The Whys and Hows of Stopping a Problem with Chewing
At some point of owning our friend we will walk through the door to what looks like mass destruction of toys, slippers, their bed, you name it – they’ll chew it. Although our dogs make great use of their vision and sense of smell, unfortunately one of their favourite ways of taking in information is through their mouths.
Fortunately for you and me, chewing can be deflected onto appropriate items such as Kong Chew Toys, rather than your favourite Persian rug. It’s only until he/she has learnt what he can and cannot chew that all peace will be restored into your home. This means you need to manage the situation as much as possible and keep on top of the situation to make sure he/she doesn’t have the opportunity to chew on unacceptable objects.
Why Dogs Chew
Much like babies and toddlers, puppies explore the world by putting things in their mouths. And much like babies they also teethe for around 6 months, causing their teeth and gums much pain and discomfort. Chewing objects not only soothes their gums, but it also facilitates teething.
It’s not only puppies that partake in chewing though, our adult dogs will also engage in destructive chewing for a number of reasons. Before you can start and deal with the problem, you must first determine why your dog is chewing. Plus, you must always keep in mind that your dog isn’t destroying things to spite you. Here’s a few possible reasons as to why your dog is destroying things:
He/she is bored
He/she wants attention
As a puppy, he/she wasn’t taught what he can and can’t chew
His/her behaviour is fear related
He/she suffers from separation anxiety
Note: For the fear and separation anxiety you will be best to consult a professional.
What To Do
Take Responsibility. If you don’t want it in your dogs mouth, don’t make it available for them to pick up. Items left lying around in the reach of your pet will be picked up and chewed.
Give them Toys. Giving them toys may sound like you are giving them rewards/treats, but its not. If you give them toys that aren’t easy to distinguish between household items and toys, that shoe you’ve handed them as a toy, looks the same as the sock on your foot – they can’t distinguish between the two.
Supervision. Supervise your dog until he/she learns the house rules. Leaving your dog to have free run of your house is asking for trouble and will lead to items getting destroyed. If you have a dog-safe room, provide water and toys. If your dog is crate trained, you may also want to leave him/her in the crate for short