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Chewing Toys Can Be Harmful

Dogs make great use of their mouths, just like we use our hands – as a tool for exploration. This means that they explore anything they find interesting by chewing and gnawing. Unfortunately, in some dogs this chewing becomes harmful and causes problems.

dog and shoe

Why do they chew?

Most puppies will chew when they are teething. As they grow, they may chew things they play with, either out of boredom or out of chewing instinct. Chewing may be caused by a dog with separation anxiety being in unfamiliar surroundings. Determining the reason for your dog's chewing is key to putting an end to this behavior.

Your dog chews many objects in the house, regardless of whether you are there or not; The reason he chews is probably boredom. Your dog probably needs more play, exercise, and physical activity to expend some of his excess energy. Providing appropriate chew toys will also help your dog give up harmful chewing habits.

teething problem

If your dog is teething, this is something you will have to wait for him to grow out of. Whenever possible, you should direct your teething puppy to chew appropriate objects. Try freezing some treats in popsicle molds or keeping some toys in the freezer compartment before giving them to your dog. This process will not only provide him with a suitable toy, but will also alleviate discomfort in your dog's teeth.

Some dogs chew as a result of separation anxiety. These dogs may chew or paw in an attempt to escape from where they have been left. He or she may also chew on inappropriate objects as a nervous reaction to your absence. This is probably the most difficult type of chewing to treat; Because it occurs when you are not present and it is the anxiety itself that needs to be treated. To treat separation anxiety, canine behaviorists will use socialization, desensitization, and counter conditioning techniques.

Timing is everything

The only time you can effectively discipline your dog for chewing is when you catch him chewing. If you find a chewed shoe an hour after your dog did it, he will not be able to make the connection between the punishment and the chewing behavior. Your dog may look 'guilty' when you wave the shoe in front of his eyes; but this is merely an act of submission. When you catch your dog chewing, stop him with a verbal command or a loud voice. When he stops chewing, give him his own chew toy. Praise him when he starts chewing his toy.

For most types of chewing, you should assist your dog by directing him to chew appropriate objects. Choosing the right type of chew toy for your dog is the first step. Never give him anything that resembles objects you don't want him to chew. If you give him old shoes or clothes, he won't be able to tell the difference between these and things he shouldn't chew.

There are some products that can be applied to your dog to discourage him from chewing on objects in the house. These products have a taste or odor that is unpleasant to dogs but harmless to humans.

As always, you should consult your veterinarian. He/she will be able to give you useful advice and suggestions.

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