Deterring The Bad Habit of Chewing
If you are a dog parent with a ‘chewer’ on your hands, despair not, as there are clever ways to prevent this behaviour, as advised by local South African pet speciality and online store Canine & Co.
Destructive chewing not only destroys household furniture and personal possessions, but also leaves a considerable dent in your wallet. Your first port of call is to determine the underlying factor for your pet’s bad habit. Chewing can stem from many different factors. These may include the need for additional mental stimulation or loneliness when left alone for long periods of time. The onset of sudden chewing could be the result of boredom on your pet’s part. If this is the case, give a dog a bone – the Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Bone in particular. This toy comes in four sizes which makes it suitable for every sized dog and encourages non-destructive chewing.
Destructive chewing can also be triggered by separation anxiety – good calming products to help with this are Adaptil, Nurturecalm Collar or Zylkene. If your dog is not responding to these calming products, it might be a good idea to visit your vet, where he could assist you in putting together a behavioural management programme and might prescribe something like Clomicalm to help.
If you cannot spend more time at home to console your fur-child if he is lonely, you can encourage toy use that’s designed to withstand the force of those sharp canines. Solid options include the Ruffwear Huckama Rubber Throw Toy which moves like a critter and is fun to chase. This durable, interactive toy keeps dogs engaged with its erratic bounce and roll. The hollow design can be filled with treat rewards and even whistles when hurled through the air. The product is made from sustainable, natural latex rubber, which is a renewable resource.
If it isn’t loneliness, boredom and a need for mental stimulation driving your pet to gnaw and, you’ve had your dog for a while, your pet could be chowing your furniture as chewing is nature’s way of encouraging your dog to preserve their teeth and keep their jaws strong. To help save your furniture, or even your favourite pair of shoes, you could use something like Avert Bitter Solution or Simple Solution Chew Stopper. These sprays are safe for pets, household items and furniture, but taste terrible, which is often enough to deter chewing of specific items.
Puppies on the other hand tend to chew as a result of new teeth coming in. If you’re faced with a teething pup, look out for toys which are designed or customised to suit a puppy’s teeth, such as the Nylabone Puppy Teething Dental Dinosaur. Providing your pup with a greater variety of toys to chomp on can help to prevent inappropriate chewing. While the pet experts at Canine & Co. find some dogs will be content with a soft, squeaky toy, others may prefer harder, stronger and more durable playthings.
If you’ve made new toy purchases and are still plagued with a chewing pup, switch up his routine by taking him on longer walks and scheduling in time for games like fetch. Also, make sure you keep all your valuables out of reach, because if they can’t reach it, they can’t chew it!