Does your dog seem to have an oral fixation? Does he want to put things in his mouth that he shouldn’t? Dogs chew objects for a variety of reasons. Puppies chew because they are teething. When an owner, family member, or other pet is gone, chewing may become a compulsive behavior due to separation anxiety. If your dog’s chewing is gnawing at your nerves, follow some of the suggestions below to curb the crunching.
1. Whenever possible, keep objects away from your dog that he finds fun to chew, whether it be your freshly washed socks, pieces of string, or ribbon from packages or gifts.
2. Spray bitter apple on objects, such as electrical cords, wires, computer connections, and other sensitive material to prevent your dog from sinking his teeth into them.
3. Rub favorite objects with scented oils that are unappealing to your dog, such as eucalyptus, cinnamon, or citrus. Of course be sure that the scent is something that you enjoy.
4. Spray a cologne that is not your scent onto objects to dissuade the chewer. Doing so will not be a welcoming sign to your dog since it is not “you” that he smells.
5. If your dog is teething, offer him a variety of chew toys and direct his attention to them when you observe him chewing something he shouldn’t. Rawhides are always an excellent choice.
6. Crate or kennel training may be the solution for a dog that chews on objects while his owner is away. Placing your dog in a crate while you are at work may save your home from being chewed up. Place your dog’s belongings, food, and water in the crate so that he will feel secure. Have a friend, neighbor, or pet-sitter walk and play with your pooch midday to give him some exercise.
7. If your dog engages in destructive chewing, especially if the target is a part of his own body, it could be a sign of boredom. Schedule regular play sessions each day so that your dog will anticipate them. Take your dog on regular walks instead of just letting him outside on a chain or in an enclosed yard to find something to do on his own. Make sure he has your complete attention during the play sessions and does not have to share you with the telephone, the television, or other disturbances around the house or around the neighborhood.