Destructive chewing is one of the behaviors most feared by dog owners. And it is easy to understand why. After all, no one wants to lose their shoes, purses, pillows, or furniture to the teeth of their furry friend!
Have you ever come home to find a mess of feathers in the living room? Has your dog eaten your new shoes? Does your favorite chair have tooth marks? Then this post is for you: stop destructive chewing with these practical tips.
Why does my dog chew (and break) everything?
The first step to stop destructive chewing is to understand the reasons for this behavior. That is to say, understand the motivation that generates your four-legged friend chewing things until they destroy them.
Let's look at some possibilities together:
- Puppies are like babies: they know the world through their mouths. In other words, they lick and bite everything they find in their path.
- A puppy may resort to destructive chewing as a way to relieve teething pain.
- Some dogs chew on things to relieve anxiety and stress. It is a very usual behavior in dogs that have a craving for separation.
- If your dog is not trained, he may not know that biting and breaking objects is wrong.
How to stop destructive chewing?
Now, what happens to your dog? Can any of the reasons mentioned above be associated with what your puppy is experiencing? Once you know what causes this behavior, it's time to stop destructive chewing.
1. A dog-proof house
When a baby is born (or rather, as the baby grows), parents take the time to baby-proof their home by investing in protections and making modifications. It may seem weird to you, but you should also do your house dog-proofing, at least until your dog is fully trained.
Before adopting a dog, analyze your home. What are the weak points of it? Do you have books, blankets, cushions at your fingertips? The first thing is to remove them or keep everything in closets, high shelves, or containers.
Besides, on the market, there are options to coat furniture and protect i. On the other hand, make sure to protect the cables, not only to take care of your home appliances but also and more importantly, the health of your dog.
2. Buy dog toys
Your furry friend needs entertainment. Therefore, nothing better than buying toys for dogs. Of course, this does not ensure that your dog does not chew on your things, but it does allow you to explain what it can and cannot bite.
Note: be aware that some toys, such as stuffed animals, can be ripped apart and pose a choking hazard for your dog. Better opt for strong toys that cannot be broken.Discover: DIY dog toy: how can you make dog toys at home?
3. A frozen washcloth for dogs that are cutting teeth
If your puppy suffers from gum pain, it may be a great option to wet a washcloth and place it in the freezer until it is frozen. The cold will help relieve inflammation and pain.
Of course, you may check with your vet to buy medication that can alleviate the discomfort.
4. Dog training
This point is vital to avoid destructive chewing but to ensure the safety of your dog. Until your furry friend is fully trained, you should continually supervise him at home. That means leaving him in a dog-proof place if you are not at home, and always being in the same room when you are.
5. Go for a walk with your dog every day
Physical exercise is one of the best ways to end this behavior. Dogs (and animals in general, humans included) need interaction and movement. A bored and frustrated dog may attack objects to ease his discomfort.
To avoid the behavior, commit to taking your dog out for walks several times a day. If you work all day, you may be interested in finding a daycare where your dog can enjoy the outdoors and regular exercise.
6. The use of NO
Your four-legged friend must understand the meaning of NO. Therefore, if you see that he carries out inappropriate behavior, such as chewing your shoes, you should remove the object and say no firmly, in addition to offering him a new thing that he can chew.
When he starts chewing on his toy, praise him. You must use NO every time necessary and praise your dog when he chews on the adequate object.
7. Products to avoid destructive chewing
Consult with your vet about applying an aversive spray to objects. When your dog feels the ugly taste, he will not want to chew it.
8. Do not punish
No matter what your dog broke, avoid punishing him. Punishment will only increase your furry friend's stress level and may even push him to do more damage.
Finally, keep in mind that the destructive chewing ends at some point. Treat your dog with love and patience. You will see that with these pieces of advice, you can modify this harmful behavior.