A common issue that dog owners run into with both puppies and older dogs is constant chewing! And of course, it is not chewing on the approved chew toys, but rather our shoes and other belongings.
Here are a few suggestions for how to reduce chewing:
Dogs that resort to chewing on things (outside of teething puppies), chew because they are bored. If they are bored it is because they are not getting enough exercise or are not mentally stimulated. If you notice your dog has taken to chewing on things, take them on an extra-long walk in the evening when you get back from work. If you are a runner, consider having a partner once in a while. There are a lot of dogs that enjoy running occasionally and it is great exercise for them. Just like with humans, it helps with their mental health. If you’re too busy, hire a dog walker or send them to dog daycare to burn off some off that energy.
2: Correct their behavior
Whenever you catch them in the act, make sure to correct their behavior right away. This may not always be possible as they may do the chewing while they are out of sight or while you are out. Get them to drop the object they are chewing on and give it to you. By taking ownership of the object, you are showing them that it is not theirs to chew on. If you don’t catch them in the act, don’t correct them because they won’t understand why they’re being corrected.
3: Appropriate toys
If you give your dog shoe toys or toys that resemble actual household items, is it really that surprising when they start to chew on those actual items? Encourage chewing on only appropriate toys – preferably ones that don’t resemble your expensive footwear. Smoked beef knucklebones are the favorite at Patrick’s Pet Care and can be ordered through our local partners, The Big Bad Woof.
4: Anti-chewing spray
There are several different sprays that you can buy or make to discourage chewing. An easy DIY spray is apple cider vinegar and water. It won’t damage your items but does smell and taste awful to dogs.
5: Put things away
One of the biggest ways to prevent your dog from chewing on things in your home is to clean them up. Don’t leave shoes on the floor if your dog has previously chewed on your shoes. Gate off areas that they get into when they are left alone.
At Patrick’s Pet Care, we know how frustrating it can be when your dog continuously gets into things and exhibit destructive chewing. If all else fails, bring your dog in for a training class so we can work together to find ways to keep them from chewing on your things.