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Destructive chewing, however, upsets some pet owners. Puppies can destroy your shoes, or they can take a “taste” from your TV’s remote. But you should know that puppies target objects that smell like familiar people, that make them feel closer to them and help them banish their sadness. So, you could take this as a compliment.
You can’t stop your dog from chewing because it’s part of its normal dog behavior. Dogs do not eat up your precious goods because they are angry with you. They instinctively use their teeth, just as human babies discover the world with their tiny hands. Your puppy chews to explore the world, manipulate objects, soothe its boredom, or simply because it makes it feel good.
Of course, chewing gets the puppies into trouble when they are not provided with the right things to chew, and forbidden objects are left within their reach.
If your puppy eats electrical wires, eats some toxic plants, or swallows small dangerous objects, these actions can cause damage to the teeth, burns, electrocution, and even choking, which can be very dangerous.
Tooth eruption is a time when dogs are more likely to chew in order to soothe inflamed gums, but the habit continues until adulthood in some dogs.
Why do dogs chew?
There are several reasons why dogs chew all sorts of things:
- their teeth grow
- they’re stressed
- they get bored
- they’re nervous
- they feel the need to just chew something
- they have a dental problem (caries, gingivitis)
Small dogs, and I mean puppies, feel the need to gnaw because they grow their teeth. In puppies, this is normal during the change of teeth. Changing teeth irritates the gum and if they are not supervised, they will chew on everything around the house. They must always have chew toys, bones, and balls.
Some dogs gnaw because they have a toothache. An inflamed tooth can cause pain and the quadruped will feel the need to chew.
A dog does not know the difference between a new object and an old one. It does not know the difference between an object it is allowed to chew on and an object it is not allowed to, but it can learn!
If they are left alone for too long, they get bored and this is how they know to consume their energy. The owner’s departures and arrivals are emotional, as are the punishments sending the pet to another room or the changes in the meal schedules.
Some breeds are more prone to chewing than others. Hunting breeds such as Labrador, Golden Retriever, Spaniels, or Afghans while hunting had to catch the prey with their mouths and bring it in, so they have a formed habit of always holding something between their jaws.
Never scold or punish your dog physically. This only increases its anxiety and causes it to chew more.
Do not try to stop this habit. Instead, you can prevent the puppy’s chewing problems by removing the forbidden temptations and offering better options.
Here are some tips to manage your puppy’s habit of chewing:
Make your home a safe territory for your dog
Owning a puppy forces us to become more orderly. Keep tempting things like shoes, bags, napkins, or children’s favorite stuffed toys away from the puppy.
Keep the puppy in a safe space
If you can’t keep an eye on your dog, it’s best to provide a room without dangerous or forbidden temptations. Safety gates for babies are also very good to delineate the space for the puppy and block its exit to a hallway, stairs, or other rooms.
Products that have a bad taste or smell can keep the puppy’s teeth away. They can be applied to electrical cables to teach the puppy not to touch dangerous objects. Many puppies find these repellent smells very unpleasant. Apply them on wooden surfaces or pieces of cloth with which you can wrap the forbidden objects that the puppy is targeting.
Don’t confuse your puppy
Dogs can’t tell the difference between your expensive sandals and an old slipper. It is best not to offer them objects that can be confused with the forbidden ones.
Make a deal with the puppy
Chasing a puppy to recover your stolen wallet can be a super fun game for the puppy, and can teach the puppy to turn the situation into a marathon. So, when you catch it chewing forbidden objects, first say “no.” Then offer it a permissible, irresistible toy to chew as a mutually beneficial exchange.
Give them interactive toys
Rubber chew toys with openings to be filled with various healthy rewards will keep the puppy busy and interested. Some even smell like peanut butter to make them even more appealing. These toys can be filled with various snacks intended for puppies.
Give it some things to chew on
There are various shapes and sizes of toys made of unabated leather or other objects intended to be gnawed by puppies. They come with a variety of smells and flavors.
Toys made of unabated skin can be soaked in warm water and then kept for 10 seconds in the microwave so that the slightly soaked skin can be chewed by very small puppies. However, it is recommended to supervise this fun activity.
Larger puppies will tear and swallow pieces of the chewing toys. However, eating too much unabated skin can spoil their appetite, and worse, cause constipation or even blockages.
Change the toys
Puppies get bored if they have the same toy every day. Offer at least 5 different toys to chew, and don’t give them all at once, but rotate them a few times a week. This will keep the puppy happy, your precious things will remain untouched, and your puppy will be safe.
How to train your dog not to chew
You need to teach your puppy to ignore objects that are not allowed to be chewed. Put the puppy on the floor among tempting things and chew toys and pretend not to pay attention to it. If the quadruped chooses an object that it is not allowed to gnaw on, correct it with a firm “No!”. If it starts to chew the toy, don’t forget to reward it with a “good boy”.
Step two is to ignore it for 5 minutes and if it is going to chew what it shouldn’t, distract it and give it the chew toy. In time, it will learn to chew only its toys. Make sure you have access to these toys.
Encourage it positively to gnaw only on the things that belong to it.
It’s hard to get a dog to stop chewing on things while its teeth are growing, so all you can do is reduce this activity as much as possible. It’s time to get many toys and fill yourself with patience.
Don’t even joke about giving your old shoes up for chewing. It won’t make any difference between them and the new ones, and you may have surprises the next day when you get home from work.
When your dog is left alone, give it toys that stimulate its brain, such as those that can be filled with delicious snacks, and your dog must strive to reach to the content. A dog worked hard enough will get tired and then rest.
Dogs don’t chew to hurt. That’s their instinct. You must teach them what is allowed to chew and what is not. Every dog should have at least 10 toys that can be rotated, to keep it occupied.
To stop eating things around the house, get your dog out, moving to consume its energy. Make sure it has access to chewing toys if it feels the need to, and that it does not stay alone for long to get bored.
If you have a job where you work all day, and your dog stays at home all the time, it’s normal for it to get bored. A dog is an animal that socializes in a pack. It feels the need to run, to chew, to bark. If you want something nice in the apartment without responsibilities take it to a yard and buy a plant.