Puppies are known to have bad chewing habits, but at least, their destructive behavior is easy to understand. They feel a permanent itch in their gums, so they need to chew everything they see. However, they are not the only ones who do that. Mature dogs can be just as destructive, if not more. So, why do they do it, and, more importantly, what can you do to make them stop?
A few reasons why dogs tend to chew everything in their path
Behind all the chewing and destructive behavior dogs engage in, lies a reason. If such behavior in puppies can be alleviated with toys for teething puppies you can purchase from any pet store, with older dogs, things can get a bit more complicated.
A mature dog still chewing things might have a habit formed during his puppy years. He or she might just be bored; if you are usually busy and away from home for long hours, that can have an unwanted effect on your pet.
Dogs can feel anxious, just like humans. They may chew things as a way to cope with this anxiety, usually rooted in their owners’ prolonged absence. A neglected pet may try to get your attention, just like a child who misbehaves when their parents are too busy.
What to do
Now that you know that your dog is not misbehaving due to some obscure reason that you cannot understand and address, it is time to learn a few actionable tips, so that your dog suffers less, and along with him or her, your belongings, as well.
- Offer toys that look nothing like your shoes or other valuables
It is an excellent idea to offer your dog chewing toys, but you should go for the type sold in pet stores. Why? Because you don’t want any strange confusion to take place. If you offer your dog a shoe to play with, if he or she starts playing with your good shoes, too, that should come as no surprise.
- Create a safe area for your dog
When you cannot keep your eyes on your dog, and you cannot reinforce the house rules, put him or her in a confined space where nothing of value can be destroyed. This place should have all the necessities, such as water and chewing toys.
- Spend time with your dog
Dogs are very social creatures, and that is why they organize in packs. As a dog owner, you are your pet’s pack. So dedicate enough time to your pet, playing, and engaging in other activities that will put his or her mind at ease. As mentioned earlier, separation anxiety can cause your dog to go on a destructive rampage, for no other reason that your pet feels alone.
- Offer tasty treats in exchange for good behavior
If you catch your dog chewing on an undesirable item, exchange that item for a tasty treat. Anytime your pet chews on his or her toys, offer praise, and you will notice improvements.