Dogs like to chew on things. Left unchecked, chewing can be a major (and expensive) problem, but by taking a few simple precautions you can make chewing a non-issue.
Simple Steps for Avoiding Chewing
Notice the word choice above: avoiding chewing. Your best bet is not stopping chewing. It’s avoiding it in the first place!
1: If you don’t want it chewed, put it away.
Sounds simplistic, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. What would you say about a parent that left her shoes out for a baby to chew on?
2: Provide adequate physical and mental exercise as an alternative to chewing.
If your dog is bored or has excess energy, there is a good chance that this energy will be expressed with the mouth and teeth. Before leaving your dog alone make sure she’s had some real physical and mental exercise. Walking doesn’t really count, by the way! Try some mental exercise like a food toy. Try a game of tug or fetch.
3: Redirect to chew toys
Provide your dog with something you want them to chew! Here is Buddha, a confirmed destructive chewer, working out some energy and chewing on the right thing:
However, don’t make the common mistake of putting out too many toys at once. Only put out a few and rotate them periodically to keep things interesting.
4: Management is your friend.
Can’t trust your dog alone in some areas? Then don’t. Use a crate. After all, what’s more unkind, keeping your dog is an area where she can’t get in trouble, or constantly disciplining her for getting into the trouble in the first place?
5: Train a leave it.
Here is another chance to be proactive rather than reactive: train your dog not to take inappropriate things in the first place.
When it comes to chewing, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.