Have you ever walked into your home to discover that your beloved pet has destroyed another piece of furniture? Take a deep breath. Before you think of giving your pet away, know that inappropriate chewing can be stopped.
Why do dogs enjoy chewing your furniture?
Inappropriate chewing is a common problem in dogs, particularly the young ones, and it is rooted in the fact that puppies explore their world using their mouths. Much like how human babies tend to put anything that they grab in their mouths, it is the dog’s way of learning about the things that are around them.
In older dogs inappropriate chewing may be a sign of separation anxiety.
A puppy’s teeth erupt when he or she reaches three up to eight weeks old. This teething period is the prime time for inappropriate chewing as the gums get irritated and are very uncomfortable. Chewing on objects relieves that discomfort. If inappropriate chewing is not corrected, it can develop into a problem that the dog can carry into adulthood.
Go to the vet
The first thing you need to do to help your pet is to bring him or her to the vet. This way, the doctor can rule out any medical issues. Nutritional deficiencies or intestinal parasitism can cause pica. This condition can be misinterpreted as inappropriate chewing.
Another medical problem that can also lead to chewing is gastrointestinal problems. This may make your pet nauseous and chew on objects as a coping mechanism. Once the vet has ruled out possible medical problems, you can go to the next step of addressing chewing.
Remove any dangerous objects from your dog’s space
Your puppy will probably chew anything that it can find around it. If there is anything that can harm your puppy or that you deem valuable, it would be best to keep it out of reach. Toxic plants, chemical cleaners, and your brand-new Italian loafers should be kept far away from where your pet usually stays.
It is also ideal to cover electrical cords as it could cause electrocution if your dog chews away the insulation. Prevent your pet from getting into the rooms where your valuables are stored by putting locks on the doors. By puppy-proofing your house, you can reduce the chances of your pet getting at anything that you don’t want to be damaged.
Provide alternative chewing toys
As mentioned, chewing on objects is a way for your pet to relieve teething pains. It would be helpful if you provide your pet with something that can be chewed. Avoid giving your dog toys old or broken versions of things that you don’t want it to be chewing. For example, handing your pet an old shoe to chew on will make it harder for the dog to get rid of the habit of chewing on shoes.
How will it be able to tell which shoes are off limits? A good chew toy is the best alternative for your expensive throw pillows. Do not give him or her items that can splinter or fragment because these can puncture the gastrointestinal tract. Dental chewsticks and nylabones are good toys that can encourage appropriate chewing. Not only will this help with relieving teething discomfort, but the toys can also help with fighting dental disease. You can find these items online by going through different pet supplies sites on the internet.
Encourage appropriate chewing
By removing no-chew items from the dog’s vicinity, you have already minimized the chances of your pet chewing on the wrong things. Now, you can take this a step further by “teaching” the dog to learn which items are okay for chewing and which items are not. If you see your pet attempting to chew a shoe or the leg of your side table, take away the object or move your dog away from the furniture.
Show your dog the chew toys that you have provided and be ready to provide praises when you see your pet chewing on it. Eventually, you will notice that your dog is choosing to chew on the provided dog toy rather than on other items in the house.
Tire your dog out
Playing with your pet is not just a good way to establish a bond. It also uses up your pet’s extra energy. A tired dog is less likely to chew up your furniture. Go for regular runs or spend a few minutes at the dog park. By letting your pet run around, you will notice that he or she will be too tired to chew on your favorite shoe when you get home.
Chewing on items is something that your dog won’t be able to help doing. But by following these simple steps, you can train your dogs to stay away from the items in your home that you don’t want to get chewed up. In a few months, you’d be able to leave your pet at home and feel confident that you won’t find another chair or shoe destroyed by your pet’s inappropriate chewing.