Most dog owners have been there: You come home or walk into a room you haven’t been in for a while and find that something has – or multiple things have – been chewed into oblivion. It’s a troubling sight and experience for multiple reasons. First, something has been ruined, whether it’s a shoe, a couch cushion, a pillow, or something that definitely wasn’t meant to be chewed on. Secondly, if your dog is an adult, it’s a potential signal that your dog is encountering a bit of stress for some reason or reasons. If your dog is a puppy, the chewing may be only a phase, but regardless, you need to do something about it. Fortunately, the question of how to solve dog chewing has answers, and KONG Club would like to provide you with a few examples of potential solutions below.
Take Preventative Measures
As you may have already experienced, pretty much everything your dog chews on while you’re not around is destroyed. Don’t set yourself up for too much in the way of losses. Remove any small and/or valuable items from the dog’s potential reach, and leave them there until this problem subsides, which it most likely will if you take the proper steps. Your dog is usually going to chew on what he or she has access to, so if you have an heirloom blanket or something you don’t want ruined, put it in a closet and up on a shelf.
In addition to valuables, you should also make sure that your dog isn’t able to chew on anything dangerous. If there are exposed electrical cords, do whatever is necessary to conceal them so your dog can’t get to them. If you have remotes for your television, stow them somewhere so your furry friend doesn’t bite off a chunk of plastic while you’re gone. By limiting what your dog can chew on, you’re also going to know ahead of time what could be harmed. This is your first step in terms of how to solve dog chewing.
Set Up a Routine
One of the most common reasons that adult dogs chew on things while we’re gone is because they’re experiencing separation anxiety. This anxiety tends to be at its highest level right after you leave. There are many reasons as to why this could be happening, but one of them could be that your dog isn’t sure when you’re going to leave and doesn’t really have a feel for when you’re going to return. You can correct that with a relatively simple step, and that step is putting together a routine. This is critical when it comes to figuring out how to solve dog chewing.
Dogs are innately aware of what’s happening around them, so they will figure out your routine quickly. If they know what to expect and when on any given day, they’ll be calmer and perhaps not chew on things as often or even at all. Even if you leave for work after a nice morning walk, they’ll begin to understand that you will return, and that could make a big difference.
Give Them Options
Some dogs are going to chew on things for whatever reason, especially if they’re puppies. If you’re trying to figure out how to solve dog chewing, perhaps the immediate answer is to simply give them something else to chew. KONG Club has a wide array of toys for this purpose that are all but indestructible. When you leave in the morning or whenever you leave your home, give your dog a toy or a few toys and place them in his or her mouth so your friend knows that you’d like these to be chewed on instead of something else.
After a while, your dog may not necessarily look forward to you leaving in the morning, but he or she will at least look forward to having his or her “chewy friends” to spend time with while they wait for your return forges onward. That little measure of security can make a big difference for a dog that’s anxious about your absence.
Tire Them Out
If the issue of how to solve dog chewing is extra complicated in your situation for some reason, such as an inability to set a routine because of the nature of your job or something else, then you can always do something simpler: Tire them out before you go somewhere. Dogs live for exertion, so if you’re going to be gone for several hours, make sure your friend has a good, long walk or run before you embark. If he or she is fast asleep before you leave, then you’ve likely done your job as an owner.
Think about times when you’re extremely tired from a lot of exercise… Do you even have the energy to be nervous or to play around with anything? Of course not – you want to relax and take it easy. It’s the same thing with your dog. If he or she is properly tired and ready to take a nice long nap, then the time you’re away will only pass that much faster.
Mental Stimulation Is Important
It’s just as important to provide a dog with mental stimulation as it is with physical exertion. A bored dog is a dog whose mind is going to wander, as is the case with humans. There are a variety of ways that you can promote mental stimulation in your pooch. Obviously, you can play with him or her while you’re home, which is not only mentally stimulating but exhilarating for your friend, but you can also set things up so your friend gets that mental stimulation while you’re gone.
Enrichment for dogs can take many different forms. Reach out to your KONG Club pet coach for ideas to minimize chewing. Our 24/7 Vets and Pet Coaches will work 1:1 with you to create Personalized Pet Plans for chewing and other health and behavior issues.
Click HERE to start a chewing plan today.