Preventing Destructive Chewing Behavior in Dogs

Chewing is natural dog behavior. However, it can get to a point where it is unchecked and causing a problem. If your dog is exhibiting destructive chewing behavior, try these tips from your Poway veterinarian.

Provide Toys

Some dogs chew on furniture, purses, or shoes because they don’t have anything better to chew on. Make sure your dog has plenty of chew toys available to get out his chewing instincts. Destructive chewing might be prevented just by providing an alternative—just make sure your dog can’t bite off pieces of the toy and choke.

Put Items Away

If your dog prefers chewing destructively on shoes or other items lying around on the floor, it may be easiest to simply put those items away. You will be saving those items from your dog’s wrath while you work on getting his destructive behavior to stop.

Keep Busy

A tired dog probably won’t chew as much—play with your dog regularly to tire him out. If a dog is bored and has a lot of pent-up energy, he may very well take it out by chewing. Don’t overexert your pet, but try to get him a good workout so he’ll be less likely to chew.

Use Deterrents

Taste deterrents can be effective tools for stopping chewing behavior. Commonly available in sprays or gels, these substances will prevent your dog from attacking items that you don’t want him to chew on. If you can deter certain objects with the spray and provide objects he can chew on instead, like toys, you’ll be well on the way toward stopping the behavior.

Consult a Pro

If none of these techniques work, you may have to consult a professional animal trainer or certified behaviorist. They can help your dog curb his bad behavior. Ask your Poway veterinarian to offer a recommendation and put you in touch with one.


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