Dog BehaviorDog Care

How to stop a dog from chewing everything

How to stop a dog from chewing

Before answering the question how to stop a dog from chewing, you should know more about the dog chewing problem. A fragment complaint about dogs is that they destroy things. People blame a dog for chewing their expensive personal belongings; they assume there must be something wrong with the dog if she is a “destructive” chewer.

But “destructive” chewing is a redundancy—chewing always destroys something; that’s the whole point of a dog having a mouthful of powerful, sharp teeth. What we’re referring to is “inappropriate chewing,” when the objects going into the dog’s mouth do not belong there from our perspective.

Why dogs destroy things or chew everything?

There seems to be a general misunderstanding about why dogs chew in the first place. Dogs don’t chew to be destructive—they have no concept of the result of following a natural desire to chew, any more than they would think that scratching an itch is bad—but when they go after your possessions it may be that they chew as an outlet for emotions such as separation anxiety, to get your attention if they feel ignored or because they have too much energy and not enough exercise.

There are experts who claim dogs chew from anxiety, stress, boredom or a lack of exercise, as though it is only for negative reasons. That may be true in theory, but from my experience I think it’s also about the individual dog’s need for chewing as a pleasurable pastime.

While others have the drive to chew for many of their waking hours. It seems to relieve tension for them, help pass the time or just feels satisfying. If you realize you have a dog like this, then it makes sense to supply her with a number of good chewable items.

(A) Separation anxiety

  • You should handle separation anxiety problem to stop a dog from chewing everything.
  • Where inappropriate chewing is concerned, the generous-minded assumption is that a dog who destroys your property when you go out—something he never does when you’re home—is actually getting some comfort or serenity from doing so.
  • You need to address the separation anxiety, which can cause some dogs profound suffering, but do not ascribe a motive like “vindictiveness” to your dog, since dogs are not wired that way—they do not plot revenge the any some people do.

how to stop a dog from chewing everything

(B) Getting your negative attention

  • To stop a dog from chewing everything, you should understand that your dog is chewing to get your negative attention.
  • Just as children who feel ignored or neglected learn how to get their parents’ attention with misbehavior (negative attention is better than none at all), so do dogs. But with dogs, people actually teach them how to get their human’s attention by being destructive.
  • Of course the owners don’t realize they are doing this, but it’s vital for inter-species living to see that dogs don’t do things in a vacuum. We all influence each other.
  • So if you live with a dog that you barely acknowledge—a few pats, a bowl of dry food, leaving her alone most of the time—and then you make a big fuss over her if she rips up a sofa cushion, you have taught a lonely, bored social animal how to get you to pay attention to her.

(C) Attacking Toilet Paper

  • A roll of toilet paper is a great treat for a puppy. It’s usually a form of self- entertainment that puppies engage in when you’re not around.
  • It can be pretty annoying to come home and find a roll of toilet paper unraveled in drifts. The easiest cure for a puppy who has found this delightful pastime is to scare the daylights out of her.
  • Place a “shake-can” on top of the roll of toilet paper. When the puppy starts to mess with the toilet paper, the shake-can will fall down—on her head is just fine—and give her a jolt. As with any correction, it is most effective when it seems not to come from you, but seems to be generated by the puppy’s own activity.

how to stop a dog from chewing everything

Steps to stop a dog from chewing

Some dogs (especially puppies) will chew destructively on your shoes, furniture, or other inappropriate items. Use these simple steps to know how to stop a dog from chewing everything.

  1. Don’t set your dog up for failure by leaving your shoes out and then punishing her for chewing them. Put your shoes away.
  2. If your dog has your shoe, do not chase her (as she thinks this is a fun game). Tell her “No, drop it”.
  3. Replace the shoe with something better, such as a chew toy. Say “good” when you give it to her.
  4. Your dog wants to chew, so give her something appropriate to chew on. Provide a variety of rubber and rawhide chews.
  5. To deter your dog from chewing on furniture, rub wintergreen oil on it. This is an essential oil with a strong, refreshing odor that deters dogs. It is organic with no dangerous chemicals.

the common dog behavior problems

WHAT TO EXPECT: Dogs chew for two reasons: for fun or from anxiety. Young dogs chew for fun and start to outgrow it as they get older. In either case, providing chew toys will go a long way to reducing the problem.

Toys and other legal objects to stop a dog from chewing

The best tip to stop a dog from chewing everything is providing your dog or puppy with chewable toys and rotating these toys.

  • The best investment you can make for your dog—and especially your puppy—is a fabulous selection of chewable toys.
  • With “legal” outlets for her chewing, there is less chance that your belongings will be targeted. The act of chewing is the most natural thing in the world for a dog. It is pleasurable and self-reinforcing.
  • It’s a way to express excitement, to burn off nervous energy, to calm anxiety. Most dogs are grateful to have a basket of “chewables” available for those moments when nothing can satisfy like a good chew.

how to stop a dog from chewing everything

(A) Make the Toys Available and Tantalizing.

  • The first tip to stop a dog from chewing everything is making the toys available and tantalizing.
  • Get some low-sided woven baskets or shallow boxes to be the dog’s toy box— that way, the dog knows where to go to grab a chewable, and you have somewhere to toss them when you’re tidying up.
  • You can make chew toys more appealing by putting your smell on them. Rub your hands over each toy before you offer it to the dog.

(B) Rotate the Toys.

  • The 2nd tip to stop a dog from chewing everything is rotating the toys.
  • Every couple of days put away the toys that have been out and replace them with others, rotating toys so that there’s always something new to distract the dog.
  • Get as many as ten or more toys and chewables—get a variety of rubber or latex toys (the former are harder and tougher, the latex are softer but more destructible) with squeakies in them, some cow hooves, various forms of rawhide, balls of every size and material, whatever appeals to you.
  • But only put out a few toys at a time.

(C) Choices in chewables

The 3rd tip to stop a dog from chewing everything is choosing the suitable chewables for your pet dog. Some people worry about the possibility of choking or intestinal blockage from chewing rawhide, pig’s ears or cow’s hooves. There isn’t much proof of any danger, although it is often mentioned anecdotally.

The key is to prevent ingestion. Get over sized rawhide so that the dog is chewing and gnawing and worrying the leather, rather than swallowing it.

1-Rawhide Chews
  • These come in a vast array of shapes, sizes and even materials. Some are the thin twisted sticks of a yellowish, transparent rawhide, which get soft and gummy as the dog chews them.
  • Another type of rawhide that is tougher to chew through is knotted at the ends and made of thick, bleached white material.
  • Then there are the ones made of pressed rawhide (sometimes colored) that has been ground up and pressed into sticks or various shapes.
  • These crumble when chewed and are easy to chew, even for youngsters or old-timers with diminished tooth power.

how to stop a dog from chewing everything

2-Marrow Bones Are Great.
  • Keep a supply of these bones on hand in the freezer. Just buy a couple of pounds of marrow bones that have been cut into pieces about two inches thick at the supermarket or butcher.
  • At home you can bake the bones in a 300°F oven for about fifteen minutes to get rid of the rawness, or boil them if they are cut so thin that they might become brittle and break if baked.
  • When they are cool, give your dog one and freeze the others. You can take them out for special occasions— either defrost or give to her frozen.
  • It should keep her happy for hours as she chews and licks out the marrow and any bits of gristle attached to the bone. For days afterward she will probably return to the empty bone and chew it for hours more.

3-Chew Hoofs
  • These are also great for mega-chewers, because they rarely finish one off at a sitting, and the hoof can still be appealing for another chew on another day.
  • These treats are the “toes” of a cow hoof. They come in random colors, either black or variations on white, and are curved and flat with low sides.
4-Synthetic Bones
  • Gumabones and other synthetic bones have a varying degree of desirability to different dogs. These come in shapes, flavors and degrees of hardness. It depends on which ones are satisfying to your individual dog.
  • You can experiment by buying one at a time and seeing which ones appeal to her. Kongs are hollow toys of a heavy rubber, with ridges on the outside that make them bounce crazily when thrown, which is how they were designed.
  • There are many books that recommend stuffing Kongs with cheese or peanut butter as a long-lasting toy for a dog who suffers from separation anxiety when you’re leaving the house. I have to wonder how messy your carpet or dog beds would get—and also how chubby your dogs might get.
  • But even without stuffing them, there are dogs who actually love to chew on the pliable, tough rubber. Although they are purported to be indestructible, my adorable Yogi Bear could chew his way through the outer rim of a Kong in about twenty minutes, leaving a pile of rubber debris scattered around him and a look of great satisfaction on his smiling face.

how to stop a dog from chewing everything

5-Toys Made of Lengths of Rope Rope
  • Toys are intriguing to some dogs—some like the bleached white rope, others the multicolored nylon ones.
  • They seem to like to gnaw on the big knots in the ropes. Other dogs like to worry the fringe or tassel on the ends.
  • These are also pull toys, and in a multi-dog family they can pull these between them or with you.

6-Homemade Toys 
  • One of the easiest is a cardboard box—every time you get a box, whether from the postman or from a purchase, give it to your dog. Encourage her to attack the box. Even if she is inhibited, you can shake the box and praise her for taking it in her teeth.
  • It won’t be long before she has pulled the box apart. It may leave a scattering of cardboard bits to clean up, but it’s an ideal toy because it’s free, your dog gets her ya-ya’s out and it saves you from having to fold up the cardboard for the garbage.
  • Another toy is a stick—break it into smaller pieces so it isn’t long enough to scratch the walls of your house as the dog proudly parades it throughout. Once again there will be a shredding of wood material to collect and throw away, but it’s still better than buying a pricey toy that she doesn’t even like.
  • A rolled-up square of towel with duct tape wrapped twice around makes a perfect throw/tug toy. I call them towel burritos, and I keep a wooden bucket of them at both doors to my house.
  • Empty plastic milk cartons and water bottles are fun for dogs to chase around, bite and eventually gnaw on. You’ll need to keep an eye on an aggressive chewer and take the bottle away when he destroys enough of it that he can bite off pieces and possibly swallow them. Putting a bone inside these bottles is an added bonus: the challenge of getting to that inner treat.

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how to stop a dog from chewing everything
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how to stop a dog from chewing everything
Before answering the question how to stop a dog from chewing everything, you should know more about the dog chewing problem. You will know why dogs destroy things or chew everything, separation anxiety, attacking Toilet Paper, steps to stop a dog from chewing, Toys and other legal objects to stop chewing.
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