So long as they’re not too flimsy, rubber chew toys often represent the safest options for many dogs. The best rubber chew toys are those that are firm enough to stand up to serious chewing, yet have enough “give” so they don’t cause tooth damage. Just make sure that the size of the toy is appropriate for your dog—the better toys come with a handy “size guide” on their packaging or on their website. Giving your dog a toy that's too small could lead to choking, while too large could lead to excessive strain and damage to their jaw and chewing muscles.
Give him plenty of exercise. Exercise is vitally important for dogs prone to inappropriate chewing or other destructive behaviors. A tired pup will be less likely to get into things. Exercise also produces endorphins, which have a calming effect. In fact, it is these endorphins that are stimulated by chewing, so if your dog is not getting enough exercise, he may unconsciously be seeking to replace needed endorphins by releasing pent-up energy through chewing.
Excellent results have been obtained by using the following exercise to re-orient the dog’s chewing habits. Take away all of the dog’s former chewies, and replace them with a meat-scented nylon bone (NylaboneTM is one such toy). Make this bone the focus of a fetch and play session at least twice a day. The combination of the owner’s scent with the meat scent makes it an appealing object on which to chew. Since the toy bone has now become the focus of intense interaction between the dog and the owner, the vast majority of dogs will aim their chewing at it.
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.”

Use bad-tasting repellants and sprays. You can keep puppies and adult dogs away from some items by using impersonal correction, preferably where the “environment” does the correcting. For example, spray items with Bitter Apple spray or Boundary dog repellant, or use a Scat Mat at the edge of a countertop, to stop counter surfers. This type of training operates on the same principle as a child touching a hot stove – if something is particularly unpleasant, most likely the child or the dog will make the decision not to repeat that behavior.
One of the common answers to, “Why do dogs chew their feet?” Allergies. If the behavior coincides with a change of seasons, that offers a clue that an environmental allergen, such as pollen, mold or mildew, might be triggering the behavior. More long-term chewing could signal a food allergy. But determining the exact food ingredient is difficult and time consuming. “It is a process of trial and error, and it’s impossible to predict just by looking at the dog just what they are allergic to,” Dr. Pachel says.

My dog constantly chews and licks her paws. She has done this for several years. She also throws up at least once a week. Sometimes it’s the undigested food, other times it’s yellow color. Three times it has been blood. The vet thinks it’s food allergies, so I changed her food two weeks ago and she is still throwing up. Her WBC is always low too when we do blood work. What else could be the cause?
All dogs should be familiar with the “drop it” command, it can literally save a dog’s life by telling him to drop something before he/she ingests it. I have used it several times and have spared my dogs from eating various potentially dangerous objects. Many obedience training instructors teach this command in their classes. You can try to teach it yourself by tossing a toy to your dog. Your dog picks it up and you then say “drop it” while showing your dog a treat. The dog will immediately drop the toy and you will give the treat. Repeat several times. At some point do not give the treat any longer but rather pat him on the head praising him. Then try this command next time your dog is about to chew your favorite furniture. He should promptly stop chewing and come towards your direction. Hand him his favorite toy and praise him lavishly for taking it.
My dog has been biting his foot for a couple years now. We used to treat it by giving him half of a children's Benadryl pill (vet recommended) but we stopped awhile back when it seemed to stop. Recently he's been biting his foot again but now it's all the time and he softly whines the whole time he's doing it. I think it's time we get him checked out, thoughts?

Every new puppy or dog owner should expect a certain amount of destruction from curiosity-based or tension-relieving oral tendencies of the pet. The solution to the problem lies in removing the environmental cause and guiding the dog towards the appropriate objects to chew. The above-mentioned preventive and corrective approaches will help to minimize and ultimately solve the problem while allowing the dog to develop a healthy relationship with you.


Available everywhere and relatively inexpensive, rawhides can be a good chew option for some dogs. Plenty of dogs chew rawhides without incident. However, some dogs end up with bits of rawhide lodged in their “windpipe” (trachea), causing choking; or big pieces in their stomach, causing a digestive obstruction. If your dog actually chews the rawhide, rather than biting off and gulping large chunks, they’ll likely be OK — they may even get some teeth-cleaning benefits. This is especially true if you pick up a VOHC-approved “dental rawhide.”

This psychological approach will tell your dog what not to chew on while offering alternate options. It works because it is a positive way to handle the issue, and dogs seem to learn better this way. Next time your dog goes for his favorite table leg, catch him in the act and startle him by saying “Aaah-aahh!” clapping your hands. Immediately, right after, toss him a chew toy. Once he chews it tell him “Good boy” in a praising matter.
I’ve been known to put my foot in my mouth. But dogs do it on purpose. So, why do dogs chew their feet? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Sure, there’s a simple explanation for the behavior. “A dog is essentially trying to scratch the itch,” says Christopher Pachel, DVM, owner of the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, Oregon. But finding the cause of foot chewing can be complicated. “It can be multiple different things,” Dr. Pachel says. “This is not one size fits all.”

Dogs, especially puppies, explore the world with their mouth. She likes to chew because it calms her. But it destroys your stuff. Even worse -- she might eat something like a sock that could block her intestines. Break this habit now. Give her chew toys, and take away things she shouldn't gnaw on. If you catch her chewing something she shouldn’t, say “no,” replace the object with an approved toy, and praise her once she's chewing it.
You don’t mention TUFFIES CHEW PROOF beds. I have had mine for more than 4 years now. I have replaced one cover not due to chewing but to digging. Replacement covers are cheap and easy to fit. And they come with a guarantee! My dogs love them and haven’t chewed them at all – because there is nothing they can chew. The beds are waterproof, warm, have a nice wide rim to rest the head on and have very thick duvet-style material in the base. They wash with the hose or with soapy water and dry very quickly since they are waterproof.

Do your best to supervise your dog during all waking hours until you feel confident that his chewing behavior is under control. If you see him licking or chewing an item he shouldn’t, say “Uh-oh,” remove the item from your dog’s mouth, and insert something that he CAN chew. Then praise him happily. If you suspect that your dog might react aggressively if you remove an item from his mouth, please see our Finding Professional Behavior Help article for information about finding a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or Associate CAAB), a board-certified veterinary behaviorist (Dip ACVB) or a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) with specialized training in treating aggression for guidance.
Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs. They use their mouths to explore the environment in the same way that humans use their hands as investigative tools. Irksome and sometimes expensive destructive chewing usually takes place when the owner is not with the dog. Therefore, correction when the dog starts or is in the act is impossible. The chewing can then become a compulsive behavior when the dog is lonely, bored, stressed or anxious.
Do your best to supervise your dog during all waking hours until you feel confident that his chewing behavior is under control. If you see him licking or chewing an item he shouldn’t, say “Uh-oh,” remove the item from your dog’s mouth, and insert something that he CAN chew. Then praise him happily. If you suspect that your dog might react aggressively if you remove an item from his mouth, please see our Finding Professional Behavior Help article for information about finding a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or Associate CAAB), a board-certified veterinary behaviorist (Dip ACVB) or a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) with specialized training in treating aggression for guidance.
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