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How to Stop Dogs from Chewing

Your dog doesn’t chew only his dog toys he chews your shoes, the bedding, the furniture, and even power cords. How can you stop your dog from chewing? You can’t. Instead, you can respond to your dog’s reasons for chewing, reduce his access and interest, and give him appealing chewable options.

Why do dogs chew?

Dogs instinctively put things in their mouths. They may chew because they’re bored, anxious, lonely, or hungry, or because they have energy to burn. For puppies, add teething and curiosity to the reasons that they chew.

Dental problems are another cause of chewing. Your dog may be chewing on whatever he can to try to relieve gum pain. Symptoms of dental problems in dogs include bad breath, chewing on one side of the mouth, pain when eating or drinking, and hesitation to eat even when they’re hungry. Yellow and brown accumulations of tartar may appear on your dog’s teeth, and his gums may be an inflamed red rather than a healthy pink.

Stop your dog from destructive chewing

First, look at the possible reasons for your dog’s chewing behavior. Give him plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to reduce boredom. If he chews on things only when he’s home alone, look at separation anxiety as a likely cause. The Odor Destroyer article Separation Anxiety in Dogs provides tips on helping your dog overcome this problem.

Puppies going through teething problems find some relief if they have dog chew toys to chew on. Avoid giving your puppy objects to chew on that are similar to objects you don’t want him to chew on, such as pieces of old clothing. Your puppy won’t understand the difference. Puppies with teething problems will welcome these chew toys:

  • Hard rubber balls
  • Puppy teething rings
  • Frozen dog treats
  • Nylon or rawhide bones

If you suspect that your dog has dental disease, take him to a veterinarian.

Second, chew-proof your home as much as possible. To do this, look at your home from your dog’s point of view — objects on the floor, open doors (including closet and cupboard doors), and furniture. Keep doors to off-limits areas closed, and keep movable chewable objects out of his reach. If your dog is tempted to chew on power cords, look in lighting stores for power cord covers.

When your dog is home without human supervision, you may want to keep him in a restricted area of the house. Choose an area without wooden furniture legs or other tempting chewable items, such as the laundry room. Make sure that nothing is dangling that he could pull on and chew.

Third, consider applying bitter-tasting coatings to color-safe chewable surfaces such as wooden furniture. The taste and smell of these substances repel some (but not necessarily all) dogs from chewing:

Give your dog chewable alternatives

Reprimanding your dog for chewing doesn’t work. In addition to the above steps, though, you can give your dog objects to chew on that you approve of. When he chews on something that you don’t want him to chew on, take it away and offer him your approved alternative. Give him lots of praise when he chews on these toys.

Chewy toys and toys filled with treats are especially helpful for dogs with chewing problems these toys keep them occupied for a long time. To keep the toys interesting to your dog, give him different toys to play with on different days.

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