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How to prevent chewing in dogs

May 14, 2018

Coming home to discover that your puppy has just chewed an expensive new pair of shoes can make you question the wisdom of getting a dog. But learning why dogs chew can go a long way to reducing the risk that more of your belongings will end up tattered and dog-eared. You can do this by contacting one of our puppy advisors who are always on hand to answer questions and provide advice on a range of topics, including chewing.

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Reasons for chewing

Dogs chew for a variety of reasons. These include:

  • Teething
    • Chewing can relieve the discomfort associated with teething, which occurs between 3 and 7 months of age
  • Boredom
    • Dogs that do not get enough mental or physical stimulation, or that are left alone for long periods, may chew to give themselves something to do
  • Attention-seeking
    • When you attempt to retrieve an object that your dog is chewing, you give him attention; this may reinforce the behaviour
  • Unbalanced diet
    • Chewing may be a sign that your dog’s diet is lacking some essential nutrient; if you suspect this may be the case, contact the team at Vets on the Park in Cheltenham for advice

How to prevent chewing

  1. Exercise your dog twice daily
    • To provide stimulation, try to do this somewhere other than your garden and provide variety by exercising in different environments (e.g., pavements, fields, woods, parks, beaches)
    • If you have a puppy and he isn’t fully vaccinated, make sure you ask your vet whether it is safe to take him out and about
  2. Play with your dog at least 3 times/day for at least 5 minutes per session
  3. Provide toys that your dog can chew safely
    • These should not splinter or break into small pieces that would be harmful if swallowed
  4. Keep valuable or dangerous items out of the reach of your dog
  5. Teach your dog what he is allowed to chew and what he is not

Chewing in adult dogs

Chewing may not stop when your dog reaches adulthood. The tips listed above should help to minimise the risk of inappropriate chewing – as well as ensuring that your Jimmy Choos remain unchewed.