A common concern for dog owners is when their pet chews excessively. If you’re concerned about your dog’s chewing habits, many possible causes may need to be considered.
Here are ten of those causes and some tips on how to handle your pup’s destructive behavior.
10 Causes of Destructive Chewing of Dogs
1. Loss of a friend or family member – If your dog has lost a family member, this can cause destructive chewing as they attempt to reconcile their feelings and re-establish a sense of normality. The same effect can also be triggered when a dog has been isolated and left alone too much. Remember, dogs are pack animals, and they are very sociable. If they don’t have any company, it’s natural for them to feel isolated and unhappy.
2. Too much attention – If your dog is given extra attention when he starts to chew, this will only reinforce his behavior and make him think that chewing will get him the attention he seeks. You can avoid this by simply ignoring him.
3. New Environment – A change in housing can make your dog nervous which can lead to destructive chewing as he releases some of his pent-up energy.
4. Change in Routine. A change in your dog’s routine can make him feel sad and uncertain which can lead to destructive chewing.
5. Lack of exercise – With a lack of exercise, our dogs’ natural energy levels rise, and they can get frustrated that they can’t get out and run around. One way to help with this is to give your dog something challenging to do. For example, you could provide them with a puzzle toy to solve or play hide-and-seek games with them.
6. Boredom – If your dog is bored, he will likely find something in the home to entertain himself with. It could be your shoes, rugs, or even your clothing. He will chew on this until he is finished and then move onto something else.
7. Restlessness – If your dog has recently had a long car ride, this can lead to destructive chewing as he cannot get his energy out without moving around.
8. Excitement – Dogs are naturally excited by unpredictable events, such as when a child suddenly comes to visit or when guests arrive for dinner at the house. This can lead to destructive chewing. If your dog is prone to this kind of behavior, you can try treats or toys that will help him release some of his energy.
9. Your dog LOVES toys – Whether they chew on your favorite shoes, blankets, or food, if your dog loves a toy, then it’s likely that he will chew on it as well. For this reason, it’s essential to choose safe toys. It’s also important for you not to confuse a natural part of the play with destructive behavior. If you do this, your dog may become confused and be unable to distinguish between the two.
10. Overstimulation – If your dog is allowed to meet new people and visitors all of the time, this can lead to destructive chewing as he is too stimulated to control himself. This is why it’s crucial that you only allow him out when it’s necessary. You can also try distraction techniques such as playing with a toy to help him calm down and feel less restless.
As you can see, there is no such thing as one single cause of destructive chewing in dogs. There are several things to consider and various approaches that you can take to resolve your dog’s bad behavior. The key is to figure out the underlying cause and then take steps to reduce the level of excitement that your dog experiences or remove the objects or items that he likes to chew on so much. Once you have done this, you will see a significant improvement in your dog’s behavior.