You come home to a happy home, with a fur-baby waggling her tail. You have the biggest smile on your face but then it turns into a frown. You see the sight of your slippers in bits and pieces inside your house. Does this situation sound familiar to you?
REALLY, WHY DO DOGS CHEW?
For most pet parents, they think only puppies chew. But really, all dogs chew no matter their age because chewing is a natural dog behavior (unless, of course, it gets very destructive already). Dogs chew for certain reasons:
- Separation anxiety. A number of dogs engage in chewing because of separation anxiety. Separation anxiety happens when a fur-baby is left alone at home. It's good to know more about this one cause of concern for pet parents here.
- Boredom. This is also one of the most common causes of why dogs chew. Chewing is your fur-baby's outlet to oppose her boredom or show you that she is bored.
- Teething. Puppies chew to help relieve the pain of teething.
- Out of curiosity. Dogs are curious creatures and they love to try everything out! New smells, new tastes, and new experiences (for them) are just so hard to resist! Dogs chew out of curiosity because they probably love the smell or the taste of something.
- Relaxation. Some dogs chew because it helps calm themselves down.
HOW TO TELL YOUR DOG NOT TO CHEW INAPPROPRIATE OBJECTS
Your fur-baby chewing on shoes, furniture, carpets, and even electrical wires at home can be frustrating... and dangerous! But your dog chews on all these inappropriate things because she doesn't know better. Sometimes, your fur-baby doesn't know that your favorite pair of shoes is different from her favorite chew toy.
Unless you teach her otherwise.
Here are some ways on how you can manage your dog's chewing on inappropriate things:
- Have plenty of chews. One important thing you can do to minimize your fur-baby's habit of chewing on inappropriate things is by providing her lots of dog toys. This is an easier way to teach your dog to chew on her chews instead of your shoes than to teach your dog not to chew at all (which can be quite impossible). Note: Take extra precautions on chews that easily get torn down or are easily broken.
- Invest in teething relief products. If your dog is chewing because she is teething, it is always best to consult your veterinarian on what teething relief products you can use for your pup. These will help relieve gum pain and will reduce your dog's urge to chew on inappropriate things.
- Maintain supervision. Until your dog is chew-trained, you should not be allowing her to freely walk around the house. Letting her do so will only increase the chance of your pup to get into something! Checking up on your fur-baby will allow you to catch them in the act! When you do, take action then give positive reinforcement.
- Exercise daily. A bored dog will always find something to chew to express his frustrations. This is why exercise and daily socialization to other dogs & people is important.
- A Bad Taste in your Mouth. You can try putting things like Apple Cider Vinegar or citrus flavors on inappropriate things she always chews on. This will not harm your fur-baby but it tastes awful to her, steering her away.
- Redirect, reward, reinforce. Punishing your dog every time you catch him chewing on inappropriate things will do no good and will only increase his anxiety and stress. Instead of shouting at him, tell him a command and redirect him to his chew. As soon as your fur-baby leads himself to his chew, reward him. Rewards will encourage him to chew on his chews instead of other things in your house. If he continues on his bad chewing habits, go back to the beginning. Soon, it will all pay off.
ENCOURAGING APPROPRIATE CHEWING
Appropriate chewing means your fur-baby is chewing on something safe & healthy, not just providing him any chews for the sake of not chewing on inappropriate things. Choosing the right chews for your fur-baby will greatly depend on his chew personality, chew size, longevity, safety, and nutritional value. And luckily, we have chews that have all of that - Gnawtlers®.
Gnawtlers® are grade A elk and deer antlers chosen very carefully according to density, weight, color, and shape. These chews are absolutely safe and suitable for your fur-baby, whatever his chew personality may be.
- It does not break and splinter so easily
- Lasts long; gives your fur-baby longer chewing experiences and saving you money as it can last for months
- Has no artificial flavoring and fragrance
- Contains no artificial ingredients like dyes
- Has great nutritional value; has phosphorus, calcium, and zinc to provide nutritional value and provide dental benefits like preventing bad breath and averting periodontal diseases.
Gnawtlers® also varies in hardness:
- Whole Elk (softer) - typically for average chewers - for aggressive chewers they don't last as long because they are softer
- Split Elk (split so the bone marrow is exposed) - best for senior dogs & puppies who have sensitive teeth
- Whole Deer (harder) - best for aggressive chewers because of being harder & doesn't gnaw down as fast
Why do dogs chew inappropriate things? It comes down to they don't know otherwise or they are so smart and are curious! It is our responsibility as pet parents to teach them how, why, and to redirect & reinforce them to become better dogs. It will not only help alleviate stress for you, but it will help your pup live a happier and healthier life.