How to stop your dog chewing!
Chewing is instinctual and perfectly normal behaviour for a dog. It is calming and makes him feel good and it also helps keep his teeth and gums healthy. However, coming home to find your best shoes or new slippers in bits is not desirable, creates unwanted stress on you and your dog when he gets scolded and is obviously an expensive behaviour. Dogs love to chew shoes and socks as they have the strongest body scent of his beloved owner. In particular, try and keep your socks out of his reach as they can be easily swallowed and can cause stomach and bowel blockages and unwanted and unnecessary veterinary procedures.
Chewing can be prevented by understanding this behaviour is natural and providing an alternative is key to stop a dog chewing. When your dog starts to chew on an undesirable object, ask him to leave or drop and distract by offering a treat or a favourite toy or something else for him to chew in place of it. Praise him for leaving the favoured chew object and offer a chewable toy instead.
Chewing the right thing can also be an intellectual challenge so offering interactive toys that hold treats for him to work out how to get them out, is a good way to keep him mentally stimulated and happy for hours, particularly when you are out of the house if separation anxiety is a problem. A good one for food obsessed dogs!
Chewing keeps your dogs teeth and gums healthy and clean. Cleaning your dog’s teeth with a toothbrush is not easy, most dog’s object! A good alternative is a daily dental stick which is made up of edible abrasive particles to help clean the teeth and flavoured with chicken and meat to make them tasty.
There are lots of other chewable items on the market ; rawhide chews, pigs ears, imitation wood, antlers, and rubber bone toys to name a few. As most vet’s would agree, giving dogs raw bones should be given with caution as bones can splinter and become lodged in the throat, stomach, intestines and bowel which can be life threatening. Some bones are very hard and can crack their teeth and the sharp edges can cut the gums and tongue and get stuck between the teeth. Never give cooked bones to your dog – particularly cooked chicken bones.