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Southlake Animal Hospital

3570 E. Lincoln Hwy
Merrillville, IN 46410

Destructive Chewing In Dogs

January 15 2023

Is your canine companion a chewing machine? Fido has many endearing qualities, but his affinity for gnawing on things isn’t one of the most popular. Chewing is normal and healthy behavior for Man’s Best Friend. It keeps Fido’s mouth and jaw muscles strong, and also stimulates saliva. However, chewing can also be problematic at times. A Crown Point, IN vet discusses destructive chewing in this article.

Reasons

Dogs chew for several reasons. One big one is that they are naturally curious about things. Fido instinctively investigates things, in part because he wants to know how tasty they are (or aren’t). Puppies chew to relieve the pain of teething, which usually happens when they are 3-6 months old. Our canine friends also sometimes chew as a reaction to stress, loneliness, or boredom, or as a means to try and escape. Chewing can be a sign of separation anxiety, which is quite common in dogs. It’s important to realize that this can be very dangerous: your four-legged friend could get quite sick if he were to swallow something unsafe.

Chew Toys

First and foremost, make sure your furry friend is getting enough activity and stimulation. Walks and playtime are crucial for preventing boredom. We also recommend keeping your pooch on a steady schedule and providing plenty of suitable chew toys. Our furry friends all have their own personal likes and dislikes, so try a few different things and see what Fido prefers. (Tip: Nylon and rubber toys tend to be the sturdiest.) You can also try getting your pup a Kong toy, which you can stuff with things like peanut butter or canned food. It’s worth mentioning that while Man’s Best Friend loves things like rawhide and pigs’ ears, these can be unsafe. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Curbing Bad Behavior

It can be frustrating to find that Fido ate your new shoes. However, you should never punish your pooch for these transgressions. That may just scare and confuse him! You may find taste deterrents helpful. You can also sound an alarm or shake a jar of change: this will startle your pet without scaring him. Positive reinforcement is also very important. Reward your furry pal with treats and praise when you see him gnawing on a suitable chew toy. 

Do you have questions about dog care? Contact us, your local Crown Point, IN animal clinic, anytime! 

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