Tips to Prevent Your Dog from Chewing Furniture
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If you have a puppy, then you probably have seen him/her moving around the house chewing your shoes or furniture. When this happens, you can become irritated with their behavior, and even regret having gotten a dog in the first place.
However, you are not alone when it comes to dogs chewing stuff around the house. If you do not take preventive measures early, you will find the widespread destruction of your furniture and shoes. Teething is the main cause for these chewing. When your puppy starts having its deciduous teeth coming out, they will find the process painful, and the chewing of furniture is a way of reducing this discomfort. When you do not correct this behavior when the puppy is young, it can go on until adult age.
Here are some tips to help you along the way.
As mentioned above, your puppy could be going through teething, and there is no way to avoid this. Instead of chewing on furniture, you can encourage your puppy to chew on some toy. Look for something that the dog will not choke on or break.
To make this work, you have to look for items that are appealing to the dog. Avoid giving your dog something that resembles what you are stopping it from chewing. For example, do not give them an old shoe, since they cannot tell between the appropriate shoe to chew and what is prohibited. You can purchase a Kong toy for your dog to chew on instead of furniture. You can find this in most pet stores.
It is advisable that you rule out any chance that your dog could be suffering from a medical condition. If your dog is suffering from nutritional deficiency, then they tend to chew on items around the house. Make sure you feed your pup properly. To rule out the possibility of gastrointestinal problems or parasites, check with your vet for this symptoms. Check out Paw Castle’s guides on dog health and nutrition. When your dog is suffering from some illness, you will often see other symptoms that accompany the chewing like weight loss, loss of appetite, or some form of abnormal behavior.
Exercise with your dog
Your dog could be engaging in inappropriate chewing because they are merely bored. Dogs get bored just like human beings. This will be the right time to take your dog for a walk or engage in games that they like. These help the dog spend excess energy and also have an opportunity to bond with you.
Discourage negative chewing
Once you have your toy, the next step is to teach your dog what to chew and what to avoid. Your commands should be clear enough for the dog to understand. When your dog chews a shoe, shout a big no, so that it knows what it has done is bad. You can offer your dog treats when it chews the right object. Avoid chasing the dog away though, because they often interpret this as a time to play.
Use deterrent sprays
Some sprays in the market produce an unpleasant smell. Once you have identified the objects you do not want your dog to chew on, use the spray to repulse them from chewing on the objects. You can find some of these sprays in your local spray store. Avoid using sprays that have toxic substances in them. Some homemade remedies include red pepper or white vinegar.
Your puppy can be suffering from teething, and you can help them go through this process effectively. One way to do this is freeze a wet cloth and having them chew on it instead of furniture. Chewing is a form of coping mechanism, so spending some quality time with your puppy can be helpful during this time.
Keep dangerous objects out of the way
Your dog can start chewing on objects that will cause it harm. This can include electrical cords, small objects or the remote control. Hide this item where your dog cannot reach. You can add duct tape to electrical cords or hide them behind walls. Find an empty box where you will be putting items that your dog likes chewing.
Most of the time your dog starts chewing items is when you are not around. We definitely do not expect you to babysit your dog 24/7, but you can lock him/her up when you are not around. Some dog owners use a leash to encourage positive behaviors from the dog. If you have the budget, you can install baby gates in rooms that you do not want the dog to visit (depending on the structure of your house).
There some people who beat their dogs when they engage in inappropriate chewing. Some put a duct tape around the dogs’ mouth. However, this is not encouraged because it destroys your bond with your dog. You also may end harming him, and this does you no good. Treat your dog as you would your best friend, and he/she will reciprocate.
Praising your dog
You can teach your dog to chew on appropriate items by using positive affirmations whenever they chew on the right thing. A pat on the back with the words “good boy” will go a long way to help your dog learn good behavior. With time you will notice that your dog associates this kind of chewing with good behavior, and they will soon stop chewing on furniture.
After you have tried all of the above and your dog still chews on furniture, then it could be time you considered hiring a professional dog trainer. While you will pay extra for this service, it will get your dog to do the right thing fast. You can do research online for the best dog trainers in the market and give it a try. Dog trainers often have training on various illnesses that affect dogs; they can differentiate between a dog that chews on furniture because it is boring and one that has a nutritional deficiency.
A dog that chews on furniture can cause you unimaginable pain. It can be hard, inviting friends over because your home is in ruins. To recap what we have discussed, the first thing you need to do is rule out a medical problem. Your vet can help you with this. If your dog is chewing on furniture because it is anxious or bored, try taking it outside for walks. Exercises will exhaust a dog. You can buy your dog toys like kongs to chew on instead of furniture. In addition, make sure you keep items like shoes out of reach. If you are not going to be spending your day in the house, consider putting your dog in a kennel. If all fails try hiring a professional dog trainer.
Deinah Storm is a pet lover from the US that’s had cats and dogs all her life. When she’s not walking the dogs with her family, she spends time writing informational and interesting blogs about pets to share with pet lover communities.