Your new favourite shoes, perhaps it’s your furniture or even (!) potentially toxic items around the home… When you’ve got a dog that wont stop chewing, chances are you’ll be feeling completely infuriated and at your wits end.
So what can you do about it?
Dogs chew love to chew. It’s in their nature, and it’s totally normal behaviour. You cant teach them not to chew but you can support them to chew the RIGHT things.
Lets look at the most common reasons dogs chew & destroy things:
- Boredom or attention seeking behaviour
- Separation anxiety or fear related chewing
- Or perhaps as a youngster they weren’t taught what’s ok to chew on – and what’s not.
Generally, adult dogs chew to engage their minds and to calm themselves and younger dogs chew to relieve the pain in their gums as new teeth break through. For pups, it’s also a matter of curiosity – they explore the world by putting things in their mouth (much like toddlers!)
Psychologically, the act of chewing is calming for dogs. Chewing the right things can help strengthen and clean their teeth and provide an intellectual challenge.
So how should you react when you find that your dog has chewed or destroyed clothing, furniture or anything else unsuitable?
To keep your sanity in tact, follow these steps…
- There is no point losing your temper. Your dog isn’t able to associate your reaction with something they’ve done in the past. If you do get upset you might in fact make the problem worse.
Remember that Nervous dogs tend to chew even more!
2. When and if you do catch your dog in the chewing act – correct the behaviour by redirecting their attention with a light tap and offering them a more appropriate chew toy. Whatever you do, do not chase the dog. You’ll be giving your dog what it wants – which is often FUN and human play time.
3. The most effective way to deal with unwanted chewing is to support their instinct and direct them to something suitable to chew.
4. To help your dog learn the difference between things he should and shouldn’t chew, it’s important to avoid confusing him by offering unwanted household items, like old shoes and discarded
cushions. It isn’t fair to expect your dog to learn that some shoes are okay to chew and others aren’t. Similarly, don’t give them an old milk bottle if you don’t want them rifling through the bin for toys.
4. Give them safe chew toys & make sure that plastic and rubber toys are big enough that your dog can’t swallow them. And if it’s the kind of toy you can hide a treat in, make sure it has holes in both ends so air can flow through.
5. For a cruelty free, long lasting natural chew – try a naturally shed deer antler. Although they might seem expensive, our customers find that our antlers often last 6 months or more – which works out about $2 a week! In addition, they are also packed full of vitamins & minerals.
6. Make sure your dog gets plenty of mental and physical exercise. A bored dog (or one with too much energy) is much more likely to engage in destructive behaviour.
7. As an extra safeguard, consider using a deterrent to discourage your dog from chewing particular items. The following is a list of the top anti chew remedies that help to prevent that your dog from chewing.
- Virbac Anti Chew Spray – supposed to be for use with horses but works well for dogs).
- Tabasco (yup!)
- Vicks Vaporub
And plenty of other deterrent sprays you might find in your local pet store.
If you’re interested in trying an antler for your dog- please visit our links below. We express post every order so you’ll get your antler in a day or two. So you can go back to having a harmonious relationship with your pooch.