Is your pooch a little Chewbacca? Meaning they chew everything from your favorite pair of shoes to those beautiful throw pillows you just got at Target?
Well, worry not. There is a solution for your dog’s nasty chewing habits. Whether they confuse your sneakers for a treat, or protest by destroying your sofa, stopping a dog from chewing is easy with the right technique.
But, before you learn how to stop a dog from chewing everything you own, you’ll need to start from the basics.
Why Do Dogs Chew On Things
The answer to this questions depends on the dog who is doing the chewing. The three most common reasons your stuff is being destroyed are:
For dogs who are still young and growing, it’s a natural behavior. Puppies love exploring everything, and they usually do that by sniffing, licking and chewing objects.
However, problems can start when your fur baby decides your beautiful wooden furniture or the new carpet are the things they want to nibble on. Of course, it doesn’t help if they’re teething as well as gnawing on everything they can get their paws on helps relieve their pain.
On the other hand, if you have an older dog that suddenly starts chewing or chews things when you’re not at home, chances are that it might not be normal, puppy chewing, but a clear-cut destructive behavior. Whenever your dog is anxious or bored, they might be channeling that energy into chewing.
Why Do Puppies Chew Things
There is no doubt that puppies are tiny bundles of enormous cuteness, but, when it comes to training, you will definitely have your hands full. From excessive barking to doing their business on your bed, trouble can sometimes seem to follow your adorable pup. Add chewing to the mix, and you’ll spend all your free time learning how to discipline a puppy and not go crazy at the same time.
Puppy chewing is often caused by the fact that either their baby teeth are erupting, or they are being replaced by permanent teeth. The tiny, needle-like teeth erupt when your pooch is around 3 to 8 weeks old, and just when you get used to scratches from nipping, they start teething again. Dogs stop teething when they are around 4 to 6 months old when all of their milk teeth are replaced by adult ones.
How to Stop a Puppy from Chewing
Considering that your puppy is chewing things mostly because their gums are inflamed from teething, the best way to get them to stop ruining your belongings is to redirect their interest to something else.
Let’s face it, there might be no realistic way to completely stopping a puppy from chewing. But what you can do is get them some dog chew toys that will provide a more welcome gnaw target than your slippers or wood trims.
When your puppy chews something they’re not supposed to, scold them and take the object away, replacing it with their toy. This helps them learn that only toys are for chewing and that everything else is off limits!
How to Not Punish a Dog for Chewing
When your dog chews everything, it’s not only exasperating. It can also be quite dangerous, especially if your pooch has a penchant for nibbling on electric cables, or tends to swallow the things they chew up. Bits and pieces from socks, shoes or wood can cause many serious problems, like blockages or perforation of the intestines.
So, both for their safety and your own peace of mind, it’s essential to prevent dogs from chewing. However, negative punishments, such as spanking or hitting your dog might only make matters worse and make your pooch become even more destructive.
Instead, punish your dog for chewing by scolding them and confiscating whatever they were nibbling on. Offer toys or chewing treats as a substitute that will keep them busy for hours on end. This will teach your dog that they should chew on only what they are allowed to, and help them satisfy their urge for chomping.
Why Does My Dog Chew Things When I Leave The House?
Does this sound familiar? Every time you go to work, you come back to feathery remains of pillows, gnawed table legs or your favorite pair of heels ruined by bite marks. Almost every dog parent has been where you are. And each one of us gave up on being angry as soon we saw their adorable guilty faces, too.
However, having your dog chewing everything while you’re away is not just frustrating. It could be a sign of a more serious affliction, such as your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. Dogs who are stressed or agitated when left alone are more likely to chew furniture or shoes as a way of relieving anxiety.
So, how can you help your dog feel better when you’re not there and save your valuables from destruction at the same time?
How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Chewing Shoes?
As I’ve already mentioned, there are different reasons why dogs chew everything, and, therefore, different methods to stop dogs from chewing.
If your dog chews on wood trims, gnaws dirty socks or phone chargers, it’s highly likely they are bored. Your four-legged baby is active and energetic, and if that energy is not spent productively, it’s redirected into destructive behavior patterns. Here is how to stop a bored dog from chewing:
- Daily exercise helps tire out your dog and offers mental stimulation as well. If your dog chews the carpet when they’re bored, a little physical activity will make them steer clear of your precious rug!
- Engaging playtime, either outside or indoors, burns excess energy and satisfies your furball’s need for companionship. Therefore, there will be no need for them to munch on your shoes!
In case your dog suffers from separation anxiety and starts chewing as soon as you leave the room, here’s what to do:
- Use a pet camera to remotely monitor their behavior and prevent them from destructive activities while you’re away.
- Create a safe space for your dog. It can be a crate, a cozy corner of the room or an indoor dog house. The choice is yours, as long as it’s a spot where they can find safety and comfort while alone, your dog will appreciate it.
Of course, in both cases, having the right supplies will make the whole process much easier.
Supplies to Stop Your Dog from Chewing
It’s safe to say that every dog on the planet loves chewing. The trick is to get them to chew only things you want them to… And not go roaming in your laundry hamper in search of chewing material.
So, how do you stop a dog from chewing your leather shoes or expensive furniture?
One obvious fix: offer them something better!
Sure, dirty socks and wooden chairs have tempted many a dog. But, when choosing between a tasty treat and your furniture, the choice is clear. Try treats such as dried pig ears, raw beef bones, or bully sticks. The taste and chewiness of these treats will keep your pooch away from your shoe collection and living room décor.
Dog Chew Toys
The same goes for toys. There are many different options available on the market, from smart puzzles and rubber bones to flavored chew toys. Pick one that your dog won’t destroy easily and enjoy having them occupied for hours on end.
Sometimes, dog chewing deterrents help to stop a dog from chewing. Use deterrent spray to stop your dog from chewing on shoes or furniture. In no time, they’ll steer clear of anything you’ve sprayed.
There are even various home remedies to stop your dog from chewing on furniture. In most cases, these DIY remedies are deterrent sprays made from apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. These natural ingredients won’t harm your pooch, but will keep them away from the furniture you’ve sprayed with these mixtures.
For dogs who struggle with being left alone, and chew as a way to relieve stress, a pet camera can be the only thing that actually works.
Using a Petcube Pet Camera to Stop a Dog From Chewing
Pet cameras such as Petcube Play or Petcube Bites offer you the possibility to monitor your dog’s activities when they are alone and put them at ease with your voice or treats. These pet cameras also offer the option of setting alarms that are activated by motion or sound, so you’ll be able to catch your pooch in action.
As soon as you notice your pooch has started munching on something they weren’t supposed to, use a vocal command to interrupt them. The two-way audio allows you to communicate with your dog even when you’re away. To make things even better, with Petcube Play, you can also redirect their attention from your pillows or shoes to a remotely controlled laser dot.
In case your pooch is motivated by yummy treats (let’s be fair, who isn’t?), you can reward them with Petcube Bites pet camera with treat dispenser, and give them something tasty to chew on, instead of your furniture!
Remember, even if you’re convinced that your dog is eventually going to chew everything you own, there is a way to help the overcome this destructive habit. With a little patience, a lot of love and some supplies, your pooch will learn the difference between a chewy treat and a pair of high heels!