You were probably used to your puppy chewing on anything he could get his paws on, but it might have been a complete shock when your older dog started gnawing on your kitchen table or favorite pair of shoes. Destructive dog chewing is a common symptom in adult dogs, even if they didn’t exhibit the behavior as a puppy.
For older or disabled dogs, it is used as a natural way to keep their jaws strong and their teeth clean as they age. It can also be a way to combat boredom or alleviate mild anxiety and frustration. However, regardless of the reason, your dog’s munching can cause considerable damage to your furniture, clothes, and home. So, try one of these paws-itive techniques to prevent your dog from any more destructive chewing and help them lead a happier, healthier life.
1. Give Him Something Else to Chew Instead
If Fido’s looking for something to chew, give him something approved for dog’s teeth. Having a large variety of chew toys and inedible chew bones will alleviate his urge to chew in a healthier and safer way Be sure to opt for durable chew toys instead of stuffed animals because these will withstand your dog’s abuse and last a couple of days or weeks. You will want to rotate the items you give him so that he doesn’t get bored with the same old toys. Also, you should never give him cooked bones such as T-bones or chicken wings as these can splinter and cause some serious pain to your pooch. You can, however, give him bully sticks, pig ears, rawhide bones, or any other vet-approved natural chews.
2. Add Chewing Deterrents
You can stop your dog from chewing household items by making them unappealing to him. Watch your dog for a day and try to see if you can spot the things he’s attracted to. Then, spray these inappropriate items with chewing deterrents. You can buy these at your local pet store or make one out of apple cider vinegar and white vinegar. When you first use it, apply a little to a piece of tissue or cotton and gently place it in front of your dog’s mouth. He will most likely try to taste it and then spit it out. This will help him learn the connection between the deterrent’s smell and its taste. Therefore, when you spray the items you don’t want your dog to chew, he will know not to put these items in his mouth.
3. Exercise Often and Get Outside
One of the most common reasons for unwanted chewing is because our dogs are getting old and bored. Sometimes this is a result of a lack of physical and mental stimulation. When they’re not stimulated, dogs will use chewing as a way to entertain themselves. Therefore, you need to give your dog as much exercise as possible. Older dogs should be getting daily walks and you can mix-up their physical activity with some dog sports such as agility, flyball, and fetch games. This will keep their mind on sports rather than chewing up your furniture.
Chewing is a natural part of a dog’s aging process. However, it doesn’t have to come at the expense of your furniture. Pay attention to your pooch and take the necessary steps to help him age in a safe and healthy way.