It comes in very handy having a resident dog expert to call upon for advice. It’s also great to be able to pass on useful tips and tactics to our customers, safe in the knowledge that they come from someone with many years of experience of grooming other people’s dogs. This week we’re focusing on the age old dog chewing problem. Dogs can get bored if they’re on their own all day, young dogs have teething pains and some dogs just like to chew things!
Dianna offers some advice on how to discourage destructive chewing.
Pro Pooch: Hello Dianna, nice to see you once more! So, why do some dogs seem to chew everything in sight?
Dianna: It’s nice to be back! Well, dogs chew things for all sorts of reasons. Chewing is instinctive behaviour in all dogs as it helps them to keep their teeth and gums clean and their jaws exercised and strong. Very young dogs may have teeth erupting and will chew on things to relieve gum soreness. Older dogs like to chew to maintain dental hygiene and jaw strength. Unfortunately, some dogs chew because they are bored or frustrated if they left alone for long periods of time and they have never been taught as young dogs to confine their chewing activities only to objects that they are allowed to chew. This makes a dog chewing problem difficult to tackle.
Pro Pooch: How old will a puppy be when he or she stops teething?
Dianna: Their teeth are usually all through by about 5 to 6 months but it’s important to encourage good chewing behaviour whilst your dog is still young. When I need to help a client tackle a puppy or young dog chewing problem, I advise them to use Pro Pooch anti chew spray to help their pet to learn what they can and can’t chew.
Pro Pooch: How do you tackle a dog chewing problem if the chewing is simply due to boredom?
Dianna: A combination of imaginative boredom relief and anti chew spray may be necessary here, and with older dogs, you can’t expect the problem to be solved overnight. The dog owner will need to be very patient and constructive. If your dog is left alone for long periods of time then leave them plenty of things that the dog can entertain themselves with and chew away at, without a worry. If you have a garden then allow the dog to access it and make sure that they are safe and cannot escape or cause annoyance to your neighbours. Perhaps your dog would like a companion to play with? You could always try having a friend, family member or neighbour pop in and spend a little time with your dog, or employ the services of a professional dog walker who can take your dog out for a good long walk to relieve their boredom.
These tactics used in conjunction with an anti chew spray, will usually solve a dog chewing problem over time. The Pro Pooch dog anti chew spray contains a very strong, nasty tasting substance which is completely harmless to dogs and humans but which will certainly discourage your dog from chewing furniture, carpets, fabric or shoes.
Pro Pooch: What sort of things would you recommend that owners with a dog chewing problem provide for their pets to chew when they feel the urge?
Dianna: There are all sorts of hard rubber toys that can be bought in a pet shop which are designed to be chewed by dogs and which give them a satisfying chewing experience. Most will last a long while but will eventually need replacing. You shouldn’t really leave your dog alone all day with a bone to chew just in case your dog swallows a bone fragment which gets stuck. If your dog is teething, you could try freezing an old wet towel. Let the towel defrost a little so that it is very cold and damp and then let your puppy chew that. The very cold water will help to numb their gums and bring some pain relief.
Some dogs like to chew shoes or fabric and if this is the case, give them some old shoes and old clothes to chew on, but let them know what they can and can’t chew. Encourage them to chew their own toys and their own things and perhaps use the anti chew spray and some gentle instruction to help them learn what not to chew.
Pro Pooch: Our thanks once more, Dianna, for your time and advice. We’re sure our readers will find the information very useful for solving dog chewing problems. We hope to speak to you again very soon.
Dianna: You’re most welcome and I look forward to coming back again in the near future.