Whether your puppy is teething, or your adult dog anxiously chews, we’ve got everything you need to know about bully sticks for dogs. Teething is normal for puppies. Just like humans, they find relief in chewing when their adult teeth are coming in. However, your puppy may not differentiate between their teething toys and the sofa!
And it’s not just puppies who chew. Dogs chew at all ages. It may be a symptom of anxiety, nerves or stress. Equally, they may have an oral injury or dental problems, causing them to seek relief in chewing. Whatever the cause of your dog’s chewing, we’re here to help you remedy the situation (and save your furnishings in the process!)
Dogs chew for a variety of reasons. Once you’ve worked out the main cause of your dog’s chewing, you can work with them to find a suitable solution.
Puppies find comfort in chewing when they are teething. They will experience mild pain while their adult teeth come in and, as a result, they’ll chew pretty much anything. You can give your puppy ice cubes or even a frozen Kong toy to satisfy their urge to chew. Teething in puppies usually ends by six months. If your pup still seems to be chewing after this age, it may be one of the below reasons.
Some dogs are very anxious when left alone. This may be because of past experiences, especially if they’re a rescue dog. Or they may simply be very attached to their human companions and not cope well alone. Crate training is a common way of fighting separation anxiety. If your pup doesn’t like the crate, they might explore your home and find things to chew. Other signs of separation anxiety include accidents in the house despite being trained, whimpering, crying and panting.
Your dog might be chewing because they’re hungry. This is particularly common if your doggy is overweight and, on a calorie-restricted diet. Don’t worry, there are plenty of low-calorie remedies to chewing so they don’t have to opt for your sofa!
Puppies and young adult dogs may suck fabric, including clothing and furnishings. It’s not the same as chewing but can be just as damaging. This comes from the inherent need to feed on their mother and may require a visit from a professional dog trainer if they persist.
Every dog has their favorite chew ‘toys’! Some dogs will opt for a pair of shoes, which they’ll steal and store in their bed for safe-keeping. Other pups will lazily chew on the side of the couch – this is a common one! Whatever your dog likes to chew, you should aim to move any temptation from around their bed. Put shoes in the cupboard, keep the TV remote in the drawer and try to distract your dog if they go for the side of the couch. We know, it’s easier said than done. That’s where bully sticks come in.
The easiest way to stop your dog chewing is to give them a dog-friendly alternative, such as bully sticks. They are obviously experiencing the urge to chew and telling them off simply won’t help. Bully sticks are digestible dog treats.
Not all bully sticks are created the same. In fact, some are made from low-grade ingredients and can even carry bacterial infection or worse. When choosing bully sticks for your dog, opt for 100% US beef.
Many pet owners are averse to buying bully sticks for their dogs as they are known to smell and can leave quite the odor around the house. Always choose 100% beef and high-quality ingredients to ensure less stink and more taste for your teething dog.
Another great option for chewing is a frozen Kong stuffed with peanut butter. This particularly useful if your dog suffers from separation anxiety, as it can keep them busy for an hour while you’re out and about.
Sometimes dogs chew because they have a lot of pent-up energy. Make sure your pooch is getting all the exercise they need so they can see time in the house as rest and not play!
It’s very important to set strict rules with your dog if they are known to chew. Firstly, you should never let them chew old shoes or other clothing items. They won’t be able to differentiate between old and new, and they’ll think all shoes are fair game! Stick to specific dog toys and treats, like bully sticks, and they’ll quickly learn what’s OK and what’s not.
Never shout at your dog if they’ve made a mistake. This is particularly true if chewing is a symptom of anxiety, as raising your voice will only make things worse. You should also avoid using their name, as they will begin to associate that with being told off and not praised. Stick to firm short words like “no” and point at the area – they’ll no doubt give that classic guilty dog look!
Reward your dog for chewing their bully sticks – this way they know that’s the right thing to do and they’ll look forward to that time of the day/week. With dogs, it’s all about positive reinforcement. If you return from a trip out and they’ve not chewed, give them plenty of attention and praise. At the end of the day, it’s our love they crave – and that doesn’t cost a thing!
A passionate blogger and digital marketing professional from the United Kingdom. Ellen runs Content By The Sea, a web design and copywriting company based in Newcastle Upon Tyne. When she’s not working, Ellen is exploring the stunning British coastline with her retired greyhound, Potter.