Nothing is worse than coming home to see that while you've been busy at work, your dog has been busy, too... chewing up the couch. And your shoes. And the carpet.
While we love our dogs, this destructive behavior is bad for everybody. It's bad for you because you have to replace your things. And it's bad for your dog because if they chew on the wrong thing, they could get hurt.
So today, we're going to talk about how to stop unwanted chewing behavior in its tracks.
Why Do Dogs Chew?
To understand how to stop chewing, we need to talk about why dogs chew.
Dogs like to chew on things for various reasons. It's not because they're mad at us, but it's part of their natural behavior.
Sometimes, dogs chew because they feel bored or anxious, and it's a way for them to cope with those feelings. If you have a puppy, teething can also cause chewing to soothe their gums.
Some dogs chew out of habit because they enjoy it! They may chew on something that feels nice or tastes good.
Today our goal is to find the best way to redirect your dog's attention once we figure out why they're chewing.
Chewing For Exploration
Many dogs, especially young dogs, explore the world with their mouths. For these dogs, it's important to encourage appropriate exploration. Give them interesting things to play with. Toys stuffed with treats or puzzle toys are great for these dogs to explore.
Another good way to prevent problem biting in a dog who likes to explore is going on a sniff walk. This is a slow walk where you let your dog set the pace. Let them sniff and explore everything. These dogs need mental stimulation, so give them opportunities!
Biting Out Of Boredom
If your dog is feeling bored or anxious, they may chew on or bite things to entertain themselves.
To stop this, try giving them fun toys, like puzzles, to play with. Regular exercise helps too—a tired dog is a happy dog and won't chew as much. A good walk before you leave and when you return can make a big difference.
If you're out during the day, think about getting a dog walker or asking someone to visit your dog. A neighbor or someone from a service like Wag or Rover can help. There are plenty of ways to find someone who can hang out with your dog and keep them happy while you're gone.
Simply put, puppies need to chew. You should not stop a puppy from chewing, because it impacts their dental health. Puppies' baby teeth start to fall out around 12 weeks. By 6 months, your dog will have all their adult teeth.
To stop puppies from chewing on things you don't want them to chew on, you need to give them teething toys. Offer them toys they can chew on and praise them when they play with them. Your puppy will soon learn that these toys are for them and are more fun to chew on than your shoes or a table leg.
Chewing Out Of Habit
If your dog has been chewing on things they shouldn't, don't worry, there are things you can do to help them learn that it's not okay.
First, you can set up a spot for them to stay when you're not around to watch them, and make sure there's nothing tempting for them to chew on. Put away things like shoes and remote controls.
You can also use something called bitter spray, which is safe for your belongings but has a taste that dogs don't like, which will discourage them from chewing on things.
If you spend more time playing with your dog and giving them attention, it can also help discourage chewing. Dogs need lots of interaction with their humans, whether it's playing games or just getting pets and belly rubs. Exercise is also important, and that's where the Joyride Harness can come in handy.
The Joyride Harness is the perfect harness for walking and playing with your dog. With loads of great safety features and an ultra-comfortable, ultra-durable design, it's a great fit for every dog. Check out our reviews to see how much pet parents love the Joyride, and shop for your pup today!