Owners of both young dogs and adult dogs often wonder how to stop a dog chewing things around the house. Damage to furniture, interior trim, clothing and other items caused by inappropriate chewing can be frustrating, but there are ways you can address the issue.
Here are some common reasons why dogs chew and ways to help prevent it:
Puppies like to chew on things as a way of exploring. However, excessive chewing is usually due to teething. Just like human babies, puppies can experience pain or discomfort in their gums from new teeth growing in. Chewing on anything and everything available might be their way of trying to relieve pain.
Many dog owners have experienced the horror of returning home to destroyed furniture, shoes or other objects after leaving their pup alone for a while. If your dog is chewing on things when you leave the house, they may be experiencing separation anxiety.
In addition to missing you, they may simply be bored. Make sure to have plenty of appropriate chew toys available to keep them occupied while you’re away. Toys that dispense food, like puzzle feeders, are another great option for curing dog boredom.
Wood trim and furniture are common victims of a dog’s destructive chewing. After addressing any behavioral issues that could be causing them to chew on wood - such as anxiety or boredom - you can use chewing deterrents to keep them away from wood surfaces.
Chew deterrents, such as bitter apple spray, are an effective way to discourage chewing on furniture, shoes and other items. There are several options available on the market, but you can also make your own deterrent spray with apple cider vinegar and water.
Combining a chew deterrent with the right chew toy can often be enough to keep your dog from inappropriate chewing. However, it’s always best to tackle the behavioral issues first. If you’re ever uncertain about what to do next, consult your vet for expert advice.