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Why Does My Dog Chew Everything?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 3:30pm

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.

For more information about helping curb your pooch’s chewing habit, please visit our Virtual Pet Behaviorist.

Is your dog a destructive chewer? Tell us in the comments below.

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samntha

Well dogs have to enjoy something would u want ur dog to chew on ur clothes or on a toy.

janet wester

I have a diabetic dog, he is five yrs old, he chews everything, books, trash cans, shoes, and will growl if you try to get them. if you get him a bone he chews it feverishly- I have never seen a dog like this. I do have a pit bull he has chewed all the bark off 2 trees

tj

I'm sorry but this article is a load and of absolutely NO HELP. My house is for the most part dog proofed. I put mm y stuff up all the time, but when an animal goes out of its way to gey a specific item, tgen something wrong. I'm tire if having to buy new glasses, shoes ect. Its mostly my glasses. Abd no chew spray is a joke. I leave plenty if food, water tiys ect. And she even does it when I'm home. So, yeah.

brit

I agree. Ive tried everything and my dog still continues to destroy my house

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