Dogs chew items for different reasons, such as working out frustration or exploring unfamiliar objects. While this type of behavior, in general, is considered normal, some dogs end up chewing on inappropriate items, such as shoes, clothing, furniture and even doorways and other wooden structures in the home. If your dog has been chewing on the wrong items, there are ways to redirect this behavior to appropriate objects. Use the following tips to help you out.
Provide Appropriate Chewing Items
Leave chewing items for dogs around your home to make your dog less likely to gnaw on the wrong items. Choose chew toys that won’t fall apart easily, such as Kongs filled with treats or other sturdy toys. Your dog should be able to spend plenty of time chewing on these toys without having them break. This also means you won’t have to replace them as often.
Change Chew Toys Regularly
Your dog is bound to get bored chewing on the same things day after day. In order to stimulate your dog’s mind and discourage boredom, switch chew toys on a regular basis. Being able to explore a new item every so often helps dogs stay interested and prevents them from turning to the wrong things for chewing. In addition to Kongs, you can also look for sturdy puzzle toys that encourage your dog to chew. Other items for chewing include Bully Sticks and sweet potatoes. Avoid giving your dog rawhide to chew, since it can cause internal blockages or be a choking hazard.
Don’t Punish Your Dog
If you see your dog chewing on the wrong item, avoid the urge to punish him by yelling. Instead, interrupt your dog by clapping your hands to get his attention, then redirect him to an appropriate chew toy. Repeat this each time you catch your dog chewing on the wrong objects in your home. Punishing will only make your dog feel fearful, but redirecting helps your dog learn to chew on the right things.
Keep in mind that it might take a bit of time for your dog to learn to chew the right items. In the meantime, try to limit access to certain items you don’t want your dog chewing on, such as shoes, and make sure you stay patient as much as possible