Dog Chewing. Now, this question from a customer really got us thinking - why do dogs chew everything? This question may not be relevant to every dog but it's most likely that a dog will chew something at their puppy stages, but why do they do it? This is what we'll be answering today, read this to find out how to stop dog chewing...
Whether it's a pair of your favourite slippers or a newspaper, you may know this dog chewing scenario - coming home from work, going upstairs to finish a bit of ironing and coming back to find bits scattered all over the floor, or even in worst case, them doing it right in-front of your eyes!
It's annoying and may drive you mad, especially if it happens on the daily.
So why do they do it and how can we stop them from doing it?
Your first action may be to shout or be upset with them, but it's important you don't as this could be the reason they do it in the first place.
Dogs, for many obvious reasons, don't like being left on their own, this may cause them to be anxious and upset, so will play up, a little bit like a child.
When their owner is absent they'll show a 'damaging' behaviour to get your attention, as they know it works for them.
Unfortunately dog chewing is natural
They want to explore, and will use their sigh, sound, smell and you guessed it, taste to do so.
The best way to compare it is to our hands, so they don't always want to destroy, just 'explore'.
Though these aren't all the reasons. Puppies will normally chew stuff from three to six months old as they 'teeth', and older dogs are normally just playing.
The best thing to do is find out where the problem starts, what's making them perform this behaviour? If it's got a a really bad point where you need to sort it our with a professional, it's best to do so.
If you visit your vet or local canine specialist you might be able to find a source.
If you have a young pup or early adult dog the biggest reason will be to do with their age, so they'll be playing and investigating.
Before seeing a specialist you might be able to do it on your own, but this system is still great if you're seeing someone, keeping a 'diary'.
If you write out a 'diary' for a week or so and talk about what they chewed, when they chewed it, how long you where out the room for etc, so you can detect any common patterns or behaviours.
You could also use a camera you can set up such as a baby monitor or phone so you can see them while you're not there.
So, how do you treat dog chewing when you've found the problem?
The best place to start is the interaction they're getting while you're there, making sure they have enough exercise in their system, they've had lots of social interaction and they've had enough opportunity to do what they want while you're around.
The next thing to do is leave them with plenty of toys, try and find some that all have different shapes, textures, scents and more so they don't get bored and they'll actually be interested in them.
Some dogs will prefer indestructible toys, where as others will want toys they can shred to piece, thee are normally the really cheap ones you don't mind them ripping to shreds.
To keep them interested in a toy for a long time why not coat it in peanut butter or stuff it with treats to keep them occupied for longer. You might find that a food puzzle works also.
If your dog has lots of toys in particular, don't let them have them all at once, try and keep a 'stash' hidden away so that when all of the current ones are done with they'll be excited with a new toy.
If you find that this still isn't working and you're really not sure what to do, it's best to speak to your vet or local canine specialist about dog chewing.
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