If there is one thing that most dogs have in common and love to do, it’s chewing! This can potentially be frustrating as a dog owner, as no one wants to have their furniture or valuable things destroyed by their furry friend.
But before we are able to help our dogs stop chewing on things, it’s important to understand why they are chewing. Are they teething? Or could it be something else? Determining the cause will also make it much easier to choose a method that will get them to stop chewing everything.
Sometimes excessive chewing could be a sign of poor diet or an intestinal parasite. This could lead to pica, which can look like inappropriate chewing. Any gastrointestinal problems can lead our dogs to begin chewing more as they might be nauseous. If you notice over-chewing in your dog it’s important to get pet insurance and bring them to a veterinarian to discuss.
Sometimes dogs start to chew on things if they are hungry, They begin to experiment with different household items to see if any of it tastes good. This is super common in puppies so keep an eye out. They might be okay to up their food intake, or you could begin feeding them steamed vegetables as a snack to keep them full.
Puppies are born with milk teeth as puppies. They start falling out around 2 months old and are replaced by adult teeth between 4-6 months old. Just the same as human babies, this can be uncomfortable for them so they find comfort in chewing things. This helps to relieve the tenderness in their teeth and can help prevent gum disease.
Dogs also chew things to keep their teeth strong and clean. Chewing on things like bones or dental bones can reduce tartar buildup. Dog dental insurance, which is part of pet wellness plans, is the ultimate way to ensure your dog’s teeth are getting properly cleaned and cared for. Check out this post for more top ways to keep up with dog dental cleaning.
Boredom & Instinct
Chewing on things might be just that your dog is bored or feeling a bit lonely. Sometimes they do this to keep themselves occupied. It can be a dog’s instinct to chew on things, especially if they are curious. Their instincts tell them that chewing is necessary to protect their family and to hunt.
Encourage Appropriate Chewing
In order to get your dog to stop chewing things that you don’t want them to, you need to offer them something else. There are many different types of chews and some dogs will prefer some over others.
Rawhide & Beef Bones: Be careful with rawhide and beef bones as determined chewers can whittle them down to smaller pieces that can be swallowed. Pieces of the bones can become lodged in the esophagus and sharp pieces can easily puncture parts of the digestive tract. Always supervise your dog with these and if you’re worried they might swallow the bone you might consider other chew options.
Dental Chews: Nylabones, greenies, and dental chews are great. They are a treat for the dog where they can chew away, and a big bonus is that these bones are healthy for the dog’s teeth.
Balls & Kongs: A lot of balls and kongs are desired by dogs because they are a toy that they can always have with them that is also easy to chew. Make sure when you’re selecting the kong or ball that it is the appropriate size for your dog. The right size is something that they can easily pick up and carry in their mouth.
And always make sure you aren’t giving them a toy that resembles something you don’t want them chewing. For example, giving them an old shoe to chew on is a bad idea since the dog will not know the difference between shows they can chew and shoes they cannot.
How To Discourage Inappropriate Chewing?
If your dog is chewing on something, take it away in a firm tone of voice. You can then direct their attention towards something that they can chew on and offer it to them in a happy voice. Gradually the dog will learn what they can chew that won’t get taken away from them.
If your dog isn’t catching on very quickly you can try putting taste deterrents on these items. For example, a bitter apple on an object can help deter the dog from chewing on it due to the unpleasant taste.
You can also try exercising the dog more. Spending time with your dog and playing with them on a regular basis can be very beneficial especially when training them. The bond between you will grow and your dog will also be burning energy they might have then directed towards chewing or inappropriate behaviors
Keep Your Dog & Their Teeth Healthy
Vets see cases of toys stuck in dog’s mouths because they were too small, as well as pieces of bone lodged in airways and damaging the dog’s insides. This can happen accidentally all the time as dogs love to put things in their mouths. This is why we always recommend getting pet insurance for dogs and pairing it with a pet wellness plan.
Pet insurance for dogs will cover any trips to the emergency room as well as any illness the dog might get from chewing on things they shouldn’t. A dog wellness plan is also great as you have the option to add dog dental insurance. A dog dental plan includes professional teeth cleaning & associated expenses.