It’s no secret that dogs love to chew; it’s a natural instinct. Your dog can develop two types of chewing habits; good or bad. You can do a lot of things to encourage your dog to show good chewing behavior. Your dog will adopt good chewing habits when he is calm and gets enough attention and care, and has safe chew treats and objects available all the time whenever he needs them. On the other hand, bad or destructive chewing mostly occurs when your dog is scared, in extreme pain due to teething, overly hungry or extremely bored and full of energy. Here is how you can control your dog’s behavior and still let him do what he likes to do to – that is, chewing.

Bulldog chewing a bone

Image by mattodell

What Can You Do?

  • Provide your dog with safe and tough items that can undergo intense wear and tear due to chewing. This means that the items should not break into harmful or small pieces or don’t splinter, which can be harmful to your dog if he swallows them.
  • You need to make sure that your dog does not have access to an area of the house where you keep dangerous or valuable items.
  • Allow your dog to get regular exercise by taking him for a walk once a day.
  • Visit various environments while taking your dog for a walk, such as beaches, parks, woods, fields, and pavements. You should take extra care of puppies till they are completely protected with vaccination.
  • Teach your dog what good chewing behavior is and what is bad; this means that your dog should know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate items for chewing.
  • Play with your dog three times a day, even if it’s just for five minutes or more. Playing in short and frequent sessions is better.

Here are some items that you can provide your dog to stop destructive chewing behavior:

1. Toys

You should pick up the toys and keep them out of your dog’s reach when the game is over. This way, toys will last longer, allowing you to save money on them. You also do not want to rush your dog to the vet due to choking hazard. Do not leave your dog with toys to chew.

2. Chews

You should give your dog a chew when he settles down for some time. You can give him a dog chew such as an odor-free bully stick. Chews are designed for gnawing, and nibbling unlike toys, and are essential if you don’t want your dog to chew your furniture. Examples of good chews include activity balls, kongs, pressed hide, and rask.

3. Kongs

All dogs love to play on their own sometimes, so you should always keep a safe dog toy that your dog can play with at any time. The best choice for such a toy is a Kong, which you can buy from a pet shop. It is a hard rubber toy with a hollow space inside that allows it to take a lot of chewing. If you insert some biscuits in the center or add some cheese, your dog will chew, lick, and nibble to get the food out and will be busy for some time. Kongs also help stimulate chase and play behavior, as you can bounce this dog toy in a different direction.

4. Activity Balls

These balls are hollow dimpled and are the size of a small football with holes. If you place some dry food inside the ball in small pieces, the dog needs to roll the ball so that food can drop out of the two holes. This will keep your dog engaged, and he will not think about chewing.

Conclusion

When your dog chews the right thing, always reward him. Introduce one or two chews every day that your dog has seen after a while. Leave the dog chews such as bully sticks on the floor while your dog is in the room, and when he chews one, praise him. Always correct your dog when he chews on the wrong things. If you noticed that your dog is about to chew an inappropriate item, direct his attention towards appropriate items and make it a big deal when he starts chewing inappropriate ones. Praise and appreciation will encourage him to select the right things to chew. Bully sticks for dogs are the perfect chew for your dog.