By Nancy Cope
If your dog is showing signs of inappropriate chewing — for example chewing on woodwork or upholstered furniture, one of the best ways to stop the chewing is by using a deterrent.
Bitter apple cream and spray can be purchased in pet stores and online. You can apply it to your woodwork and furniture and the taste is so bad that it will make most dogs stop chewing on these objects. You will need to reapply as necessary. It can also be used on electrical cords and other things in the house that dogs like to chew.
Some people use Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce for the same purpose. It will deter your dog from chewing on things. Just be careful not to use anything that could harm your dog as a deterrent.
Another way to stop your dog from inappropriate chewing is by providing him with plenty of his own things to chew on. For example, rawhides can be good chews for dogs. Look for rawhides that come from USDA beef and which have preferably been sterilized as these are safer for your dog. When you give your dog rawhides to chew you should supervise and remove small pieces that come off so your dog can’t choke on them.
There are also many good chew toys for dogs that will satisfy your dog’s urge to chew and stop inappropriate chewing. Rope toys, hard rubber toys such as Kongs, Nylabones, and many others are all good for dogs that like to chew.
If you have a puppy, be sure to provide him with lots of toys for chewing. Puppies teethe from the time they are about four months to 17 months of age and they have a strong urge to chew on things during this time.
Spending a few dollars on chews and chew toys for your dog is a good way to save expensive home furnishings from inappropriate chewing.
Another good way to deter inappropriate chewing is to make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise. Dogs who get lots of exercise are less likely to be destructive in the home. They are more likely to spend their time sleeping when you are not home with them. Tired dogs are happy dogs.
If your dog is destructive and chews things when you are not home, consider crating him when you are away from home for a few hours. Most dogs regard their crate as a den and are happy to sleep until you return. Naturally, you should not leave a dog unattended in a crate for more than a few hours.
If you follow the suggestions here, you should be able to stop your dog from inappropriate chewing.
Try different suggestions, or try all of them. Bitter apple and providing good chew toys are often enough to stop most chewing problems.
Nancy Cope is the owner of four rescue dogs and Pampered Dog Gifts.