How to Keep Pets From Destructive Chewing
Pets can be adorable and absolute sweethearts but training a new dog can be a handful! Chewing is one issue pet parents can encounter from most pets- be it from a dog, cat, or even rabbits! Pets love to chew on things and tear things up! However, nothing is more upsetting than coming home, as a pet parent, to chewed up furniture, ruined shoes, or even destroyed curtains. You might have even thought “Wouldn’t it be easier to make a double of myself to stay at home to keep my pet from eating my furniture??”
Destructive chewing is a bad habit of pets. It can mean chewing on the furniture, or even dangerous objects like electrical wires. For your own peace of mind and your pet’s safety, it’s important to stop your pet from any destructive chewing as soon as possible.
Here are some tips for helping your pet avoid destructive chewing:
Know Your Pet
Puppies often teethe just like human babies. They start exploring the world with their mouths and will teethe for a few months. This sometimes will lead to Destructive chewing in adult dogs. Chewing itself can be a natural behavior, but destruction is not. Knowing what is “normal” for pet and understanding their behavior will help. The first step with destructive chewing is to make sure your pet is not suffering from any medical issues.
Maybe your pet is destructively chewing because they are anxious or there are other underlying health issue. A trip to the vet should be your first stop.
Make sure your home is pet- proofed and there are no dangerous items your pet could be chewing on in close proximity to them. This includes household chemicals, toxic plants, and electrical cords. Some parents even use rugs to cover up spots as a creative solution. Pet proofing is not easy, so take it slowly and one room at a time. Ensure you’re looking out for narrow or unsafe gaps and try to block them from your pets.
Create a Safe Space
Give your pet a safe space in your home. This could include a corner in your apartment or a comfortable crate with blankets. Some people might even use baby gates to contain their pets in corners or areas of their house. The important part is that your pet feels safe, relaxed, and has a home base to return to if they feel threated. Chewing can be directed onto toys or other appropriate items when your pet is in their safe space.
When helping your pet avoid destructive chewing, it’s a great idea to have toys available. Don’t make YOUR belongings available to your pet. If they wind up in your pet’s mouth, take them away and out of their reach and redirect them with their own toys! Never offer your pet shoes or socks- or toys that are similar to your own household items.
If you do catch your pet chewing on an item, they shouldn’t be chewing on, make a loud noise to interrupt them and offer them an appropriate chew or toy. Praise your dog then for chewing on the toy, praise them, and give them affection. If you don’t have a toy close by- a treat could also work, but a toy is ideal!
Having playtime with your dog can help spend excess energy that might be spent doing destructive chewing! This can also improve your bond with your pet- and you can get some extra exercise too. Besides playtime in the yard though, mental stimulation and exercise is also a great idea. Hide and seek or brain games with your pet can help spend excess energy and distract them from destructive chewing.
Be sure to take your pet to day care or book them with a dog walker rather than leaving them at home alone for hours. This helps keep your pet happy and healthy. Bored animals can take out frustrations through chewing or desruction.
Be Patient with your pet. Even the best and sweetest pet can have a slip-up every once and a while. Remind yourself that you love them and you are both working together to correct any issues. Don’t yell or scream- and definitely NEVER hit your pet.
If your pet chews on something, just know that it’s a work in progress. Learn some more anti-chewing strategies or ideas to work on. You might even need the help of a trainer- and that’s ok!
You now have a few times to help prevent your pets from destructive chewing! Be patient with your pets while they adjust. The more you play, bond, and engage with your pet, the faster they will learn what is acceptable and ok to chew on. If these tips and tricks don’t work, you can also contact a trainer or even your vet. Help is always around the corner!
What tips do you have to help your dog stop destructive chewing? Leave a comment below!
Check out more advice here: The 10 Best Family Pets
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