How to Stop a Dog from Chewing Everything in Sight
When you have a dog who loves to chew, they will get their mouths on just about anything they can find around the house. And if you're like most pet parents, you're probably seeking a quick fix to prevent your dog from chewing. However, dogs are chewers by nature! You can take steps to redirect your furry friend's behavior and eliminate temptations, but first, it's important to understand why dogs chew.
Understand Why Your Dog is Chewing
Chewing is an instinctive urge for dogs, and contrary to popular belief, it has its benefits! In addition to keeping dogs' jaws strong and their teeth clean, chewing helps furry friends manage all sorts of emotions. For instance, maybe you have a new puppy who is grappling with puppy teething discomfort. Perhaps you just welcomed home an adopted dog who is feeling stressed as they accustom themselves to their new environment. Or, you might simply have an active dog who could use an occupying pastime. All of these are scenarios where your furry friend may turn to chewing as an outlet or coping mechanism.
However, when your best friend directs their chewing urges to any object they can find around the house, destructive chewing becomes a problem. Read these tips on how to stop a dog from chewing everything in sight.
Place Valuable Items Out of Reach
Because dogs use their mouths to discover their surroundings, keep valuables and personal belongings where your pup can't reach them. If you're new to having a furry family member, this will become second nature over time. For example, a closed drawer is a safer location for storing the TV remote than the coffee table, and the floor isn't the best spot for the laundry basket (especially with all those alluring socks!).
Be mindful that dogs' sense of smell is anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 times better than ours, according to Veterinary Centers of America Inc. So whether it's your new leather loafers, a child's toy, or even a candy dish, take a moment to consider where you place items that may be tempting to your dog.
Give Your Dog Chew Toys
Though you can't completely stop your dog from chewing, you can encourage positive chewing habits by offering them chew toys. Nylabone creates all kinds of chew toys in appealing textures, tasty flavors, and cute shapes to ensure the proper chewing outlets are ultra-enticing and fun.
Only provide your dog chew toys or other pet-specific products intended for chewing. While you may think sacrificing your old pair of sneakers is a thrifty chew, it will only confuse your dog; after all, how can they decipher between shoes that are acceptable to chew and those that are off limits?
If you have a young furry friend, offer them plenty of puppy chew toys to establish healthy chewing habits early on. Puppies especially chew while teething to help relieve gum discomfort and facilitate losing their baby teeth. As your new best friend chews and chews, you may wonder when puppies stop chewing. Well, they stop teething around six to eight months of age (depending on breed and size) and their chewing may become less frequent. However, dogs continue to chew throughout their lives, and every dog has a different chewing style—even those within the same breed.
Use our Chew Style Guide to find the appropriate size and strength chew toy for your dog and start them on the right path. Be sure to always supervise your best friend when they are enjoying a chew toy!
Offer Mental and Physical Stimulation
Along with strengthening your dog's mind and body, mental and physical stimulation will help your furry friend release excess energy while staying occupied.
There are several ways to provide your best friend some healthy, fun mental stimulation. Training your dog to do cool tricks challenges your dog's mind and obedience skills—plus, tricks are fun to show off to family and friends! You can also offer your pooch a puzzle toy to inspire them to think.
Physical exercise will keep your dog engaged as well. Some ways to accomplish this include daily walks and games such as fetch or tug-of-war with dog play toys. Especially consider exercising with your furry friend before you head out of the house and leave them alone for a period of time. This will ensure they are more likely to relax than find something inappropriate to chew while no one's watching.
Take Preventive MeasuresIf your dog chews everything such as the deck rail, fence post, or kitchen table, coat these household items with a chewing deterrent spray. These sprays are made with a bitter taste that is unpleasant to dogs. Therefore, it helps them think twice about putting their mouth on wood, furniture, and plenty of other surfaces. This preventive method should not be your primary form of inhibiting destructive chewing, however; dogs must also learn what is okay to chew and what is not.
Turn Destructive Chewing into Positive Chewing
Remember, it's okay if your dog slips up occasionally and chews something they shouldn't. Kindly prompt your dog to release the off-limits item and exchange it with a chew toy. When your dog accepts the chew toy, praise them. Don't yell at your dog for destructive chewing; your furry friend won't associate the punishment with the unwanted behavior—even if it is only a short time after the fact, according to the ASPCA.
When you get right down to it, the moral is less about learning how to stop a dog from chewing and more about teaching your best friend healthy chewing habits. You can turn a negative situation into a positive one with patience, dedication, and lots of chew toys!