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Dog Chewing Problems: How to Stop a Dog From Chewing

Wondering how you can cure your dog’s chewing problems for good? Our veterinarians in Rock Springs offer some tips on how to help your canine companion develop better habits.  

Dog Psychology 101

Puppy mouths, like human infants, are used to explore their new world, which can lead them to eat almost anything they come across, from paper, sticks, and stinky old shoes to toxic plants, furniture, and electrical cords...and that new bag you bought.

You might be surprised to learn that dogs don't chew our things to spite us, but they do love scents that remind them of their owners (this explains why their owners' sports gear and shoes are so tempting). They also live in the moment, so won’t connect the destroyed items with your anger and any subsequent discipline.

Reasons Your Dog Chews

There are many reasons your dog may chew (none of which are to spite you). Dog chewing problems may persist due to:

  • Teething
  • Lack of training
  • Natural Instinct
  • Seeking attention
  • Attempting to relieve anxiety or fear

How to Stop a Dog From Chewing

Dogs do not understand right from wrong. Therefore, they won’t be able to connect your anger and discipline to their actions (such as chewing up your headphones).

Contrary to popular belief, unlike children, dogs do not understand or change their behavior after being punished. Don't chastise, muzzle, or spank them. Instead, try these:

Keep Valuables Tucked Away

Have some new sneakers or stiletto heels you'd like to keep safe from your dog's teeth? Place them high on a shelf or somewhere they can't reach.

Training & Supervision

For puppies, close supervision at home is key as they learn good habits and what not to do.

Exercise & Stimulation

Early on, pet parents will learn that a tired puppy or dog is a happy one. Tailor exercise and playtime to your pup's energy levels and needs. Learn them first. As a rule of thumb, engage in 20 to 30 minutes of daily aerobic exercise, unless your veterinarian identifies a medical issue that hinders this.

How Your Veterinarian Can Help

Most dogs will experience a decrease in excessive chewing behavior by around 18 months of age, but they will likely continue to exhibit some degree of chewing depending on their breed and other factors throughout their entire life. Consult your veterinarian if you see excessive chewing. They have the ability to.

  • Check for medical reasons your dog might be chewing and provide treatment
  • Advise whether you should let certain items pass, when your dog needs to come in for an exam, and when you should induce vomiting if he or she has chewed an inappropriate item
  • Provide advice and pointers for modifying your dog’s behavior
  • Make recommendations for appropriate chew toys, treats, deterrents, or training methods.

At Mountainaire Animal Clinic we can perform a full health checkup and provide advice on how to solve this frustrating problem.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Need to get your dog's chewing problems under control? Contact our Rock Springs vets to book an appointment.

Looking for a vet in Rock Springs?

Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Rock Springs cats and dogs. Get in touch today to request an appointment for your pet.

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