I have a large dog who has always enjoyed chewing, so I’ve tried everything but nothing seems to work! What can I do to stop her chewing everything she shouldn’t?
A dog that is experiencing separation anxiety may chew out of frustration or boredom, so it’s worth trying to keep your pooch occupied when you’re not around. Some toys can be filled with treats and frozen for a delicious distraction! It may also help if you exercise your dog before leaving him alone for any length of time.
There’s nothing worse than watching your favorite pair of shoes, tv remote, or that expensive showerhead get reduced to rubble, or spending hours repairing the damage left behind by your dog’s naughty chewing habits. So what can you do to stop this destruction?
Here our canine behavior expert gives her top tips on how to prevent that guilty look in your pet’s eyes when they’ve chewed up something that doesn’t belong to them.
Chewing is often an issue with puppies too, so getting some obedience training at this early stage can pay dividends later on! You could also invest in tasty chews, such as pigs ears which are great for keeping their teeth clean while they gnaw on them.
And finally, it might seem obvious, but the best way to prevent unwanted chewing is to make sure your dog only has to chew toys, and no shoes or other items that he should not be chewing.
What are the best ways to stop my pet from chewing on everything around the house?
Provide plenty of chew toys
So your dog can’t get his paws on anything else! You could also spray anything you don’t want to be chewed with a bitter apple product or another taste deterrent that will discourage him.
It’s also important to know when to take control of an unwanted behavior before it becomes a habit. If you catch your pet in the act, give them a firm ‘no’ and show them what they should be chewing instead.
Puppies often need guidance about which items are acceptable for play and which are not. Keep the items your puppy should be playing with off the floor in a cupboard or on a high shelf and give him an old shoe or another toy to play with when you’re around to supervise.
Exercise your dog regularly
So he gets all that excess energy out! Dogs will often chew more during their alone time, so spending some quality time together before you leave for work could distract them from chewing. He may just run around like crazy and then collapse into a deep sleep – perfect!
Feed your dog a balanced diet from an early age
Dogs that eat a healthy, nutritious diet are less likely to engage in problem behaviors such as chewing.
A variety of foods containing high levels of nutritional value will ensure your pet is getting all the energy and essential nutrients he or she needs for a happy and healthy life – which you can continue by feeding him other small meals throughout the day.
This way your pet’s appetite should be satisfied, which will make them less likely to feel the need to snack on things around your home.
Give your dog his own room
It sounds obvious, but dogs don’t like feeling isolated and may display destructive behavior if they sense they’re not part of the family pack. Providing comfortable bedding and a nice, warm blanket will encourage your pet to relax and feel more comfortable in his own space.
Restricts certain areas like bathrooms, bedrooms, children’s rooms. Use baby gates to keep your pet in certain parts of the house so they don’t have free roam. Bathroom cabinets are especially tempting for them to find stuff to chew on.
Use air-tight containers for things like shoes, toys, remotes, etc. Dogs can smell just about anything even if it falls behind the furniture.
Train your dog so he understands what is expected of him
If your furry friend knows exactly what you expect of him, he’s less likely to do the opposite! We all know how stubborn pups can be sometimes – but fortunately, there are hundreds of different training techniques for dogs that rely on positive reinforcement.
Training your dog shows them that you’re not just their master; it also helps build trust between the two of you and strengthens the bond that has developed over time. Without knowing any better than chewing up everything she shouldn’t, it’s important to teach her which behavior she should or shouldn’t engage in with some puppy classes.
As soon as your dog starts chewing something they shouldn’t, say ‘leave’ in a sharp voice and then give them one of their own toys. Praise them when they pick up the toy and start to chew on it instead.
Then, take whatever your pet has been chewing out of sight for a while so that he doesn’t have access to anything else of interest! You could also try spraying things you don’t want to be chewed with some bitter apple or taste deterrent product that will discourage your pup from biting onto them.
If you do catch your pet in the act of chewing on something they shouldn’t, tell them ‘no’ and show them what they should be chewing instead.
Dogs that spend lots of time running around when they’re not at home often chew more during their alone time so it’s important to take some quality time with your pup before you head off to work – he may just run around like crazy and then collapse into a deep sleep!