It’s a natural instinct for dogs to chew things but when chewing turns destructive it becomes a problem. As a dog owner, you may have dealt with a destructive dog who’s destroyed your shoes, furniture, electronics, and other things around your home. This can be very frustrating but it’s important to consider why your dog is chewing to come up with a solution to get them to stop. Once you realize what’s behind your dog’s destructive behavior, you can purchase some of these accessories to help manage the chewing so everyone in your home can be happier.
Why Do Dogs Chew?
There are several common factors that make dogs chew on things. Chewing keeps their teeth strong and clean. But when your dog chews excessively or chews on inappropriate objects, chewing can actually damage the teeth and gums. Some dogs chew when they’re stressed, especially if they experience separation anxiety. Chewing can also be a sign of boredom, most often when dogs are left alone for long periods of time or when they’re not getting enough exercise. Obviously, if your dog is chewing destructively even when you’re home, it’s not due to separation anxiety but some other cause. Puppies chew during teething and can cause a lot of damage during this time.
How Dog Accessories Can Help Prevent Chewing
Lets face it, as many dog owners find out the hard way when dogs are in the mood they don’t really care what they chew. If you find that your dog is destructively chewing it might help to supplement their urge using accessories designed for purpose. Let’s take a look at how accessories can help ease the burden of your dogs chewing habbit.
Dog Destroying their Bed?
Some dogs are very destructive when it comes to their bedding. They may chew their beds when you’re home or when they’re left alone. This can be more common with younger dogs. If your dog chews their bedding and leaves stuffing and other pieces of material around your home, you may want to try a chew-proof bed. While no bed is completely safe from destructive chewers, there are some types that discourage chewing. Some chew-proof beds are made from extremely durable materials with strong seams that are designed to hold up to heavy-duty use.
Many chew-proof beds have hidden zippers which also helps discourage chewing. When choosing a chew-proof bed, it’s helpful to find one with a removable cover that can be washed easily. Some dogs prefer cot-style beds without stuffing. This works well for larger dogs who get hot easily as the elevation of the bed helps keep them cool. Plus, without stuffing and fluff, most dogs don’t consider their bed to be a chew toy. Many brands that make chew-proof beds include a warranty against defects for a certain time period.
Dog Bones and Chew Toys
If your dog has destroyed items in your home, you may need to invest in better chew toys to keep them occupied. Many brands that make dog toys will rate their chew toys based on the level of chewer they’re designed for. If you buy your dog bones we’d recommend choosing a bone designed for heavy chewers. Keep in mind it’s best to avoid rawhide chews as they do pose some potentially serious risks to your dog. Also, always monitor your dog when providing them with chew toys and take away the toys once they become damaged.
When it comes to heavy chewing, all-natural antler chews work well for many dogs. They come from natural sheds sourced from deer or elk and are available in several sizes. Because antler chews aren’t processed like other bones, they’re less likely to splinter. Certain types of natural horns like those sourced from water buffalo can also be great for heavy chewers. Large carrots are also a great natural chewing option but they can be messy so you may want to give them to your dog outside.
There are many brands that make durable toys that are designed to hold up to chewing without being damaged easily. Some of these brands include Kong and Nylabone. These toys come in several styles and sizes to be used with different dog breeds. Some are also rated on chewing abilities so you can choose one that will work for your dog based on how destructive they are. Many of these toys are made of a tough rubber material which makes it hard for your dog to chew pieces off of the toy.
If your dog prefers plush toys, there are some options that are made of nylon with extra-strong seams to reduce shredding. Some dogs will try to destroy any toy with stuffing in it which is why flat toys without stuffing were invented. This allows your dog to have a soft toy without the temptation of the stuffing inside. For some dogs, the squeaker may trigger their tendency to chew excessively so you may want to avoid squeaky toys if they seem to drive your dog crazy.
Dealing with Anxiety-Related Chewing
If your dog is chewing because they’re anxious, you should get to the source of their anxiety. Dogs who deal with separation anxiety often benefit from crate training. This process can work for dogs of all ages but it will take longer with an older dog. If you follow the basic rules of crate training recommended by dog experts, your dog will see their crate as a safe place where they can go when feeling frightened or anxious. This can work wonders with dogs who chew when being left home alone.
By establishing the crate as a comfortable place in a quiet spot in your home, you can provide your dog with a feeling of security when you’re away. It’s worth noting that not all dogs respond well to crate training and if your dog seems more distressed you should stop.
Some destructive chewers may also benefit from using a calming medication or natural compound to help them better relax during anxious times. This works well for dogs who are scared of storms or other loud noises which can cause them to chew anxiously. A consultation with your vet can help you decide if this type of treatment will help your destructive chewer.
Destructive behavior leads to a frustrated dog owner which can strain your relationship with your dog. Chewing is a normal behavior for dogs and is perfectly natural so it definitely shouldn’t be a punishable offense. When they have access to appropriate chews and toys chewing can go unnoticed by the owner. Destructive chewing on the other hand, can destroy your home and lead to your dog ingesting potentially dangerous materials.
The accessories listed here can help you encourage your dog to chew safely and prevent them from destroying your possessions. The hardest part of discouraging chewing is learning why your dog is being destructive. Find the source of the excessive chewing to eliminate the problem and if you have further concerns we’d recommend seeing a qualified specialist.