How to stop a dog from chewing everything

Does this image look familiar? My new dog Clifford recently ate a lounge, his bed, and a bean bag and Blair’s dog ate socks for nearly a year, which brings me to write this today.

Exhibit A. Clifford

How to stop dogs from chewing everything can be a large task made up of multiple steps and factors. Some dogs won’t stop chewing shoes, some dogs chew furniture, whatever the chewing problem, it can be and should be corrected because chewing EVERYTHING can be quite dangerous. To first understand how to stop your dog from chewing everything, you’ll need to ask yourself:

“WHY does my dog chew everything?”

Scenario 1. Your dog loves you too much

Your shoes, socks and undies are so enticing for your dog. They’re mouth-sized, chewy and they smell just like their favourite person in the world. You!

Give your dog plenty of time with you. Make sure you and the whole family are vigilant about picking your clothes and shoes up. Give your dog plenty of his own things to chew, making sure they don’t resemble shoes or clothes!

Scenario 2. Your dog is lonely

If you’re at work while your dog is home alone all day, he’s probably going to get lonely. If you had no one to talk to and not much to do 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, you’d be lonely too.

Doggy playdates with a neighbour’s or friend’s dog are an excellent way to give your dog a buddy. Swap yards for a day so the dogs can keep each other company. You could also consider adopting another dog of your own, or perhaps hiring a mid-day dog walker to visit and occupy your dog for a while, or enrolling in Doggy Daycare.

Scenario 3. Your dog is teething

Puppies generally start losing their milk teeth at 4 months of age. As their adult teeth grow, they will have sore, swollen gums just like when human babies grow teeth. Chewing greatly relieves the pain of teething, which can last until a dog is 8 months old.

Chewy teething toys like rubber balls, ropes, and long lasting chews will help to relieve your dog’s teething pain. Kong makes a variety of cool, tough, rubber chew toys which are perfect for teething. A combination of edible and inedible chews are a great way to mix it up for your dog. Love’em liver chews are healthy and last for up to 30 mins depending on your dog’s chew strength, and Tasty Bones can last for months!

Exhibit B. Liver chews

Scenario 4. It’s fun!

Dogs use their mouth to explore their environment. Just like how humans will pick up things to have a look at them, dogs will pick up things that are lying around- It’s exciting to investigate new things!

Provide lots of appropriate toys for your dog to play with, chew and investigate! If your dog enjoys sniffing around and finding things on the floor, you could try a Kong Ball or Wobbler. There are loads of interactive dog toys available which serve different purposes and styles of play- try a few. But if your dog’s not allowed to touch kid’s toys or shoes, make sure your chosen dog toys don’t resemble those items. Our love’em squeaky ball is an absolute hit!

Exhibit C. love’em squeaky ball

Scenario 5. Your dog has separation anxiety

Like humans, dogs can get anxious. When left alone, some dogs become distressed which can lead to problem behaviours such as barking, chewing or digging.

Adaptil diffusers and collars use pheromones to help to soothe your anxious dog in times that can be stressful like being home alone, or during thunder storms. Try leaving the radio on during the day so that your dog can hear human voices and music. For chewy dogs, give long-lasting activities which will serve as a preoccupier to keep your dog’s mind and mouth busy. Love’em liver chews, deer antlers or goats horns are some examples of treats which last a long time, depending on your dog’s chew-power. Provide a safe space for him too where he can feel secure and protected until you arrive home again, such as a crate or a nice kennel. If your dog is a furniture chewer you can try a natural anti-chew spray.

Exhibit D. Snuffle Mats

Scenario 6. Your dog has a medical problem

It’s important to take your dog for regular check-ups and to explain if there’s any chewing or other behavioural issues. Occasionally dogs can develop impacted teeth or cysts which can cause mouth pain, leading to excessive chewing. It’s best to get these ruled out if chewing is a persistent problem.

Scenario 7. Your dog is full of pent-up energy

Lack of daily exercise will result in your dog using their energy on alternative activities to occupy themselves, often in naughty ways.

There are so many amazing high-energy products for dogs that will work out that pent-up energy! iFetch is an automatic ball thrower which can keep your dog busy for hours if they love playing with balls. The Aussie Dog Home Alone is a ball on a bungee rope, perfect for those who love to jump and play tug of war. Puzzle feeders and snuffle mats will keep your dog foraging until they work out how to retrieve all of their food. Or just a simple Kong original can keep your dog chewing all day. Make sure you give plenty of exercise to high-energy dogs, morning walks can help to wear their energy down for a more relaxed day.

Exhibit E. Kong Wobbler

Scenario 8. It’s boooring at home

Perhaps your dog doesn’t have enough things to do or they’re sick of the toys they have.

Try rotating their toys- put half away for a week, and then swap them out. Your dog will be surprised to have some “new” toys every week. Or you can go a step further and get some new toys delivered. Pet Circle’s Curious Box is full of playful AND delicious suprises to keep your dog happy and inquisitive and they’re under $30 for a box! Puzzle toys full of delicious love’em treats are always a winner. Love’em puppy rewards fit into just about every treat dispenser and are 100% healthy and natural to ensure your dog isn’t snacking on junk food.

Exhibit F. Kong classic with love’em puppy rewards

Our favourite chew-stopping products:

 

-written by Tarryn Marshall

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