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How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing

The question of how to stop a dog from chewing has been asked by many frustrated pet parents over time. Finding a pile of shredded items left around the house by your pet is exasperating, especially when they never seem to stop, no matter how much you correct them.

So, why do dogs chew in the first place?

Dogs chew for a variety of reasons, including stress, boredom and separation anxiety. Younger pups also chew more when they are teething. Although it is a natural behavior, your pet’s chewing habit can potentially cause them harm. Ingesting a dangerous substance can make them ill, or cause an obstruction.

Meet Your Dog’s Needs

Because chewing is a natural instinct, your approach should shift from “how to STOP a dog from chewing” to “how to stop a dog’s BAD chewing”. Since boredom and anxiety can be prime causes of chewing, make sure your pet is getting plenty of stimulation and proper exercise. Take them for a walk in the neighborhood or play a game of fetch in the backyard. Devote time each day to playing and snuggling with your puppy.

If the chewing is stress-related, give your puppy an old shirt or blanket with your scent to provide comfort. Many pet parents find that an anti-anxiety pressure shirt keeps their puppy calm, which can help reduce distressed chewing behavior. Whenever possible, limit the amount of time they are alone, especially for long stretches. Many pet parents find that crate training reduces separation anxiety because the puppy feels safe in their crate. Keeping a consistent routine for your puppy can also help them know what to expect and minimize anxiety.

Prevent Bad Chewing Before It Happens

Dogs sometimes begin to chew items while the pet parent is home, but is distracted by the TV or cooking dinner. Tethering a pup to you with a six-foot leash helps prevent them from wandering off in search of trouble and keeps the pet parent from losing track of their furry family member.

The best way to keep your puppy from chewing or eating non-edible items is to keep all items out of reach. Encourage family members to keep doors to bedrooms and playrooms shut at all times. When you leave the house or can’t keep a close eye on them, put the puppy in a crate for their safety until they have learned appropriate house manners.

Pet parents wondering how to stop a dog from chewing on furniture and other household items can use a deterrent to discourage your puppy from chewing the item. Petco sells several dog deterrent products that can be sprayed onto items that taste unpleasant. Be sure that the products you use are specially designed for pets and are non-toxic.

Give Your Dog Appropriate Items to Chew

If you let your pup chew on an old shoe, they will think that it is okay to chew any item that they find in the house. Instead, select toys that do not look like household items and keep your puppy engaged. The Humane Society of United States recommends toys made out of hard rubber instead of rawhide. If you choose to give rawhide bones to your puppy, check with your veterinarian about safe rawhides and only give the rawhides to your dog when you are supervising them.

In addition to satisfying the urge to chew, toys can help keep your pup’s teeth healthy and strong. The ASPCA says that chewing on a toy can help scrape away the plaque from a puppy’s teeth, which reduces risk of dental disease. The ASPCA recommends nylon and rubber chew toys and bones.

Keep in mind that dogs may become disinterested in certain toys after the novelty has worn off. Rotating toys helps keep them interested. Petco has a few dog chew toys you can add to their rotation.