Are you struggling with your dog chewing up all of your possessions? Not sure why they're doing it or how to get them to stop? Our vets in Snellville offer some tips on how to stop your dog from chewing everything!
Dog Psychology 101
Similar to human infants, puppies use their mouths to explore the world. This can lead them to eating almost anything they come across, from paper, sticks and smelly old shoes to toxic plants, furniture and that new bag you bought!
You might be surprised to learn that dogs don’t chew our things to spite us, but they do love scents that remind them of their owners, which makes clothes and shoes enticing to them. Puppies also live moment to moment, so they probably won't understand that your anger is connected to the item they chewed.
This is why it's important for owners to know the common reasons for their dogs chewing things, and how they can prevent it.
Reasons Your Dog Chews
Your dog might be chewing things due to:
- Lack of training
- Natural instinct
- Seeking attention
- Attempting relieve anxiety or fear
How to Stop a Dog From Chewing
Dogs do not understand right from wrong. Being angry or disciplining them after the fact (i.e., if they chew up your headphones) won't always make sense to them. A dog won’t understand or change their behavior after being punished. So don’t scold, muzzle or spank them. Try these methods instead:
Keep Valuables Tucked Away
Got some new sneakers or stiletto heels you’d rather keep free from your dog’s chompers? Place them high on a shelf, or in another place they can’t reach.
Training & Supervision
For puppies, close supervision at home is key as they learn good habits and what not to do.
Exercise & Stimulation
Pet parents will learn early on that a tired puppy or dog is a happy one. Learn your pup’s energy levels and needs, then tailor exercise and playtime to him. Use 20 to 30 minutes of daily aerobic exercise as a rule of thumb, unless your vet discovers a medical issue that prevents this.
How Your Vet Can Help
Fortunately, excessive dog chewing behavior dwindles by around 18 months of age for most, but will likely continue to some degree, depending on your dog’s breed and other factors, for their entire life. If you see excessive chewing, consult your veterinarian. They can:
- Check for medical reasons your dog might be chewing and provide treatment
- Advise whether you should let certain items pass, when your dog needs to come in for an exam and when you should induce vomiting if he or she has chewed an inappropriate item
- Provide advice and pointers for modifying your dog’s behavior
- Suggest appropriate chew toys, treats, deterrents or training methods
At Snellville Animal Hospital, we can perform a full health checkup and provide advice on how to solve this frustrating problem.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.