Skip to Main Content

Destructive Chewing Prevention for Dogs

Destructive Chewing Prevention for Dogs

While chewing is normal and healthy in dogs, most pet owners would prefer not to sacrifice their favorite pair of shoes or a brand new throw pillow. Here, our Cordova vets explain the causes of destructive chewing in dogs, and how to stop it.


What causes destructive chewing in dogs?

Puppies and dogs chew on objects to explore the world. For puppies, chewing can also help relieve pain that might be caused by erupting teeth. For adult dogs, chewing can also help keep jaws strong and teeth clean.

So while chewing is usually a healthy behavior in dogs, there are a few reasons that a dog may chew excessively and destroy your things.

Boredom

Dogs that are left alone for extended periods of time without mental stimulation will become bored and may resort to chewing on interesting objects that they find around the house to pass the time.

Anxiety & Stress

Dogs are highly social animals, and for this reason, many of them suffer from separation anxiety while their people are away. These dogs will often turn to chewing as a comforting activity.

Hunger

If your dog is on a calorie-restricted diet, they might chew and destroy objects in an effort to find another source of nutrition. This kind of chewing is usually directed toward objects related to food or that smell like food.

Puppy Teething

Just like human babies, puppies lose their baby teeth and experience pain and discomfort as their adult teeth come in. During this time, your puppy will chew in order to relieve some of this discomfort.

Managing & Redirecting Chewing

To prevent destructive chewing, start by identifying its cause and eliminating any of the problems listed above. Then, focus on redirecting your dog's chewing to more desirable objects, like chew toys.

Exercise

Start by making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise before leaving the house. High energy German Shepherds need at least two hours of exercise each day, while Pomeranians and other small dogs usually do well with about 40 minutes. Talk to your vet about how much physical activity your dog needs each day to be healthy and happy.

Entertainment

To help reduce separation anxiety or boredom in dogs who must be left alone for extended periods of time, try training your dog to associate alone time with positive experiences. Each time you leave, provide a puzzle toy stuffed with food, and a variety of fun, special toys that your dog only gets to play with while you are away (to retain the novelty).

Providing lots of interesting toys will not only create a positive association with alone time, it will also serve as a distraction from the objects that you don't want your dog chewing on, and prevent boredom chewing.

Dog Proofing

To ensure that your dog only chews designated objects like toys, remove all other temptations. Put valuable objects out of reach, make sure your laundry is put away or in a hamper, and that books and children's toys are stored away where they belong.

Discourage Unwanted Chewing

Spray any objects you don't want your dog to chew with a dog deterrent spray. If you encounter your dog chewing on an item they shouldn't be, say "no," take it away, and replace it with a chew toy, and then provide lots of praise when your dog chews on that.

If you are struggling to manage your dog's chewing, we can help. Contact our Cordova vets today for a consultation.

Destructive Chewing Prevention in Dogs

Looking for a vet in Cordova and greater Memphis area?

We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Related Articles View All

Reverse Sneeze in Dogs - What It Is & When to be Concerned

If your dog suddenly stops, extends their neck, and lets out a strange snorting sound - there's a good chance that you have just witnessed a reverse sneeze. It can be alarming to witness a reverse sneeze but it's fairly common in small dogs. Our Cordova vets explain.

My dog has hurt their paw pad. What should I do?

Much like the bottoms of your own feet, your dog's paw pads are generally pretty tough. Nonetheless painful cuts, scapes and injuries can still occur. Below, our Cordova vets offer some helpful tips on how to care for your dog's paw if they cut one of their paw pads.

Anal Gland Disease in Dogs

If your dog 'scooting' or having difficulties passing stool anal sac disease may be the cause. Our Cordova vets explain the causes, symptoms and treatments for this uncomfortable condition commonly seen in dogs.

How to Care for a Dog Wound

Not every cut or graze your dog gets requires veterinary care, but you do need to know how to care for your dog's wounds, and when you should head to the vet. Here, our Cordova emergency vets provide tips on how to care for your dog's wounds at home.

PhoneContact