What you can do about your dog’s chewing

Worried about your dog chewing things? Many dog owners often wonder if there's anything they can do about unnecessary chewing. It can become a problem but there are also many benefits.

Dogs can and will chew things. It’s a very natural way for them to relieve stress and boredom while staying calm and happy. It’s also a great way of keeping their teeth healthy. For young dogs, chewing helps to strengthen their teeth and gums. For older dogs, it’s a great way of reducing tartar.

Chewing isn’t a ‘puppy problem‘. All dogs enjoy chewing throughout their lives. There are lots of different ways to encourage this natural behaviour in a way that benefits your dog.

How to stop unwanted chewing

Sometimes, things can get out of hand, especially when your dog starts chewing valuables or things that could harm them. Good news is, there are a number of things you can do.

The best place to start is by ensuring belongings and valuables are tidied away and out of reach of your dog. The next thing to do is buy a selection of chew toys for your dog or puppy. These could include rubber toys, especially ones that can be put in the freezer to calm gum inflammation in teething pups.

There are also plenty of edible items you can give your dog that require a lot of chewing, like cow ears, veggie chews, antlers and hooves. Always keep an eye on your dog when they’re given one of these and swap the last slimy mouthful for a tasty treat to avoid any risk of choking.

Replicate natural behaviours

If your dog likes a good chew consider purchasing a kong.  These are cone shaped hollow rubber toys that have been designed to be stuffed with food.  In the natural world wild dogs spend hours foraging and hunting for food – it keeps them fit, entertained and stimulated.

Our pet dogs have had this role taken away from them. Their food is served up in a bowl twice a day and it’s generally gone in a matter of seconds. Kong feeding or scatter feeding – throwing your dog’s food across the floor or grass – makes your dog work for their food, tiring them out mentally and physically.

Other ways to prevent chewing

  • Walk your dog before leaving them home alone, this will make them more tired and more likely to sleep in your absence
  • Do some training before you leave, this will help tire your dog’s brain and make them sleepy
  • As soon as you return, pick up the items you leave down for them while you’re out – so they remain interesting.

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