At Blitz K9 Club, we understand the frustration and worry that comes with destructive chewing in dogs. Whether it’s your favorite pair of shoes, the sofa, or even your beloved houseplants, a dog’s natural instinct to chew can sometimes lead to unwanted consequences. But fear not! In this blog post, we’ll discuss the reasons behind destructive chewing and provide you with effective strategies to put a stop to it.
How Long Does Destructive Chewing Last?
Dogs chew for a variety of reasons, and it’s important to differentiate between normal, healthy chewing and destructive chewing. While normal chewing helps maintain their dental health and keeps them mentally stimulated, destructive chewing is often a sign of boredom, anxiety, or a need for attention.
1. Boredom: Dogs with excess energy or insufficient mental stimulation may resort to destructive chewing to pass the time.
2. Anxiety: Separation anxiety or other stressors can lead to chewing as a coping mechanism.
3. Teething: Puppies, in particular, chew as they go through the teething phase to alleviate discomfort.
4. Attention-seeking: Some dogs chew to gain your attention, especially if they feel neglected.
How Do I Stop Destructive Chewing
1. Provide Appropriate Chew Toys:
Make sure your dog has access to a variety of safe and durable chew toys. Encourage them to chew on these toys rather than household items. Interactive toys or treat-dispensing toys can be particularly engaging.
2. Exercise & Mental Stimulation:
Regular exercise and mental stimulation are essential for keeping your dog’s mind and body active. Long walks, playtime, and puzzle toys can help reduce boredom.
3. Training & Positive Reinforcement:
Train your dog to understand which items are off-limits. Use positive reinforcement and reward good behavior. If they chew an appropriate toy, offer praise and a treat.
4. Crate Training:
If your dog chews while you’re away, consider crate training. A crate can provide a secure and comfortable environment, preventing access to items they might chew.
5. Address Separation Anxiety:
If your dog chews due to separation anxiety, consult a professional trainer or behaviorist. Gradual desensitization and counter-conditioning can help ease their anxiety.
If you have a teething puppy, remove valuable or dangerous items from their reach. Puppy-proof your home and provide teething toys.
7. Consult a Veterinarian:
Sometimes, destructive chewing can be a result of dental issues or health problems. If the behavior persists, consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
8. Use Bitter Apple or Deterrent Sprays:
Apply bitter apple or other pet-safe deterrent sprays to items you want to protect. These sprays have a taste dogs dislike, which can deter chewing.
Dog Obedience, Socialization & Behavioral Training in Royal Oak, Bloomfield Hills, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Pontiac, Commerce Township and other areas within an hour of our home base of Waterford, Michigan
Destructive chewing in dogs can be a challenging issue, but with patience, consistency, and the right approach, you can help your furry friend overcome this behavior. Remember that every dog is unique, so it may take some trial and error to find the most effective strategies for your specific situation. At Blitz K9 Club, we’re here to support you on your journey to a well-behaved and happy canine companion. Our professional Dog Trainers, Behaviorists and Pet Therapists can use their skills to train your dog to be a wonderful part of your family. Call us today!