How to Stop a Dog From Chewing

How many times has this scenario played out in your life? You come home from a long day at work or a night out with friends only to find a trail of torn up items leading to your dog’s favorite spot.

If this has happened, you’ve probably asked yourself what to do about this behavior. You’re in luck today because in this article we discuss how to stop a dog from chewing up your house.

Why Do Dogs Chew?

Dogs can chew for several reasons. If they are a puppy, they might just be exploring their world. Just like how babies like to put everything in their mouths, puppies can be the same way. This can help your pup gain an understanding of their world and shouldn’t necessarily be discouraged. Rather, you can work on focusing your dog’s exploration toward healthier options.

Another reason dogs chew is because they’ve got nothing better to do. A bored dog is going to get into trouble. Your best bet if you have a bored chewer is to give them acceptable activities to engage them.

The last reason a dog could be chewing is from anxiety. A dog can start chewing because they are nervous. This happens often when dogs are left alone for long periods of time. As pack animals, dogs need attention from others. When they don’t get the attention they deserve, they can find an outlet for their anxiety. Your dog might think your tennis shoes are the best way to relieve this anxiety even if you don’t.

How to Stop a Dog from Chewing

How to stop a dog from chewing depends on what kind of chewer they are.

Puppies

Simply put, puppies love chewing things. Everything is new to a puppy, so you’re going to be sure to find many things in your home with puppy teeth marks on them.

If you’ve found that your new puppy likes destroying, there are a few things you can try. Crate training is an obvious choice. This will allow you to leave the house without worry that your pup is going to destroy everything.

While the crate is nice when you’re not at home, you should also make sure your young puppy can’t get into anything that is dangerous when you are home. This means making all chemicals and household plants unreachable. Cover all cords so your pet won’t get to them. Be sure there are no children’s toys on the floor that your puppy can destroy either.

Always keep a close eye on them. A young dog should be supervised at pretty much all times.

Bored Dogs

As the saying goes, busy hands are happy hands. The same can be said about your dog, or at least their paws. A dog that is left for long periods of time without stimulation is certain to get bored. There are some things you can do to make sure they do not get in trouble.

First would be to exercise your dog well. A dog needs stimulation. Make sure you are giving them at least twenty minutes of exercise per day. If you can do more time, it should help as well. Your dog should also be given metal stimulation. Give them treats they must work for like a Kong filled with snacks. Play some games with them too. You can hide some treats around the house and encourage them to find them all. The more you do to release your dog’s energy, the better.

Second, you should give your dog a space for themselves. Dogs have a denning instinct, so giving them a private space can help. A kennel or crate is the perfect spot. You can confine them to a bathroom or kitchen instead if they do not like a crate, but just make sure there is nothing they can destroy in there too.

Anxious Dogs

If your dog is an anxious chewer, they are slightly more difficult to work with simply because their chewing manifests out of fear. As a pack animal, your dog feels safety in numbers, so being alone will make them fearful.

Instead, you need to work with your dog to make them feel safe even if you’re not there. Again, crating can be a great tool for a nervous chewer because it will give them a sense of safety. Using a kennel works well for this application but remember that the kennel is never a punishment. Your dog should feel safe there.

You can rub one of their toys between your hands before you leave to impart your smell. This can help focus your dog on the toy rather than your goodbye.

Work with your dog by leaving them alone for short periods of time. This will teach them that you are coming back and can alleviate their anxiety.

If you find that your dog is harming themselves by trying to escape their crate, talk to your vet. Your pup might need the more skilled hand of an applied animal behavior consultant.

Should You Punish a Dog That Chews?

Remember that your dog is not chewing things to spite you. You two are not enemies, you’re best friends. Therefore, it’s important to not punish your dog when they chew.

You should instead focus their chewing to healthy objects and dissuade them from chewing things they should not.

Make sure when you leave your dog alone, you are giving them toys or treats that you expect them to chew. A Kong filled with treats or frozen peanut butter can be a great choice. This will stimulate your dog while you’re away.

You can also try a deterrent. Often this is a spray that tastes terrible. If you find your dog likes chewing a specific object or area, you can spray it with the deterrent. The bad taste will keep your dog away. Just be sure to supervise your pet when you use a deterrent because it doesn’t stop all dogs.

Hopefully you got some ideas for how to stop a dog from chewing. If your pup has you pulling your hair out, give these tips a try. You should have a well-trained dog in no time.

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