Puppies and Dogs chew, its natural. Stopping them chewing is more difficult. Younger dogs tend to chew when they are trying to find their new surroundings. Different breeds of dogs chew different things. Rupert our 6-month-old Dachshund chews his bed and his toys. He is on his 3rd or 4th bed now and 2nd blanket.
There are many reasons why dogs and puppies chew a lot. Lets take a look at some reasons why dogs eat everything;
Bored: If your dog is left alone for a long time in the day / evening they get bored. Puppies are like babies and require a lot of attention. Extended playtimes, longer walks and much more exercise is required to keep them from being bored.
Teething: Like babies, puppies teethe. This causes discomfort and the need to chew excessively. Babies chew toys help soothe babies when they chew. Getting a strong dog toy or indestructible toy will help your puppy. Excessive chewing helps relieve some discomfort and bring through the adult teeth.
Attention: Dogs tend to chew things they know they shouldn’t because it gets attention. For example; Rupert regularly takes one of the kids toys because he knows we will chase him. He then thinks this is a game and does it again and again. We get the kids to play with Rupert and his own toys for a good half an hour every evening. This has reduced the amount of times he takes their toys.
Diet: Making sure your dog has the correct diet will help reduce chewing. If your dog tends to take stones or plaster, this could be down to a lack of calcium in their diet. Feeding your dog correctly based on weight and exercise will help reduce this type of chewing.
Stress & Anxiety: Separation anxiety is a huge part of un-necessary chewing. Dogs / Puppies can become destructive when dealing with anxiety issues. Check out our page on Dog Anxiety Beds to try and help resolve some of these issues.
What Can I Do To Prevent My Dog From Eating/Chewing Un-necessarily?
• Exercise is key to helping reduce your dogs chewing. Longer walks, more outside time and away from the home is the best way to do this.
• Treats your dog for good behaviour. If your dog goes to get toys and you use the ‘NO’ command, you should treat them if they listen.
• When you are not able to watch your dog 24/7 then always make sure they cannot get to anything dangerous. Splinters, wires, or sharp objects should be moved if your dog has chewing tendencies.
• Playing with your dog and their own toys regularly helps. 5 minutes each time throughout the day. If you have kids, you can always get them to do it. This is great for bonding if the kids also help out
Dog Toys Vs. Dog Chews
Many dog owners get easily confused between Toys and Chews. These should always be kept separate as dogs will start to think everything is a chew. Dog Toys generally will be something you throw, that can be pushed or slid around, squeaks and makes noises OR is tugged during play. KONG have produced chew toys, which is probably the only exception to the rule.
Doggie Safety Tips
Sharp Objects, personal possessions and anything you don’t want your dog near, should be kept out of reach at all times. Dogs tend to find the strangest of things enjoyable. Wallets and Keys are a big like for dogs. Shoes / Slippers also become your dogs favourite toy and before you know it they will be destroyed. If your dog does get hold of something they shouldn’t, a quick, stern, “NO” command will teach them not to mess.
Training and Treats is always the way to stop your dog from doing something. There are also sprays you can buy that stops some dogs from chewing. But as I said, Some Dogs. We tried vinegar on Ruperts bed as he started to chew the corners. He just licked it off and carried on. Regularly stropping him and rewarding him for listening to our command meant that he quickly learnt not too.
What Problems are Faced with Dog Chewing?
Dogs that chew soft toys can really struggle with bowel and stomach problems. Wool and Cotton and quickly get tangled up. Before you know it your chasing poo out of your dogs bum around the garden as it hangs on.
Other issues can be bits of plastic stuck in mouth / gums that can cause bleeding and discomfort.
When are Dog Chews Appropriate for my Dog?
Dog chews are a great way of getting your dog settled when your trying to do household activities and chores. Many people use Rawhides but these can be very dangerous to your dog, especially if left alone. See our Rawhide Alternatives post. Pegetables are a great chew for your doggie to be healthy and relaxed.
Why Is My Dogs Chewing Getting Worse?
A sudden reduction in mental stimulation and lack of exercise can cause your dog to quickly find another way of getting your attention. Like children, puppies just want attention and they will get it any way possible. Removing toys, chew toys and chew bones can cause a quick change in mindset. To get your attention, your dog will look for something they shouldn’t be doing. Carpets, Cupboards, shoes etc will be quickly turned too as a form of play and comfort.
What Should I Avoid?
If you know your dog has no training for being left alone in the house, DON’T DO IT. Even trying to entertain them with a chew whilst you nip out will cause you problems. Once your untrained dog is left alone they will find something to entertain themselves. If they do chew something, do not punish them. This is just the attention they have craved. Over time, this type of punishment will cause anxiety and this makes matters even worse. Instead, teach them in short bursts to behave when left alone