Sharing your life with a dog means a lot of sacrifice and compromise. You’ll inevitably end up with pet hair all over your clothes and a dent in your wallet from an emergency veterinary visit. This does not mean, however, that you have to sacrifice your furniture! Dogs that chew can destroy your favorite chair before you even recognize an issue has developed, but luckily this is one of the easier problems to correct.
Behavioral problems all stem from somewhere, but you should take into consideration that your troublesome little pup may not be entirely to blame for his or her chewing fascination. First, you should rule out the possibility that your dog is suffering from a medical issue that is causing him or her to act out. Your dog could be trying to draw attention to something that is causing him or her discomfort or pain.
If you’ve made sure that your pet is in good health and chewing is still a persistent problem, there are three specific things you must do to curb the issue. First of all, you must discourage the errant chewing! Verbally reprimand your dog in a firm voice. If he or she does not respond, remove him from the area so that he can’t get to the piece of furniture in question. If your dog doesn’t begin to understand that chewing the furniture is bad on his own, you can invest in anti-chewing aids such as bitter apple spray. This product is non-toxic but tastes awful to pets, and will ideally teach your pup that the couch does not taste good!
Even if your dog is responding well to being corrected, you must also encourage chewing on the right items. All dogs need to chew for the health of their teeth and gums. Provide your pet with dental bones and hard rubber toys. Even rawhide works as long as your dog is supervised with it (rawhides can break apart when they become too soft and cause choking hazards). An excellent addition to your dog’s toy basket is one of our Stagbars. These are naturally shed deer antler that is ideal for your dog to chew on. Find out more about them by clicking here. Let your pet know that it is okay to chew on his or her toys and hopefully they will begin to lose interest in your furniture all on their own!
The most effective method of curbing negative behavior in dogs is often the most overlooked: exercise. If you wear your pet out with playtime, he or she won’t be bored enough to cause problems in the home! Take your dog for longer or more frequent walks. Go to the park and play ball. Run laps around your yard with him. An active dog is a happy, healthy dog that will be too exhausted to chew on your coffee table at the end of the day.