How To Stop Destructive Chewing Once And For All
Having a dog is a wonderful experience that can really enrich your life. However, most owners forget that not everything is fun and games when you are responsible for another living being. There are numerous canine behaviors that can be maddening, but the good news is that most of them can be fixed with an appropriate approach and some patience.
Destructive chewing is one the most annoying canine habits. For owners, it often feels like dogs are punishing them for something. If that’s how you feel, don’t worry. The situation is not that dramatic. There are many reasons why a dog can become a destructive chewer. The most important thing to know is that this bad behavior can be easily rectified, you just have to discover its trigger.
One of the most common causes of destructive chewing is a lack of exercise. Dogs are active creatures (most of them) and they need their daily share of physical activity to be calm in the house. Even if your four-legged friend isn’t on the bouncy side, they will still need to go outside and stretch their paws. When you don’t have the time to walk them properly, they will have a lot of unused energy and this is where the problems start.
You should take notice of your dog’s proneness toward destructive chewing early on so that you would be able to face the problem right away. If you see them chewing on your shoes or anything else in the house, take them out for a run or an active walk. By the time you’re back, your pooch will be too tired to chew on anything that’s not food.
Better safe than sorry is another saying to live by when destructive chewing is involved because you can prevent this behavior if you take some precautionary measures and dog-proof your home. Your dog’s environment is very important and you can control their destructive behavior if you, for example, hide your shoes from them (though they are smart and will often find them even when they’re hidden). If you’re dealing with a puppy, then definitely put them in a crate whenever you’re not there to supervise their behavior. Dogs require a significant amount of management until they learn what they can and can’t do, so this is the only way to stop unwanted behavior.
Chew toys are the most obvious solution for destructive chewing, though they aren’t always as effective as we want them to be. When you see that your pooch is up to no good (eyeing your new shoes), the best thing to do is to interrupt them immediately and show them their chew toys. Kong toys are a great way to distract your dog away from household objects you don’t want them to destroy.
Using non-toxic and bad tasting sprays will make your life easier because you won’t have to watch your dog’s every step. If you want to keep your pet away from a particular item, whether we’re talking about your favorite chair or your clothes, you can always use repellents. All you need to do is spray the surfaces your dog likes to chew on and let them and their nose learn the lesson.
Destructive chewing can also be a symptom of separation anxiety, which should never be taken lightly. If your dog regularly makes a mess of your home while you’re away, then chances are that you’ve got an anxious dog on your hands. If your dog doesn’t like being home alone, consider hiring a dog walker or maybe having one of your neighbors check up on them once or twice a day. Also, paying a visit to the vet is a good idea, as they can give you tips on how to handle your dog’s anxiety.
Destructive chewing is not a huge issue, but it needs to be handled properly; otherwise, it will become a problem for the both of you. Many dogs chew on anything out of sheer boredom, but that doesn’t make it any less destructive. Just remember to be gentle and patient with your pet, exercise them regularly and talk to your vet if you need additional advice on how to stop destructive chewing.