Many pet parents are not prepared for the constant chewing that comes with a new puppy. Whether you’ve adopted a new member for your pet family or there’s a newborn, chewing can often be an issue.
While it may seem cute at first, it can become quite a nuisance if your pup chews away your favorite pair of shoes or an important document that has to be submitted that day.
It might be challenging to deal with the problem initially, but this habit will go away once you make some fundamental changes.
Besides being harmful to your household items, chewing can also jeopardize your pet’s health. Therefore, you shouldn’t ignore this habit.
Below, we try to answer some of the following questions:
- Why do dogs chew on everything?
- How to stop a dog from chewing on everything?
- How to stop a teething dog from chewing?
In addition, we will highlight some healthy habits for house training a puppy.
Understand the Problem
Why do dogs chew on everything?
First off, you need to learn some things about your dog. Just like human toddlers and infants, pups are also attracted to everything new.
Moreover, they teethe for up to six months. During this time, they experience discomfort in their gums. Along with helping with the process of teething, chewing also eases this pain.
On the other hand, adult dogs might be chewing for different reasons. So before you try to solve the problem, you must know why do dogs chew on everything in the first place.
Some common causes are:
- Separation anxiety
- Fear-related behavior
- Lack of knowledge about what or what not to chew
Moreover, your dog might chew to get your attention. If that’s the case, you can solve the chewing issue by spending quality time with them.
Teach Your Dog What to Chew
How to stop a dog from chewing on everything?
Once you notice that your dog is chewing excessively, you need to start taking steps to tackle the issue. Here are a few things that you can follow when house training a puppy.
Keep Your Belongings Hidden
If you don’t want your dog to chew on your stuff, the best thing to do is keep the things away. For example, keep your important files and papers at a height so that your pup can’t reach them.
Put away your clothes in the closet, your shoes in the shoe rack, and fragile items high up away from your puppy’s reach.
If there’s a particular corner in your home with many decorations or items that you think your puppy may chew on, it might be a good idea to invest in a dog door.
Not only will it keep your puppy away from causing trouble, but it’ll also help you keep a better eye on your little furry friend.
Choose the Toys Accordingly
Don’t buy toys for your dog that looks like your household belongings. Instead, purchase toys that are distinguishable from other items in your house.
If your dog plays with toys that look like shoes and books, they’re likely to chew on real shoes, confusing them with toys.
Plus, choose only high-quality toys. For instance, some plush toys have detachable pieces that could pose a choking hazard to your pet. Avoid buying such toys for your dogs.
Instead, you can opt for toys such as nylon bones as they’re harmless and durable. Plus, the best part is that dogs tend to love these types of toys.
It’s also important to select age-appropriate toys for your dogs, especially if they’re passionate chewers.
If a toy has started to fall apart, replace it immediately. Otherwise, it may slowly become small and dangerous enough for your dog to swallow and choke.
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Pay Attention to Your Pup
Just as you have to look after your baby, you must keep an eye on your dog too. Make sure that they’re not near anything that they shouldn’t be close to.
Being young, puppies will have an urge to put everything new in their mouth. So, you should pay attention to them when you’re around.
Also, don’t let your dog go into the bathroom because that’s where many dangerous items are. Besides shampoos and other formulations, the bathroom also has different objects that your dog can chew on.
Always supervise your dog in the bathroom.
If you have jewelry or any expensive decor item out in the open, keep it away until your dog has learned to stop chewing.
Make Sure They Exercise Regularly
You can stop your dog from chewing at everything by making sure they get regular exercise.
What’s the relationship between chewing and exercise?
Well, it’s quite simple, actually. If your dog uses up all its energy to run around fetching balls in the park, it’ll feel too tired to chew on objects at home.
Plus, when your puppy exercises more, its body will produce more endorphins, which have a calming effect.
Endorphins are also produced when chewing. So it could be possible that your dog is chewing more because it’s not getting regular exercise.
We suggest you set aside an hour each day to make sure your walk-mate gets proper exercise. For example, you could take a walk around the neighborhood or visit a park.
Not only will your puppy stop chewing on objects at home, but it’ll also stay fit and healthy thanks to all the exercise it’s getting.
Make Sure They’re Around Your Scent
As discussed, some puppies chew because of separation anxiety. Therefore, if you’re leaving your pup for long durations, make sure you leave your scent behind.
You can do that by rubbing your dog’s favorite toy on your body and touching their bowl with your hands. Then, if you’re leaving traces of your scent behind, your dog will not be as anxious in your absence.
However, without your scent in the house, your dog will be more prone to destructive behaviors, such as whining, chewing, and barking.
Some pet parents also report that leaving a radio turned on with soothing music helps keep the pets calm when they’re gone.
One great way to stop your dog from chewing on objects is by spraying them with bad-tasting repellents.
You can start by trying to figure out the things your dog likes to chew on. Then spray them with the taste repellent. You’ll be able to find multiple flavor options such as Bitter Apple and Bitter Cherry.
You can even make your own taste repellent spray at home. It’s quite simple.
First, you need to gather the following items:
- Spray bottle
- Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- White vinegar
If you don’t have a new spray bottle, you can always reuse an old one. Make sure you thoroughly wash the bottle, especially if you’re using a detergent or soap spray bottle. You don’t want your puppy swallowing the wrong substances and getting sick.
Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, just follow these steps:
- Start by pouring two cups of apple cider into the spray bottle.
- Then add one cup of white vinegar.
- Give the bottle a good shake.
You’re all set to spray objects at home with your DIY taste repellent. The next time your dog takes these objects in its mouth, it’s sure to drop them to the ground.
It would help drive the message home by verbally saying “No” or “Leave” to ask your puppy to leave the things alone.
Your dog won’t miraculously know that he’s not supposed to chew on something. So you have to train him.
Start by giving your dogs alternatives. For example, when you see them chewing, offer a dog treat or soft chew as a substitute.
As mentioned earlier, you can also command them with words like ‘Give’ or ‘Leave’ as a cue to let go of the object they’re chewing to get a yummy treat instead.
However, don’t chase them as dogs tend to make a game out of their human parents running after them. Instead, interrupt them and then divert their attention from the inappropriate chewing object.
How to Stop a Teething Dog From Chewing?
If your dog is teething, chewing is inevitable. However, you can reduce this by putting a cold cloth on its gums. First, wet a washcloth and let it freeze for a while. Then, use this cloth to soothe your puppy’s teething gums.
Also, always look after your dog when they’re using this cloth to prevent swallowing or choking.
Alternatively, you can ask your vet about possible interventions to help reduce gnawing and chewing behavior in your teething puppy.
First, it’s important to learn why your dog keeps chewing on objects. This will help you understand how to stop a dog from chewing on everything.
Then you need to understand that even with all these methods, you need to have realistic expectations from your pup. At some point, they’re going to chew, and you can’t prevent it entirely.
However, you can reduce the instances by training your dog to chew on other things or keep the chewable items away or unappealing for them.
Just be sure to follow the tips we mentioned earlier, and you’ll have no trouble house training a puppy.