“You don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “Warren, my dog keeps chewing my socks!” When I ask the owner what he does when he catches Fido in the act, I usually hear, “I yell ‘No!,’ take the socks away from him, and give him his own sock to play with.”
Here it’s the owner, not the dog, who’s at fault. After all, we can’t expect Fido to differentiate between his sock and other socks. To Fido, a sock is a sock. One minute his owner is reprimanding him for chewing a sock; the next minute he’s encouraging Fido to chew one. It’s enough to make any pet neurotic! That’s why my number one rule when it comes to preventing chewing problems is: Don’t confuse your pet by giving him household items to chew on. Give him items specifically made for him such as rawhide and dog toys.
And here’s another way many owners confuse their pets: You catch your dog chewing on one of your shoes. What’s your reaction? If you’re like most people, you’d say “No!,” take away the shoe, then give Fido a rawhide bone to chew on. By doing this you’re teaching Fido that anytime he wants a piece of rawhide, all he has to do is chew on one of your shoes!
Finally, here’s another common mistake owners make – they assume their one, two, or even three-year-old dog is still teething and hope that Fido will eventually outgrow this behavior. What they don’t realize is that the average dog completes teething by five or six months of age. If Fido is any older, it’s not a teething problem; it’s a chewing problem!
So what’s the best way to deal with chewing problems? We need to teach Fido what and what not to chew on. And here’s how:
Step 1 – Teach Fido What Not To Chew
Probably the best solution is a product called Bitter YUCK! – an odorless, water-based, non-sticky and easy to apply spray that will stop animals from chewing or licking on any number of problem areas. You can order Bitter YUCK online on this website
Step 2 – Give Fido Lots Of Chewing Options
Step 3 – Give Fido Lots Of Exercise
So give your pet a good workout before you leave him alone at home – especially if that’s when he seems to be doing the bulk of his chewing. Whether it’s an extra walk, some doggy aerobics or some puppy push-ups, this exercise period will allow your pet to use up some of his pent-up energy.
In some rare instances, a chewing problem may be related to a physiological problem. If you can honestly say that you’ve followed the aforementioned steps precisely and consistently over a sufficient period of time, you should consider having your pet examined by your veterinarian. Tooth and gum problems can occasionally be the cause of excessive chewing. A vitamin or mineral deficiency may also cause a dog to chew (or actually eat) inappropriate items. This is especially true if your pet constantly chews on paper, matches and wood.
The physiological causes of chewing problems, however, are relatively rare. The majority of chewing problems are caused by owners. By modifying your own behavior and following the steps I’ve outlined above, your Chippendale chairs, Gucci shoes and other prized possessions will stay intact.