Dogs chew, we know that and yet we still have to prevent them from destroying household items, like shoes for example. Depending on the dog’s breed some are more powerful chewers than others.
You might try to understand why your fluffy pet will want to aggressively chew objects and how to stop it. In all honestly you cannot stop a dog from chewing, but you can redirect this need to some other objects.
Why do dogs chew?
Dogs chew, but they don’t do it because they just want to destroy your stuff. As worried or frustrated as you may get with your dog’s chewing there are many reasons why they do this. Understanding what is going on with your dog will help you help them deal with certain needs.
Is dog chewing anxiety?
Your dog can be stressed and suffer from anxiety. There are even different forms of dog anxiety, from separation and loneliness to loud noises or abuse. To deal with anxiety, dogs turn to chewing.
Chewing is not the only way a dog deals with anxiety but it is one of the most common. Some breeds become very vocal or even try to hide themselves. It’s important to assess the situation and understand what your dog is experiencing.
Are they very jittery when you go outside the house without them? Do they hide away or make themselves small when they hear fireworks or thunder?
Certain stressful situations are easier to deal with than others. You can’t stop fireworks or thunderstorms but you can distract or comfort your dog when needed.
Your dog is bored
A dog that constantly chews, could be doing it because of boredom. The main reason why a dog gets bored is because they are not getting enough exercise. Dogs need their daily output of energy, hence why we have to take them out each day.
It would be easier to just let your dog out in the front garden or around the apartment complex to just go potty. But it’s not enough because a dog needs some more interaction, to go and smell around areas further from home. Physical and mental stimulation makes a dog happier and less prone to chewing your furniture.
Your dog is hungry
A puppy growing up or a dog with a special diet will have some degree of alternating meal quantities. In those periods when their diet is altered, dogs can become more prone to chewing and destroying household items.
Puppies don’t have all their teeth fully grown in, so their teeth will be causing them discomfort. Because of this, a dog will try to soothe their toothache by chewing something that massages their gums. If they don’t have chewing toys for this, a dog will just find something in your home to gnaw on.
Young puppies also interact with the world for the first time and so use their teeth and mouth to pick up stuff and chew.
What breeds are aggressive chewers?
Chewing and destruction of shoes are different from breed to breed. It’s not the same across the board of breeds and some are more inclined to be destructive chewers from the get-go. Depending on what breed you have you will experience more or less issues with chewing.
Beagles are famous for gobbling up pretty much anything. Their high sniffing power always gets them in trouble but also helps them find perfect chewing “toys”. Your leather furniture or some other “tasty” objects in your house are perfect to a beagle.
A breed famous for their crazy energy in a small body, Jack Russells also destroy so much around the house. They need to take out their energy and have enough toys and training to keep them busy and distracted.
Labradors and Golden Retrievers
Similar in physique, these two breeds are highly active and they retrieve things as their name suggests. This also means they grab stuff in your house and start chewing. Some examples of dogs from this breed have gone to the vet with socks in their stomachs, which required surgery to remove.
This one might come as a surprise, especially for such a small breed, but chihuahuas are also highly prone to anxiety. A small breed, true but a chihuahua need exercise too and owners often feel like they are too small. Nothing can be further from the truth, tire out your chihuahua or your shoes will surfer, or any other object they’ll find tasty.
Normal chewing habits
Dogs needing to chew on something is actually quite normal, and it helps with dental hygiene and maintenance. So dogs chew to keep their teeth strong by using them but they can’t eat all day so they chew other objects.
It’s mentally stimulating, helps with boredom and relieves their anxiety. Not all breeds have the same intense need to chew and can be more casual, but you do need to provide some healthy outlet for it.
Dogs chew in times of stress as a coping mechanism, so it helps them deal with stress. It also has many other benefits for their health and mental stimulation, so don’t be upset with them when it happens. A dog needs training and guidance to focus those chewing needs towards appropriate toys and not the furniture.