It’s no secret that dogs love to chew. After all, it’s ingrained in them. Puppies chew as a way to help with teething whereas older dogs chew as a way to relieve boredom and anxiety. But what happens when dogs just won’t stop chewing? Known as destructive chewing, this type of chewing can wreak havoc on your home and sanity.
Here’s your guide on why a dog destructively chews and how to stop them.
Why Do They Do It?
Dogs can destructively chew for a number of reasons. Separation anxiety, for example, is a leading factor in destructive chewing. Pups who suffer from anxiety will sometimes chew to relieve the stress of being left alone. You can tell if a dog is suffering from separation anxiety if they become extremely anxious as you are leaving the house and whine, bark, pace, and have general restlessness.
Another reason dogs destructively chew is boredom. Dogs thrive on both mental and physical stimulation. If a dog is lacking in one or both of those areas, they’ll make up for it with excessive chewing.
Hunger can be another reason dogs destructively chew. This tends to occur in dogs that have spent some time without food, such as a stray dog or a dog recently adopted from the shelter. Or, if the pup is on a calorie-restrictive diet they could chew or destroy objects as a way to get more nutrition. Typically, they chew on food-related items or things that smell like food.
And of course, puppies are notorious chewers. It’s a normal behavior for them – especially when they are teething. Teething occurs around three to eight weeks of age. Permanent teeth show up around six months of age. Puppies chew to relieve the pain and because their gums are very irritated.
How To Stop It
To nip destructive chewing in the bud when the dog is a puppy, make sure to have to plenty of dog-safe chewing options available. Puppy-approved chewing toys are a great way to teach your puppy not to chew on your favorite pair of shoes.
For adult dogs, stopping destructive chewing is a bit more difficult. First, you have to determine what the actual problem is. Is it separation anxiety? Boredom? Medical issue? If you think it may be a medical issue, you should contact your veterinarian to rule out any intestinal or gastrointestinal problems.
Make sure your pup gets plenty of exercise. The more tired your dog is, the less likely they are to chew! Try adding some extra time to your walk or going for an extra one during the week. Or, designate some playtime for you and your pup. Play some fetch in the backyard or bring them to the dog park.
And lastly, make sure you have the right toys! Not all toys are built for tough chewers. If you have a destructive chewer, the Power Chewers Box from PupJoy is a must-have. It contains hearty chews, all-natural treats, and ultra-durable toys that are built specifically for the toughest chewers.