As with the lonely dog, the anxious dog should be confined to his crate for the first two weeks when home alone. Beginning with the third week, leave the dog in his crate with the door open for a period of time not to exceed 20 minutes. If you return home to any signs of destruction, shorten the length of time that you are gone until you arrive at a time span that is successful. From that point on, SLOWLY increase the length of time that you are gone until you have reached your goal. If at any time, you come home to destruction, go backward in time at least two steps and maintain that time frame for at least a week; then proceed with the schedule as planned.
Janice M. writes, “My yellow Labrador Retriever pup is about 5 months old. Anytime I try to reward/pet him on the head or scratch behind his ears, he turns his head to chew on my hand. He does this with my husband and our 5-year-old. Our 5-year-old doesn’t like to pet him because of the puppy’s chewing. Why is he doing this? He has plenty of toys and chews in the house and yard.”
Boredom, anxiety, frustration, or excess energy may be common triggers. Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety and once left alone at home will resort to chewing half a house apart. If you recognize any of these behavior issues try to address them properly. A dog behaviorist may be necessary for severe cases. However, many times all it takes is taking your dog out more to release the extra energy and help relieve the boredome. This is usally the path towards happier and more relaxed dog.
4. Discourage inappropriate chewing. By following step two you will have already minimized the amount of mischief your young dog can get into. If you do find your dog chewing on something inappropriate correct the dog by taking the object away and scolding him. Direct his attentions to an appropriate chew object and give praise when he chews on said object. Gradually, your dog will learn what objects are his and which are not. Sometimes it can be difficult to discourage chewing if the pattern is already established. Taste deterrents such as bitter apple can applied to the object, the noxious taste will hopefully deter the determined chewer and he will learn to leave the object alone.
These chews — which include things like Greenies®, Dentastix™, Brushing Chews®, VeggieDent® Chews, and others — don’t last very long and therefore won't provide much long-term satisfaction for your dog’s chewing needs and desires. That said, they can provide some help with your dog’s short-term chewing desires and can even provide some help with their dental and oral health, as many of these chews can help minimize or slow plaque and/or tartar buildup. Just be aware that they can also add a fair number of calories to your dog’s diet and should only be given in moderation, especially to a dog with a weight problem. Additionally, these can become a choking hazard or digestive obstruction if your dog bites off and swallows large chunks - so always observe how your dog is chewing and interacting with these and take them away if they're not chewing well or safely enough.
Some conditions cannot be prevented but some can. Dogs should be on monthly flea and tick preventative medication. This will prevent flea allergy reactions and irritated skin. It is important to prevent your dog from being exposed to toxic chemicals. If you spray your lawn with pesticides, your dog should not be allowed to walk on the grass until the chemical is dry. The same thing goes for recently cleaned floors or carpets. Dogs should be provided toys, attention and daily exercise. Additional activities may help prevent a dog from feeling bored or anxious.
Sometimes the answer to, “Why do dogs chew their feet?” is even beneficial. When dogs instinctively lick their wounds (whether on the foot or elsewhere), antibacterial enzymes in their saliva help ward off infection, according to an article on Psychology Today’s website. Saliva also aids in cleaning abrasions and cuts, and the licking action promotes healing by stimulating cells that close the wound.
THE LONELY DOG is one that is left alone for long periods of time in an unstimulating environment. These dogs chew out of boredom. To remedy the situation several things are in order. First make sure your dog is well exercised. An aerobic work-out is required for older puppies and adolescents. Second, provide your dog with a place that he can have all to himself. Dogs possess a denning instinct; let it work for you. The best way to confine a dog is with a kennel crate. A small bathroom or a kitchen area may do, if the dog is adverse to crating. However, there are many chewable objects in these rooms including flooring and cabinetry.
In addition to getting some chew toys for puppies, consider puppy-proofing your home. It will minimize the damage to your house while you’re training your puppy, and prevent them from getting hurt. Keep a close watch on your puppy or problem adult dog by using Petcube, a pet camera that will broadcast your voice from a remote location. It’s a good way to let your dog know that you’re watching, even when you’re not in the room.
Provide your dog with plenty of his own toys and inedible chew bones. Pay attention to the types of toys that keep him chewing for long periods of time and continue to offer those. It’s ideal to introduce something new or rotate your dog’s chew toys every couple of days so that he doesn’t get bored with the same old toys. (Use caution: Only give your dog natural bones that are sold specifically for chewing. Do not give him cooked bones, like leftover t-bones or chicken wings, as these can splinter and seriously injure your dog. Also keep in mind that some intense chewers may be able to chip small pieces off of natural bones or chip their own teeth while chewing. If you have concerns about what’s safe to give your dog, speak with his veterinarian.)
Patience and consistency are the key factors leading to success. You need to ensure that each and every time your dog heads for your wood coffee table you correct him promptly and hand him a chew toy. This may be pretty annoying at first, but gradually you should notice the attempts tapering off. It is vital that you and your family members are all on the same track, ensuring that everyone will correct in the same correct matter. All it takes is a couple of episodes that are not corrected promptly to positively reinforce the behavior and return. If you are unable to watch your dog it would be in your best interest if you would crate him until you can trust him alone. Remember: corrections must occur within 5 seconds in order to be fully effective. Dogs do not have the same attention spans as humans do. If it takes longer than 5 seconds your dog may no longer know what he did wrong and will not be able to associate the correction with the wood chewing.
Any dog can bite if she feels threatened or nervous. But socializing a dog early teaches her to feel relaxed around people. Gradually expose her to different settings so she will feel safe. Spend lots of time with her so she learns to trust people. Always watch for signs that your dog is uncomfortable and then do what you can to make her feel better. Be especially careful around kids and food. If despite your efforts your dog is a biter, see your vet or your pet's trainer for help.
Puppy- and dog-proof your house. As with any type of behavior you wish to change, one of the most important things to do is manage the environment. We are all familiar with “puppy proofing” our houses – we learn to put shoes in the closet, and put pups in the crate when we are not actively supervising them. But we often forget that many adult dogs need the same type of management to keep them out of trouble.
Dog treats serve a number of useful purposes. They help satisfy your dog’s need to chew, and they’re an indispensable part of training, especially for food-motivated pups. Crunchy dog biscuits and smaller treats can be given as dog training treats or everyday snacks to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Long-lasting dog treats are great for special occasions. They can help reduce stress as your dog chews or keep her occupied when guests visit. Every pup loves good natural dog bones or bully sticks, and naturally shed antlers for dogs will keep your dogs chewing happily for hours. Chewy also contains a wide range of dog treats including dental chews dog treats, soft dog treats, dog jerky treats, freeze dried dog treats, prescription dog treats, dehydrated dog treats and more. Treat-dispensing dog toys can add another layer of chewing fun. Get the best dog treats, pet food online at Chewy!
Dogs who chew to relieve the stress of separation anxiety usually only chew when left alone or chew most intensely when left alone. They also display other signs of separation anxiety, such as whining, barking, pacing, restlessness, urination and defecation. To learn more about separation anxiety and how to treat it, please see our article, Separation Anxiety.