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Put the Bite on Your Dog’s Furniture-Chewing Habit

March 1, 2015

Your retriever mix Rascal has really cultivated his taste for fine furniture. At first, this single-minded dog was content to nibble on your family room’s bean bag chairs and floor pillows. Now, he has graduated to the big time: chewing on your impeccably made living room set. Although Rascal’s chomping helps to clean his teeth, he has clearly gone down the wrong path. Tomorrow, your West Greenwich veterinarian will provide your mistakenly focused pooch with some behavioral counseling.

Secure the Crime Scene

First, select the most obvious solution: remove your destructive delinquent from the crime scene. Close the living room door, if you have one. Otherwise, blockade the room with a baby gate or other temporary barrier. However, realize that your clever canine might consider this only a minor inconvenience.

Perhaps your dog would rather chew on some high-quality printed material. Dissuade him from destruction by placing your magazines and books on higher shelves. If Rascal has developed a taste for fine footwear, place those desirable shoes in an inaccessible closet.

Substandard Experience

If your determined dog keeps coming back for more, give him a chewing experience he’d rather forget. Buy a vet-approved chewing deterrent, and spray the foul-smelling liquid on or near Rascal’s favorite objects. Get him acquainted with the substance by encouraging him to lick a saturated paper towel. Chances are, he’ll find the taste revolting, which is great news. You want him to make a clear association between the two horrible experiences.

More Appealing Alternative

Next, give Rascal something more appealing (and acceptable) to gnaw. Buy some hardy-looking chew toys that might survive your dog’s withering jaws. If he is allowed a few snacks each day, pack a treat puzzle with his favorite kibbles or tasty peanut butter. If your canine family member enjoys an energetic tug-of-war game, get him a two-way pull toy designed to give his super-efficient choppers a workout.

Mental and Physical Workout

Sounds like Rascal could use some obedience training (or maybe a refresher class). Also, give your super-charged pooch lots of energetic playtime and exciting dog park visits. Hopefully, he’ll expend so much energy that he’ll be too tired to chomp on the furniture.

Our Advice on Put the Bite on Your Dog’s Furniture-Chewing Habit in 2024

Why is your dog chewing on furniture?

Your dog’s furniture-chewing habit may stem from several factors, including teething discomfort, boredom, lack of exercise, or the innate need to chew for dental health. It’s essential to identify the underlying cause to effectively address this behavior. Providing appropriate chew toys, engaging in regular physical and mental exercise, and ensuring a stimulating environment can redirect this natural instinct away from your furniture. For persistent cases, professional behavioral counseling might be necessary to tailor a solution specific to your dog’s needs.

What can you do to stop your dog from chewing on furniture?

To deter your dog from chewing furniture, start by removing access to the targeted items and offering appealing alternatives like durable chew toys or treat puzzles. Introduce a vet-approved chewing deterrent on the furniture to make it unattractive. Engage your dog in regular physical and mental exercises to expend energy and reduce boredom. Obedience training can also redirect undesirable behaviors towards positive outcomes. If the behavior persists, consult with a veterinarian for further behavioral counseling tailored to your dog’s specific needs, ensuring a holistic approach to resolving the chewing habit.

How do you address the underlying cause of the chewing?

Addressing the underlying cause of your dog’s chewing involves understanding the root of the behavior. If it’s teething discomfort, provide appropriate chew toys. For boredom or lack of exercise, increase physical and mental stimulation through more frequent walks, playtime, and interactive toys. If the behavior stems from anxiety or separation issues, creating a calm environment or considering behavioral training can help. Regularly engaging your dog in activities that fulfill their natural chewing instincts in a positive way can effectively mitigate unwanted chewing on furniture. Consulting with a veterinarian or a professional trainer may also provide tailored strategies specific to your dog’s needs.

What should you do if behavioral solutions aren’t enough?

If behavioral solutions fail to curb your dog’s furniture-chewing, it’s critical to consult with a veterinarian. The vet can assess for any underlying health issues that might contribute to the behavior, such as nutritional deficiencies or dental problems. Additionally, a professional animal behaviorist may offer more specialized training strategies tailored to your dog’s specific needs. Sometimes, integrating environmental modifications or dietary adjustments, as recommended by a vet, can also make a significant difference in addressing persistent chewing habits effectively.

At what point should you be concerned that your dog’s chewing is more than a behavioral issue?

Concern should arise if your dog’s chewing becomes obsessive, causing damage to their teeth or gums, or if they ingest non-food items leading to potential obstructions. Additionally, if the chewing persists despite implementing behavioral strategies and providing appropriate chew toys, it could indicate underlying issues such as anxiety, dietary deficiencies, or boredom. If these signs are evident, or if there’s a sudden increase in chewing behavior at an older age, it’s time to consult a veterinarian to rule out medical conditions or to adjust your approach based on professional guidance.

Ask your West Greenwich veterinarian how to stop your dog’s destructive antics when he’s home alone. If your pooch has a furniture-chewing habit, contact us for expert advice.

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