A dog makes a wonderful pet and companion. However, it’s up to you to look after every part of your dog’s life. This includes keeping an eye on your dog’s behaviour. One common problem with dogs is that they can be destructive, chewing everything in sight. This can damage furniture, and ornaments, and even threaten your dog’s health if they chew or swallow something that’s dangerous.
Why Your Dog Chews
Dogs chew things for a variety of reasons. Their tendency to chew doesn’t have to be destructive, as long as you can work out why they’re chewing and how you can deal with it. The first thing to know is that chewing behaviour isn’t inherently bad.
If your dog is a puppy, then they may chew to relieve teething pain, or out of simple curiosity. Younger dogs tend to be more destructive. However, mature and senior dogs also need to chew things.
Chewing is a way to explore and relieve boredom. Just as dogs need their bodies exercised by regular walks and runs, they also need to exercise their minds. Chewing allows them to do this. It also relieves anxiety or frustration.
Chewing isn’t just something your dog wants to do, but it also keeps them healthy. It can keep their jaws strong and keeps their teeth clean, so a dog who has a healthy chewing habit can enjoy better oral health.
Destructive Chewing Issues
However, there are some other reasons why your dog may chew that are less healthy. As mentioned above, dogs chew to relieve anxiety and frustration. If your dog has separation anxiety, then they may be destructive when they’re alone, chewing intensely.
Other dogs have fabric sucking or chewing behaviours. If you find your dog behaving like this and you can’t distract them, they may have compulsive behaviour. You should speak to a vet or a dog behavioural therapist about this.
Finally, your dog may be hungry. If you’ve had to cut down their diet for health reasons, then they may look for food elsewhere, possibly by chewing things to find it.
Managing Your Dog’s Chewing
As chewing isn’t inherently bad, you can control it with a little care and effort. It helps to understand why your dog is chewing. If you have a puppy, then they are likely teething, especially if they’re under six months old.
Provide freezable teething toys and, most importantly, teach your puppy to chew appropriate objects. If you see them chewing something they shouldn’t, don’t just yell at them. Instead, gently guide them to a chew toy. Eventually, they get the message.
Providing chew toys is the best way to ensure that your dog doesn’t chew destructively. Some dogs have more of a chewing instinct than others, but they don’t need to be more destructive. As long as they have something to chew that’s safe and appropriate, then a chew toy or treat can keep them happy.
If you buy edible chew treats, then go for a quality treat like those provided by Superior Farms. This keeps your dog healthy. You should also factor the treat into the amount of food they get.