Chewing is normal behavior for dogs. As puppies, they chew to help them explore and discover the world around them. This is similar to the way that human babies put everything in their mouths. However, just like babies, dogs need to be taught what they can and cannot chew on. Teaching them early will prevent more damage in the future. If your dog is older, do not fear, you can still train them to stop chewing as well. There may be specific reasons your dog is chewing like hunger or separation anxiety. These issues will need to be addressed differently. If not, learning these tricks for preventing dogs from chewing on your things will not be too difficult and will make life easier.
Keep things out of reach
The first step is to keep things you do not want to be chewed out of reach. While you are just beginning to train them, remove any temptation. Keep your shoes up in your closet, clothes put away, and lids on trash cans in the kitchen and bathrooms. Keeping these things away from them will help your dog focus on learning what they can chew.
Introduce Chew Toys
Designated toys for your pet to chew on will help satisfy their need to chew. However, make sure that there are no parts that your dog may choke on. Try to always keep an eye on your dog when they are chewing on something that may fall apart. This includes plastic toys many people purchase from pet stores. Some dogs want nothing to do with plastic or stuffed toys. Luckily, there are edible toys for dogs to chew on as well. These include rawhide bones, pig ears, elk horns, and more. Be sure to reward your dog with treats or positive confirmation when they choose their toys over other things.
Spray things you do not want to be chewed
To make things easier, there are even sprays you can use on items you do not want to be chewed. Introduce the smell and taste to your dog by letting them chew something with it. They will most likely spit it out and then associate the smell of the spray with the gross taste. Using this spray every day and scolding your pet immediately when they try to chew on your things will help them learn. Waiting until after they have done something, will accomplish nothing. Some of the most effective sprays include:
There are many reasons why a dog may chew on things. Whether your dog is just a few weeks old or a few years old, there are ways for preventing dogs from chewing on your things. For more information on training your dog, read our article, Dog Training 101.