How Do You Stop Destructive Dog Chewing?
Got a new puppy? How fun! Except when you come home and find one of your favorite shoes or one of your throw pillows chewed into shreds all over the living room floor. This might not make you feel any better, but you’re in good company…most new puppy owners face the same situation.
As a rule, puppies are chewers, they don’t do it to be bad or destructive, it’s a natural behavior for them.
- Chewing is often a way to alleviate the pain and discomfort of teething. Teething, like in humans, can be quite painful for their gums, and the pressure created from chewing helps relieve the discomfort.
- Chewing is also a way that puppies explore their new world (also like human babies who put everything in their mouth).
- Destructive chewing often happens when a puppy is bored.
The important thing is not to let this become a habit that becomes a problem when your dog is older.
Correct the cycle of biting…
- As always, begin by examining your puppy’s health. Destructive chewing can be attributed to health problems, so make sure that he has no serious health issues that may trigger chewing. Issues such as:
- Poor nutrition
- Nausea caused by gastrointestinal issues
- Be sure to provide plenty of appropriate things for your dog to chew on. There are a variety of good, safe chew toys that will satisfy your dog’s need to chew. Choose your toys carefully to make sure they won’t break into small pieces that can get lodged in the throat, and avoid giving them “old shoes” to chew on…you’re giving them mixed signals. Choose:
- Dental chew sticks
- Hard rubber toys such as the KONG© Dog toy…they are more difficult to to break into small pieces.
- Make sure the toys are too big for your dog to get entirely into his mouth and get stuck.
- Just as you would “baby proof” for a toddler, “puppy proof” for your pup. Put things away, don’t leave shoes, socks and other small object lying around where they become temptations. Be aware of electrical cords that could be chewed through causing electrical shock. Keep doors closed to areas that could offer a variety chewables for your dog’s pleasure and your displeasure.
- Consider training your puppy to be in his crate, especially while you’re away from home or during times when you are unable to supervise his activities.
- Give your puppy plenty of playtime and exercise. Use up his energy in activity, rather than letting him get bored and looking for something to chew on. After that, you can both take a nap!
One of the best investments you can make in your new puppy is Puppy Charm School (up to 16 weeks of age). This class focuses on socialization, house training, bite inhibition, problem prevention and solutions, basic cues, beginning obedience and more!
Contact me for times and places…