Tips To Stop Your Dog Chewing

For most dog owners, a welcome home at night means tail wagging, not finding out that your dog has been busy chewing the furniture or your shoes. It's so easy to shout and reprimand them, but in the long run, that won't change things. The first thing is to find out why is your dog chewing?

Why do dogs chew?

Puppies tend to chew anything. It's one way for them to learn, just like a human baby, and just like a baby, they teethe. Puppies will relieve the pain of this by chewing on things.

In older dogs you may need to look a bit deeper. If they're being left alone all day, they may be suffering from anxiety separation, or they may quite simply be bored. Imagine how you'd feel stuck inside all day with nothing to occupy you.

What can you do?

If your puppy is chewing because he's teething, leave him some chew toys so he can chew on those. If you see him going to chew on something he shouldn't, say 'no' and offer him the  toy. Puppies are quick learners, but you do need to put the time in to training them.

If your dog is left at home all day, try to play with him before you leave, or if you can, call home at lunchtime to see him. This will work for both anxiety separation and for boredom, as he will soon realise that you'll be back before too long.  Leave plenty of different toys around while you're not there, and you could even leave the television on.  Some dogs do feel comforted when they hear a human voice.

Some dogs chew simply because they want some attention. If you're working all day and watching television all night, they may start chewing, because they know they'll get a reaction out of you. You should always find time to walk or play with your dog, and when you do you might find you benefit too. 

What should you use?

When leaving toys for your dog to chew on, make sure to get ones that will keep them occupied for a while. Dog toys may not be very tough and are not designed for sharp teeth to gnaw on. Chew toys are tougher and will last longer. If you're not sure, your local pet shop will be able to tell you the best things to get.

Leaving treats to chew on will only occupy them for the time it takes them to eat them, which with most dogs, isn't that long. The odd treat will help to alleviate some boredom, but don't rely on these to solve the problem. Hiding them can keep your dog busy while he tries to find them, but don't put them anywhere too inaccessible.

You may have to spend some time with your dog while you train them not to chew, but this is great bonding time. While they're being trained though, you may want to put certain items out of their reach, and hide your shoes!

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