What should I do if my dog is chewing on furniture or shoes?

03/10/2023

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What to do if your dog is chewing on furniture or shoes?

Dogs are known for their curious nature, and one common issue many dog owners face is their furry friend chewing on furniture or shoes. While it may seem frustrating or destructive, it's essential to understand that chewing is a natural behavior for dogs. Chewing helps alleviate boredom, teething discomfort, and can even be a way for them to explore their surroundings. However, it's crucial to redirect this behavior to prevent damage to your belongings. Here are some effective strategies to help you tackle this issue:

1. Determine the underlying cause

Before you can address the chewing problem, it's essential to identify the underlying cause behind your dog's behavior. Dogs may chew on furniture or shoes due to various reasons, including:

- Teething: Puppies tend to chew more during the teething phase, which usually occurs between three to six months of age. They chew to relieve discomfort and help their adult teeth come in.

- Boredom: Dogs that are left alone for long periods without mental or physical stimulation may resort to chewing as a way to entertain themselves.

- Anxiety or stress: Dogs may chew as a coping mechanism when they feel anxious or stressed. This behavior can be triggered by separation anxiety, changes in the household, or other anxiety-inducing situations.

2. Provide appropriate chew toys

To redirect your dog's chewing behavior, it's crucial to provide them with appropriate chew toys. Look for toys specifically designed for chewing, such as sturdy rubber toys or dental chews. These toys will help satisfy your dog's natural urge to chew while keeping them engaged. Introducing new toys and rotating them regularly will also help prevent boredom and keep your dog's interest.

When introducing a new chew toy, make it more enticing by smearing a small amount of peanut butter or another dog-friendly spread on it. This can help divert your dog's attention from furniture or shoes to the appropriate chew toy.

3. Keep your dog entertained and active

Boredom is a significant factor in destructive chewing behavior. Ensure your dog receives enough mental and physical stimulation throughout the day to keep them entertained and occupied. Consider the following activities:

- Regular exercise: Take your dog for daily walks or engage in playtime sessions to burn off excess energy. A tired dog is less likely to engage in destructive chewing.

- Puzzle toys: Use interactive puzzle toys that require your dog to work for treats or their daily meals. These toys provide mental stimulation and can keep them occupied for extended periods.

- Training and obedience: Engage your dog in training sessions to keep their mind engaged and strengthen the bond between you. Teaching them commands like "leave it" or "drop it" can be particularly helpful in redirecting their chewing behavior.

4. Supervise and manage the environment

When you can't directly supervise your dog, it's crucial to manage the environment to prevent them from accessing furniture or shoes. Consider using baby gates or crate training to confine your dog to a designated area. This will limit their access to tempting objects and prevent them from chewing inappropriately.

Additionally, keep shoes and other valuable items out of your dog's reach. Store them in closed closets or use storage containers to keep them safe. Consider using bitter-tasting sprays or natural deterrents on furniture or shoes to discourage chewing.

5. Seek professional help if needed

If your dog's chewing behavior persists despite your efforts, it's essential to seek professional help. Consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer to rule out any underlying medical conditions or behavioral issues. They can provide tailored advice and guidance based on your dog's specific needs.

Remember, patience and consistency are key when addressing any unwanted behavior in dogs. With proper training, management, and redirection, you can help your dog develop appropriate chewing habits and protect your furniture and shoes from their curious jaws.

If you're looking for more tips and advice on pet care, training, and behavior, visit our website to find a wealth of resources to help you and your furry friend thrive together.

Julieth Bill

Hi, I'm Julieth Bill. Before I was a writer for the NBCpet.com blog I was known for inventive and unusual treatments of dogs, cats, bird, fish, snakes, horses, rabbit, reptiles, and guinea pigs. Julieth worked for major zoos around the world. He Also Receives Pets a Scholarship.

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