Dog Training Chicago: Does Your Dog Chew?

Dogs and chewing – sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? Dogs have a knack for finding the worst things to chew on. It could be your favorite shoes or a piece of important paperwork (or, in the case of one of our staff dogs, underwear from the hamper). Whatever it is, once your dog has a taste for chewing on something it can seem like they’re just out to cause trouble, But believe it or not, chewing should be encouraged provided that it’s done in a constructive manner. 

“How could chewing possibly be good?” you might wonder. It’s simple – find a way to relieve this need that doesn’t damage your dog’s mouth or any objects. Chewing is in a dog’s genes. It’s is a natural way that dogs explore their world, whether they are a puppy or a senior. Eliminating chewing entirely probably won’t happen, and if it does it frequently involves depriving your dog of an enjoyable instinctual activity.

Not all dogs chew the same amount and outside factors can influence an individual’s behavior. Sometimes dogs chew out of boredom or anxiety, or because of sore teeth or gums. Your dog’s chewing behaviors can increase when he doesn’t get enough mental stimulation and exercise. Or she can just be seeking your attention…is your dog trying to get a little more of your time?

Inappropriate chewing – that is, your dog chewing things that he shouldn’t be chewing on — is a problem that most dog owners confront at some stage of their dog’s life. And not only are chewing problems annoying to you, they can be dangerous for your pet. Chewing on the wrong items such as electrical wires, poisonous materials, or objects that splinter can have disastrous consequences. 

On the other hand, chewing on the right objects can enhance your dog’s health and well-being. The physical act of chewing helps relieve anxiety and boredom, and helps your dog feel secure and content.

How do you get your dog to chew on appropriate items?

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