “occupational therapy.” So says Dr. Ian Dunbar, DVM, animal behaviorist and puppy guru. If you don’t give your dog something to do, your dog will find something to do.
Although dogs are genetically hard-wired to chew, some dogs like to chew more than others. You can help encourage your dog to be a happy, busy, lifelong chewer who enjoys chewing appropriate items rather than your stuff. Habits develop early and quickly, so start your training on the first day home regardless of your dog’s age.
The joy of chewing
Chewing is a natural canine activity that relieves stress and teething pain and is a great outlet for pent-up energy. Lucky for you, your dog can exhaust herself chewing on a great bone. Favorite chew-toys act as pacifiers. Chewing also helps distract your dog from engaging in other, unwanted, activities.
A. Puppy-proof your home. Remove access to valuable items.
B. Design a Dog Zone using an x-pen and crate, or baby-gated area so you can run errands and sleep.
C. Use Bitter Apple, a nontoxic taste aversive, for items that cannot be protected.
D. Supervise and redirect your puppy to her own chew toys if she gets off track. Praise her for playing with her own chew toys.
E. Provide a Doggie Toy Box and rotate three or four favorite chew items every other day.
What to chew
Safe chewies should be as close to 100 percent digestible or 100 percent indestructible as you can find. Provide chew-toys stuffed with high-value foods. You may feed all food from chew toys, until the dog is chew-toy trained. Long-lasting chewables include “bully sticks,” marrow and soup bones. Newly popular on the chew scene are antlers, the adorable PlanetDog.com tuff chewies, Caviar Buffalo Jerky, duck, pork or chicken air-dried strips. Choose Made in the USA labels for higher-quality-control standards.