How to Stop Dog Chewing Furniture, Wood and its Paws

How to stop dog from chewing

Both grown up dogs and puppies can chew up anything. They will chew their bed, blankets, carpets, shoes, electrical wires, fences and a lot more. At times this will happen when the dog is left alone. What is the cause of destructive chewing in dogs? We give you the answers to this and suggest various ways on how to stop a dog from chewing.

How to Stop Dog from Chewing

Dogs engage in chewing as a way of exploring their world. It is normal for them to chew as puppies when teething when left alone as well as to vent out pent up energy and emotions. While chewing is normal and okay for your canine, it becomes destructive when the dog chews on the wrong things such as furniture, carpet, clothes or even its body parts such as paws and feet. Learn what the causes of this behavior are below.

Teething in Puppies

Between three and seven months, the discomfort of teething motivates puppies to chew on things. This help in relieving the discomfort that comes with it as well as facilitate teeth removal and adult teeth set eruption.

With this kind of destructive chewing, the duration is short and the habit should stop by six months of age. Guidance is necessary to show the puppies how to chew on the right things.

Inactivity

When dogs lack mental and physical stimulation, they get bored and start looking for fun ways to get themselves entertained. This could lead to destructive chewing. To prevent it, engage your dog in activities such as off-leash play, walking, fetch games and other appropriate dog sports. Mental and physical exercise will go a long way in helping avoid this kind of chewing.

Psychological Problems

Dogs get stressed and frustrated too just like human beings. This is more so in instances where your dog feels it has not been getting enough attention from the owner. They will chew on things around them so they can get attention. Dogs watching other dogs playing while they are held on a leash could get them so excited that they start chewing on the leash. In the same way, dogs will chew on things when left alone out of anxiety or loneliness.

How to Stop Dog From Chewing Everything

Is your canine friend chewing things up and you have no idea how to stop it? Below are different ways on how to stop a dog from chewing furniture, carpets, shoes, couch, cushions, carpets, wires and anything else your dog may be indulging in.

Dog Proof

One of the most significant aspects of behavior change in dogs is a change of environment. Puppy proofing your house will ensure dogs do not engage in destructive chewing. For example, one of the ways on how to stop a dog from chewing shoes is to always keep them in the rack. If you have electric wires hanging loosely, have them secured and out of your dog’s reach. Keep things they are attracted to out of their way.

Chew Toys

These can help curb the inappropriate chewing behavior. Observe your dog and in case there is a specific time they engage in this destructive behavior, offer them a chew toy. Do the same if your dog engages in inappropriate chewing when you are around.

You don’t need to buy a lot of toys. The bluecross.org.uk recommends that you have at least these five toys; kong, pressed rawhide chew, denta rasks, dental chew and rawhide twist to cater for the various chewing needs of your dog.

Dog Repellent Sprays

To stop dogs from chewing on tables, counters, carpets and such things, you could have the areas sprayed with bad tasting sprays. These will help keep the dog away from them. You could use apple spray or get some other brand of dog repellent spray to keep your dog off inappropriate areas. The bad taste on the surfaces will help keep them off.

Exercise

Through chewing, dogs replace endorphins and release pent-up energy. Exercise will help have the same effect where your dog releases energy, gets rid of boredom and keeps him engaged. It will also provide enough physical and mental stimulation for your dog. This will help eliminate inappropriate chewing resulting from inactivity and boredom.

Activity Balls

Activity balls are small balls that have two holes. When placed on a surface and food stuffed through the holes, the dog has to roll the ball over so as to get it. This keeps them engaged and can make for good play. Since they remain occupied for a while, their minds get off inappropriate chewing.

Rewards for Appropriate Chewing

To motivate your dog to chew on the right things, you could offer rewards whenever they engage in appropriate chewing. Praise your dog when you see them engage with chew toys. You could also redirect them to acceptable chews whenever you catch them chewing on prohibited stuff.

See your Vet

In some cases, the only way on how to stop a dog from chewing things is by seeing a behaviorist. This is in cases where the cause of the behavior is things such as separation anxiety. In this case, the intervention of a behaviorist may be necessary to curb it.

How To Stop a Dog from Chewing On Wood Door Frame, Deck, Fence

Although common, dog chewing on wood is not the best thing. Stopping them from chewing wood is important because it breaks easily. It is, therefore, possible for a dog to swallow splinters which could result in perforation of internal organs or obstruction of the digestive system in case larger pieces are swallowed.

In case your dog is chewing pieces of wood in your yard, you will need to collect them and dispose of appropriately. Where they are involved with wood decks or wood piles, cover them up to avoid the behavior. Spraying wood decks, fence and door frames with dog repellents could help stop them too. Where the above alternatives are not possible, keep the dog away from whatever kind of wood they are chewing.

How to Stop Dog From Chewing Paws, Tail, Chewing Nails, Feet

When a dog is chewing on the paws, tails, feet, and nails, it could be as a result of allergic reactions, dry itchy skin as well as parasitic infestations. They could be chewing on their skin so as to get relief from a condition affecting their skin. The condition could also be compulsive. To stop the behavior, ascertain the cause and deal with it. See your vet if you find this difficult to establish.

Additional Tips on How to Stop Dog from Chewing Things Up

In addition to the above measures, here are some additional tips to keep your dog off inappropriate chews:

  • While choosing chew items for your dog, ensure that you pick safe yet tough pieces that can withstand being chewed on without breaking.
  • If you are not supervising your dog and they have a tendency of chewing on things, ensure you do not let them into areas with valuable or dangerous items.
  • Every day ensure your dog engages in some form of exercise and play.
  • Expose your dog to different environments; walk them in the fields, beaches, parks, woods, and pavements too to stimulate different effects.
  • Train your dog on what is acceptable and what is not acceptable for them to chew.

Sources and References

Dr. Winnie
About Dr. Winnie 341 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone

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