As puppies start to explore the world, chewing on different objects is normal. Mostly, this is a young dog’s means to relieve pain due to incoming teeth, to combat boredom, or to relieve mild anxiety.
Although chewing is normal, pups can sometimes direct it towards inappropriate items. If your canine pal is guilty of destructive chewing, you need to teach him what’s okay to chew and what’s not. To help, a Dubai dog food company lists the following ways to help you stop your pup from chewing your valuable items.
1. Pet-proof your house
When you have a puppy in the house, it’s essential that you put valuable items out of sight until you’re confident about your pet’s behavior. Make it easier for your pup to do the right thing by keeping shoes and close in a closed cabinet and books on shelves. While you’re still teaching your pup how to behave around the house, make sure his chewing behavior gets restricted to correct items like pet toys.
2. Offer fun toys
Primarily, your pup should have a large selection of fun dog toys and other chew items. How voracious a chewer your pet is will determine what material you should choose for a toy. For dogs who don’t get frustrated and tear things, soft toys are a good choice. For dogs who love to rip toys apart, a puzzle game made of plastic or wood may be effective.
As useful as the toys are in entertaining your pup, they’re not for unsupervised play time. Pay close attention to the types of toys that keep your dog chewing for a long time and continue to offer those. Also, introduce something new or rotate your pup’s toys once in a while so that he doesn’t get bored.
3. Give regular exercise
A young pup who is full of energy needs a corresponding activity where he can let it all out. A simple way to fix this problem is to give your pet plenty of exercise. If you’re still having a problem with chewing even after providing fun toys, then get out of the house and take your pup out for a walk in the park.
Even a simple game of fetch is enough to allow your pup to obtain the workout he needs. If you can’t take your dog out, consider taking him to a pet daycare instead so that he doesn’t wreak havoc inside your house while you’re gone. As your pup gets to spend most of his energy on exercise, he’ll be too tired to chew on inappropriate items.
4. Avoid confusion
To help your pup differentiate between things he can and can’t chew, it’s crucial that you avoid confusing him by offering unnecessary household items. Don’t give old shoes or discarded cushions. It isn’t fair to expect your pup to learn that some shoes are okay to chew while others aren’t.
5. Set up a confinement area
If you can’t supervise your pup all day, find a way to keep him from chewing inappropriate things during your absence. For instance, if you work during the day, leave your dog inside a confinement area like a crate or playpen. Be sure that you remove all things your pet shouldn’t chew inside the confinement area, provide food and water, and give him entertainment through toys.
Bear in mind that when you confine your dog, you have to give him plenty of exercises as well as attention once you get back.
6. Know when to reprimand and give praise
Do all you can to supervise your pup until he learns to control his chewing behavior. If you see your pet licking or chewing something he shouldn’t, say “No” and remove the item from his mouth. Exchange it with another thing to chew from one his toys then praise him.
Your pup needs to understand and feel that you’re not happy about him chewing inappropriate things. This will help him determine which things are okay and not okay to put in his mouth.
Provide gentle guidance
Puppies don’t yet understand what they’re doing. Your pup will need your gentle guidance to teach him what is right and wrong. If you catch your dog chewing something he shouldn’t, don’t shout or scare him off, instead, try changing his behavior through the 6 ways mentioned.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet's Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a BSc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.