How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing Items in Your House
6 November, 2012

As most dog owners know, puppies love to chew and it is an important part of the teething process.  However, as puppies become adult dogs, chewing is OK if your dog is simply chewing a bone or toy.  But, when your dog starts to chew on your shoes, the couch or any other household item, this is usually due to boredom and/or a way to release pent-up energy or stress.

Below are some tips on how to stop your dog from chewing up your household!

Give your pup plenty of exercise

If you want to stop your dog from chewing, tire him out by giving your pup plenty of exercise.  A tired pup will be less likely to get into things. Exercise also produces endorphins for your dogs and, similar to humans, the endorphins have a calming effect.  Endorphins are stimulated by chewing, so if your dog is not getting enough exercise, he could be seeking to replace the endorphins by chewing what he isn’t supposed to!

Dog proof your Home

If your dog is chewing your shoes, make sure to move them or keep them in a closed closet.  As with any type of behavior you wish to change, one of the most important things to do is manage the environment. We are all familiar with puppy proofing our homes by removing tempting items and /or putting our puppies in a crate when we can’t actively supervise them.  Adult dogs sometimes need the same type of management to keep them out of trouble.  However, try not to keep your adult dog in a crate all day unless he or she is happy there and has a toy and food.

Always have a chew toy for your dog

If your dog tries to chew an inappropriate item, give him a chew toy instead.  Try to interrupt the bad chewing behavior and re-direct your dog to an appropriate chew toy. It can be helpful to have a stuffed Kong toy handy so you are ready to go if your pup starts to go at the wrong item. Many pups have certain times of day when they are more likely to chew, so try to choose that time of day to give the dog an approved chew toy.

Try a bad-tasting, toxic –free repellant

To stop your dog from chewing household items, you can try a spray or toxic-free repellant.    There are many different types on the market that won’t harm your pup, but will simply make the inappropriate items undesirable.  If your dog smells it or tries to eat it one time, it is unlikely that he or she will try it again.

Separation Anxiety

Occasionally chewing or tearing things up is a symptom of a more serious problem such as separation anxiety. If you suspect separation anxiety, the first thing you need to do is schedule an appointment with your veterinarian and/or a dog behavioral specialist.  This anxiety usually occurs if an owner has moved or changed his or her schedule and the pup isn’t used to it.

If you try all of the above, especially exercise and a chew toy for your dog, he or she should be back to chewing the right items sooner rather than later.  It might take some time, so try to be patient.  Good luck!

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