Chewing is usual for pets, especially puppies to chew different objects and explore the world. It is a part of pet’s normal behavior, but destructive chewing is misconduct or a problem. It achieves various things by chewing. For puppies, it is a way to get relief from pain which can be evoked by incoming teeth. For the older ones, it is a way of keeping their teeth clean and jaws healthy. It also relieves boredom, frustration, and mild anxiety.
Reasons for Chewing
Dogs are like humans and have similar activity. Hence, the puppies have the habit of chewing and eating everything like human kids. They tend to outgrow this habit with time, so the owners can focus on establishing a leadership, so it does not continue to do the unwanted behaviors in the long term.
To find an extra source of vitamin, they start chewing different things, especially it is done by the pets on a calorie restricted diet. If they eat due to hunger, they chew those items that smell like food or the objects that are related to food.
Pets, who chew to soothe anxiety and stress of separation, start to nibble when they are left alone. Apart from eating, they display other signs of anxiety-like restlessness, barking, pacing, whining, defecation, and urination.
If it sits idle all the day long it will have some pent-up energy, which it needs to utilize somewhere. In this situation, chewing can be a part of boredom, for instance, it does not have anything to do so it starts chewing. Or it has the pent-up energy to spend and gets excited about small things and starts doing undesired activities. If one finds the pet is suffering from boredom, one should access the challenge level of the pet. One should check if it is getting regular walks, other challenges, and adequate playing sessions.
Pets enjoy chewing even after their puppyhood. It is a typical behavior unless it is excessive. One can redirect its instinct towards other appropriate objects like chew toys, bones, etc. One should correct its habit immediately and calmly.
Nutritional deficiencies lead to chewing objects, some Dogs suffer from gastrointestinal issues, and chewing might trigger the tendency of vomiting. If such problem is seen suddenly, one should seek medical help immediately before considering it as a behavioral issue.
Tips to manage destructive chewing
Dogs are like human babies, they also go through a stage when they lose their teeth and undergo a pain when their adult teeth come. This phase ends by six months of age, experts advise them to provide with toys that can be frozen, ice cubes or offer wet, frozen clothes for chewing as this help to reduce the teething pain. However, they chew different objects to explore the world and also the uneasiness of teething urge them to chew. Therefore, puppies require some guidance on chewing to stop destructive chewing.
Load Valuable items
If the pet has a habit of chewing, one needs to keep the personal belongings and valuable objects away from them. For instance, things like remote control, books, shoes, eyeglasses, magazines, wallets, and children’s toys, etc, all these items attract them chew. Place every item away from them and place their chewing items. It will allow them to chew their chewable and not the valuable pieces.
Some people confuse them in various ways. For instance, if one does not have a chewable and provides old remote control for chewing purpose, in this case, do not expect the pet to differentiate between the brand new remote, and it’s chewable. If it chews the items, it shouldn’t don’t punish or scold, but try positive reinforcement techniques or offer them safe chew toys.
Reduce their requirement for inappropriate biting by offering them fair chances of psychological stimulation. One can provide puzzle toys or set a mini agility course in the yard by making tunnels. Owners can also play different types of games with interactive toys to keep them mentally stimulated.
Keep a check
Owners should always keep an eye on them, where they are and what they are doing. Additionally, it is advisable to keep them contained when there is no one to keep a check, like a shower, while cooking, etc. Keep them in a crate or a puppy proof area with their favorite toys to keep them busy and avoid destructive behavior.
Continue Virtuous habits
Dogs chew in their puppy days, but some pets continue this habit when they grow older, and it also has a positive side too. Therefore, it becomes crucial to offer them with proper chew toys through their life to keep their teeth clean, exercises their jaws, satisfies their desire to chew and also get some entertainment.
With different types of behavior one wish to change, the most crucial thing to manage is the environment. Owners should know what is puppy proofing, like putting household items and personal items in its place. But people forget that adult pets also require the same supervision and management to keep them out of difficulty. If the house is not kept in order, they are smart enough to find different items to chew.
Offer Chewable items
If one understands, the pet has a chewing habit and continues to chew improper things even in front of the owner, break off the activity and redirect to a proper chewable piece. There are many available in the market one can bring few and provide to stop destructive chewing.
Foul smelling sprays
Owners can also stop their pets away from useful items by spraying foul-tasting sprays. For instance, spray items with boundary dog repellant, bitter apple spray and many more. If these sprays are used once, a pet might give a try to bite, but will not repeat its behavior. Additionally, if it has a habit of chewing deck rails, kitchen table or fence posts spray foul or bitter sprays. One can also cover them with double-sided tape or aluminum foil to prevent chewing. Follow these techniques until they grow up and don’t feel the urge to chew.
Exercising is very necessary for pets who have a habit of chewing or if they are prone to other types of destructive behavior. Proper exercise will make them weary and will not have any pent up energy to get into wrong things. Additionally, Endorphins is produced by activity which has a calming effect. On the other hand, these endorphins are roused by chewing, if it does not get enough exercise, it might unconsciously seek replacement of endorphins by chewing. Lacking sufficient practice will release extra energy by destructive activities.
Destructive behaviors like tearing, digging, chewing is a symptom of separation anxiety. In case it has anxiety problems, seek medical help as soon as possible.
There are books accessible in the market which promotes rough methods of correcting destructive behaviors, like physical hitting, putting tape around its mouth and many more. But these options are unfair and also ineffective. The key to solving the problem is positive reinforcement with appropriate exercise, mental stimulation, and gentleness.
Tips to remember
- Offer them chew toys, they are available in all sizes and shapes to entertain puppies, it will divert them to chew other valuable items
- Hard toys or bones can crack their teeth, opt for the softer ones
- Opt for big or medium size chewable as the smaller ones can break apart and can cause choking hazards
- Offer chewable according to its chewing strength and its capacity
- Keep an eye when they chew to prevent choking or suffocation
- Keep away the chewed through toys or bones and replaced them with new ones