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Dogs and Chewing

November 01, 2014

Do you ever come home to find your dog has chewed up shoes, purses, couch cushions, or other objects that are not food? Chewing is actually a natural behavior in dogs, as it helps stimulate saliva, which keeps canine teeth clean, and also gives dogs a bit of a jaw workout. That said, dogs are quite capable of learning what they should and should not be chewing on, so if your canine buddy is eating your furniture, you’ll want to address his behavior. In this article, your vet San Jose goes over some basics of chewing.

Why Dogs Chew

There are actually several reasons your dog may be chewing. One common reason for chewing is separation anxiety. Some dogs get extremely distressed when left home alone, and may chew to calm their nerves. This type of chewing could be considered a doggy equivalent of a human biting their nails. Your dog may also never have been taught proper chewing habits as a puppy, and now just doesn’t know any better. Boredom is another possible reason. Strange as it sounds, some dogs like to learn about things by, well, trying to eat them. Last but not least, your dog could just be trying to get attention.

What To Do

There are some things you can do to help your dog focus his energy elsewhere, and keep your belongings intact. First and foremost, a bit of precaution is warranted. Don’t leave anything that you don’t want destroyed in your dog’s reach. If Fido can’t get to your purse, he can’t try to eat it. Providing chew toys is a must, as you can’t expect Fido to learn proper habits if you don’t give him the right tools. Making sure your pup gets plenty of exercise and stimulation is also important. You can also try using a taste deterrent.

What Not To Do

You can reprimand your pup if you catch him in the act, but you should never punish a dog for chewing. Dogs don’t understand punishment, especially after the fact, so you may end up frightening your dog, which could lead to further behavioral issues. Instead, encourage proper chewing techniques. You also don’t want to chase your furry pal if he picks up an object and runs, because he may think you’re playing a game. Focus on positive reinforcement, and have realistic expectations.

Do you have any questions about your dog’s care or behavior? If so, please contact us at any time. As your vet clinic San Jose, we are here to help. To read more pet care articles, please click here.

Posted in Behavior, Dog Care