How To Control Excessive Chewing

April 2, 2020 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

West Highland Terrier

Dogs are inquisitive creatures and love to explore the world. One of the ways they experience the world is with their mouths – but it can be a problem when the chewing gets out of hand.

Chewing is a completely natural behavior and can help with their tooth development. It also keeps your dog’s gums nice and strong, and even keeps their teeth clean.

This natural behavior can get out of hand if not kept under control – and your sofa, carpets, curtains, and even your shoes are sure to see the damage.

Understand Why Your Dog Is Chewing So Much

Dogs chew for various reasons, from puppyhood to their elder years. Puppies will chew noticeably more, as their teeth are still developing – similar to babies when they’re teething.

Chewing is great for developing gums and growing teeth – it stimulates and soothes your dog’s mouth, and keeps them occupied! However, if your dog is still chewing everything in sight after he reaches the 7-month milestone, then you may have an excessive chewer on your hands.

A bored dog can result in a lot of destroyed furniture. If your dog isn’t getting enough mental and physical stimulation, then they may become destructive chewers.

Your dog may start chewing certain things if he isn’t getting the right vitamins and nutrients. You hear stories of people eating things like drywall and bricks due to a vitamin deficiency, and dogs aren’t much different. Pica can easily be mistaken for a chewing problem, so it’s always best to get advice from a veterinarian.

It may be worth considering if your dog has separation anxiety – as this tends to be a common cause of excessive chewing in dogs of all ages. If you’ve ruled out the other options, and your dog is showing the following signs, then it may be a good idea to call a dog behavioral specialist.

● Excessive barking
● Extreme pacing
● Urination
● Other “attention-seeking” behaviors

How Do I Control It?

So now you have an idea of why your dog might be chewing so much, it’s time to control this behavior.

The main and most obvious way of saving your furniture and shoes is by making sure your dog has access to chew toys. Make sure these chew toys are safe, and won’t splinter, crack, or damage your dog’s mouth.
Some things your dog could chew include:
● Rubber chews
● Pig ears
● Dental chews
● Tendons
● Real animal bones

If your dog is still relentlessly chewing, maybe it’s time to protect your house. You can purchase anti-chew spray to spray onto the furniture, which should deter even the most determined chewer.

Keep all shoes, important paperwork, and valuables out of your dog’s reach, and cover up any wires if your dog has chewed wires before – not only does it mean you’ll have to replace the item, but your dog could get an electric shock.

When your dog does chew the right things, be sure to give him a reward. Letting him know he’s doing the right thing, instead of punishing the bad, is a great way of training your dog. Positive reinforcement has been proven to be effective and can strengthen your bond with your furry friend.

If you’re seeing no improvement, then don’t be afraid to seek help from a dog behavior specialist or a veterinarian.

by Jack Campbell
Founder at Heel Boy Heel


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