It’s perfectly normal for puppies and dogs to chew on objects as they explore the world. For young dogs, it’s a way to relieve pain that might be caused by incoming teeth. For older dogs, it’s a way to keep jaws strong and teeth clean.
But sometimes natural chewing can become destructive for dogs seeking to combat boredom or relieve mild anxiety or frustration. Dogs who chew to relieve the stress of separation anxiety usually only chew when left alone or chew most intensely when left alone.
So what can you do if your best friend’s chewing turns destructive? Puppies and adult dogs should have a variety of appropriate and attractive chew toys. However, just providing the right things to chew isn’t enough to prevent inappropriate chewing. Dogs need to learn what is okay to chew and what is not.
What to Do If Your Dog Is a Destructive Chewer
"Dog-proof" your house. Put valuable objects away until you’re confident that your dog’s chewing behavior is restricted to appropriate items. Keep shoes and clothing in a closed closest, dirty laundry in a hamper and books on shelves. Make it easy for your dog to succeed.
Provide your dog with plenty of his own toys and inedible and edible chew bones. Introduce something new or rotate your dog’s chew toys every couple of days so he doesn’t get bored with the same old toys.
Discourage chewing inappropriate items by spraying them with chewing deterrents.
Do your best to supervise your dog during all waking hours until you feel confident that his chewing behavior is under control.
Provide your dog with plenty of physical exercise (playtime with you and with other dogs) and mental stimulation. If you have to leave your dog alone for more than a short period of time, make sure he gets out for a good play session.
As more Sandy victims are able to move out of New York evacuation shelters, the city is consolidating its housing for families displaced by the storm. That means people—and their pets—must relocate.
An evacuation shelter in Queens was closed this weekend, and its remaining residents and their 51 animals needed to head to another shelter in the Bronx. When the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC requested our help moving these animals, we jumped at the chance.
On Saturday, our responders helped move cats, dogs, birds, turtles (named Ike and Tina) and puppies to their new temporary home in the Bronx.
Keeping families together is what the ASPCA’s response to Sandy is all about, and we are thrilled to have been able to help people stay with their pets at a time when some have lost everything else.
One man at the evacuation shelter told us Sandy had destroyed his home and belongings, but that he still felt blessed because he had his two dogs with him.
“Everything else can be replaced, but I can’t replace my dogs,” he said.
Our response to Sandy is ongoing as affected communities remain devastated. For updates on our work, please check the ASPCA blog and follow the ASPCA on Twitter.
For the thousands of families without power, running water or even homes a week and a half after Superstorm Sandy, the ASPCA can’t unload our pet supply trucks fast enough. Everywhere our trucks stop, we are met by a crowd of needy pet parents who eagerly snap up the supplies before we can pull away to the next distribution point.
Pets are all many families have left, and they are eager to take good care of them in spite of all they’ve lost. To date, we have distributed thousands of pounds of pet food and cat litter to areas of extreme need, and we are ramping up this effort and fielding more requests every day.
If you live far from the affected area, please don’t look away from this catastrophe now. Animals and their pet parents need our help desperately, and we’re working around the clock to meet their needs. To date, we have helped nearly 6,000 animals, and we don’t expect this operation to wind down any time soon.
If you would like to contribute to our disaster relief fund, you can make a gift here. Every cent will go to ASPCA disaster relief efforts.
Of all the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy, Rockaway Beach, Queens, underwent some of the most heartbreaking destruction. For one family in that area, this meant their first-floor apartment flooded to such a great extent that they could no longer open their front door. Luckily, the family is safe, and they managed to rescue their 11-month-old dog Hazel from the floodwaters just in time.
Unfortunately, Hazel’s pet parent, Eddy, has been staying in temporary housing that does not accommodate animals, and he was nearly forced to surrender her to a shelter. That’s when Geoff, a longtime ASPCA photographer and owner of Tischman Pets Photography, stepped in to help. After meeting Hazel and Eddy while on assignment at an evacuation center in Jamaica, Queens, and hearing their story, Geoff volunteered to look after Hazel for as long as necessary.
Despite going through a terrifying time, Hazel is thriving. She has made friends with Geoff’s dog, Baxter, and the two are enjoying playing and taking walks together. When Hazel sleeps in her crate, Baxter sleeps next to her on the rug. We’re so glad that Hazel is safe and sound in her temporary home.