As most pet parents would know, chewing is a common issue among dogs and puppies. However, there are ways to help curb this behavior in your furry friend. Our vets in New Iberia discuss why dogs chew and what steps you can take to stop them.
Why Dogs Are Notorious for Chewing
Chewing allows dogs to explore their surroundings and keep their jaws strong and teeth clean. Puppies, in particular, tend to chew to relieve their pain. However, dogs may not always choose appropriate objects to chew on.
Your Dog is Stressed or Anxious
Our furry friends are social creatures at heart, and many pets suffer from separation anxiety when their owners are away. Dogs experiencing anxiety or stress will often turn to chewing as a way to comfort themselves.
Boredom in Dogs & Puppies
Boredom is another reason, as dogs may resort to chewing on objects for mental stimulation.
The Puppy Teething Process
Puppies go through an uncomfortable teething period just like human babies. While your puppy is teething, they will likely chew frequently to relieve pain and discomfort.
Your Dog is Hungry
It is not uncommon for dogs on calorie-restricted diets to begin chewing on objects in an effort to find other sources of nutrition. This type of chewing is generally directed toward objects related to food or that smell like food, such as plastic bowls.
What Can I Do To Stop My Dog From Chewing Everything?
When trying to prevent your dog from destructive chewing, it is essential to start by identifying the cause and eliminating any of the problems listed above. Step two is to focus on redirecting your dog's chewing to more desirable objects, such as chew toys.
Give Them Plenty of Exercises
To keep your furry friend happy and content, it's crucial to ensure that they get enough exercise every day. Providing ample exercise before leaving the house is an effective way to prevent destructive chewing. High-energy breeds like Border Collies, German Shepherds, Brittany, and Spring Spaniels require a minimum of two hours of exercise daily, while more relaxed breeds such as Pomeranians, Pugs, and Shih Tzus may only need 40 minutes of exercise a day.
Provide Entertainment When You Are Busy
If your dog spends long hours alone, keeping them entertained is essential. Train your furry friend to associate alone time with positive experiences. Provide them with a puzzle toy filled with food and a variety of fun, unique toys they can only play with when you're away.
Providing your pup with lots of interesting toys will not only create a positive association with alone time, but it will also serve as a distraction from the objects that you don't want your dog to chew on.
Dog Proof Your Home
To prevent your dog from chewing on things they shouldn't, dog-proof your home. Store valuable items out of reach, put laundry away or in a closed haper, and keep books and children's toys out of reach.
Take Precautions To Deter Chewing
If your dog chews on something they shouldn't, take it away and replace it with a chew toy. Praise them when they chew on the toy instead. If none of the above suggestions works, try using a dog deterrent spray on objects you don't want your furry friend to chew.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.