I always find my six months old American Cocker Spaniel chewing on almost everything at my place, be it my shoes or the TV remote. Although, I like the playful behavior, it makes me concerned at times if it is perfectly normal or not. So, why do dogs chew so much? Chewing is quite a natural behavior for dogs, as they use their mouths to investigate the environment. Dogs, especially puppies, chew on whatever they find. However, when a dog is feeling alone, bored or stressed, the chewing could develop into a compulsive behavior.
Normally, puppies chew on things to explore the world around them and relieve the discomfort of teething. Teething happens when dogs are between 3 and 10 months of age. Puppies enjoy chewing on shoes, mattresses, sofa covers and other household items. This destructive behavior can be avoided by giving young dogs a proper chewing toy. On the other hand, adult dogs normally chew because of loneliness, boredom or anxiety. At times, dogs simply chew on things to get their owner’s attention or ask for treats.
There are certain dog breeds that are highly energetic and need to put in their energy somewhere, which could get them to chewing. Chewing could become a serious issue if not handled properly. While chewing helps keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy, excessive chewing might be a nuisance for the dog owners. Separation anxiety and boredom could lead dog to develop destructive chewing habits.
How to stop your dog’s destructive chewing habits
- If you don’t want your dog to chew on things like your shoes, TV remote or books, the best way is to get such things out of your reach.
- Do not shout at your dog for chewing. This way, you might be telling your dog that it’s a nice way to get your attention. You can simply replace the thing with a dog toy.
- Socializing your dog is a great option to handle the boredom. Spend time with your dog, take him for a walk regularly or take him to a park where people come with their dogs.
- Keep your dog involved in physical and mental activities.
- For teething, you can give your dog a wet washcloth to chew on. It will comfort his gums.