At some point, almost every dog is going to chew on something. Dogs need to chew, and sometimes this is taken out on inappropriate items – like the furniture. This can get very annoying very quickly. After all, most people can’t just go out and buy a new couch!
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to stop dogs chewing furniture. Below, we’ll review some of the best and quickest methods to make your dog stop chewing.
6 Ways to Stop Dogs Chewing Furniture:
1. Provide Safe Alternatives
All dogs need to chew! If you don’t provide an appropriate thing for your dog to chew, they will find something, which might include the leg of a chair. Safe chews like antlers and some treats are good. There are quite a few suitable toys, such as Kongs.
There are many different chewing levels. Some dogs chew a lot, and some don’t chew much at all. For this reason, you will need to choose an appropriate item for your dog’s chewing level.
2. Puppy Proof
Puppies tend to chew more than adults. Puppies teethe just like babies, which will cause them to chew to relieve their discomfort. If you have a puppy, you need to puppy-proof your house to ensure this doesn’t happen, as well as provide them with teething toys to chew on.
You should also puppy proof your home to prevent them from getting ahold of possibly toxic materials. Things like electrical cords should be put out of reach since they can chew these and get injured.
3. Consider Medical Problems
A dog who suddenly starts chewing on everything may have an underlying medical problem. For example, a poor diet may cause dogs to chew on things to meet nutritional needs. Intestinal parasites can cause this as well. Chewing can also be a coping mechanism for nausea, which can be caused by all sorts of things.
A visit to your vet is essential in these situations.
4. Encourage Appropriate Chewing
On top of giving dogs appropriate things to chew, you should also encourage your dog to chew the things they need to be chewing. If your dog loves to play, they may particularly enjoy a dog ball that also works as a chew toy.
You can also find chew toys that can be stuffed with things like peanut butter. Even if your dog loves the couch leg, few can ignore a peanut butter-filled King toy.
Some dogs chew because they are bored. The best way to avoid this is to play with them, preferably with something they can chew. We recommend things like balls and tug toys since dogs will get the most mouth-feel from these items. Your dog may also prefer specific toys. This is sometimes because the toy feels good in their mouth. In these cases, use the toys they like!
Playing can also wear dogs out mentally, which is also essential. Even if your dog already knows basic commands, teaching harder tricks can challenge them and wear them out. You can also play training games like hide-and-seek with the “come” command.
If you’re short on time, puzzle toys can prevent boredom as well. There are many kinds available of varying difficulties. Activity flip boards are a good option for smarter dogs, while treat dispensers may be best for beginners.
6. Discourage Inappropriate Chewing
You can also prevent inappropriate chewing by discouraging it. Dogs usually respond better to positive measures, like those listed above, so this should be a last resort.
Every time you catch your dog chewing on the furniture, scold them gently and redirect them to something they can chew. Fill up a Kong ball if they need a little extra encouragement.
They also make taste deterrents, which you spray on the furniture. These make the furniture taste bad, which may make your dog stop chewing it. It isn’t a solution in and of itself, since your dog will need something else to chew. However, this can be an add-on to other methods.
Featured Image: Jana Schoenknecht, Shutterstock