My dog ate my homework!
That’s a worn-out excuse that was probably used by only one or two kids, but it became famous anyway.
If your dog likes to chew and tear up anything and everything you may be like some pet owners who are ready to take any and all steps to just make it stop. First of all, get used to the idea that puppies will chew. It’s natural for them, so don’t panic and think that you have the only “devil” dog or “crazy” dog around.
But even if you can calm down a bit and accept that this is going to happen you shouldn’t just dismiss chewing as inevitable. This is especially true if your dog destroys expensive possessions or gets a hold on something dangerous. If this happens it is definitely time to take action.
Experts in animal behavior explain chewing in several different ways. A dog may chew on items that are nearby simply because it is bored or lonely. In some cases, puppies may chew as a way to deal with the stress of being moved to a new home. If a dog is left alone for long periods, at any age, chewing may be a way to pass time and deal with separation from family members.
Young dogs may chew because they are getting new teeth. They may also be trying to attract the owner’s attention. Whatever the cause, you may be able to take some steps to stop this annoying (and expensive) habit. Start by providing acceptable items for the dog to chew on. It may take some time for your pet to get used to this but it’s definitely a positive step.
If the dog is very young, provide chew toys. Present these to the puppy on a regular basis and especially if you see that the pet is about to chew on something inappropriate. Treats can work wonders but be careful not to negatively affect the dog’s health.
If you must be away for a long period of time, don’t leave your dog alone to run about the house. For shorter periods of time, a dog crate or kennel run is OK, though you shouldn’t confine the pet for very long. You may even select a single room chosen for the purpose of keeping the dog away from your possessions. Provide chew toys, dry food and water, while keeping all other objects at a distance.
If your pet is attracted to specific objects or locations when it chews, you may be able to stop this activity by coating the table leg, furniture or other object with some foul-tasting substance. Make sure it’s not toxic!
When you see that your dog is chewing on something that is out of bounds, say “No” firmly and make sure the object is taken away. Then replace it with a chew toy immediately. Dogs are creatures of habit. Doing the same thing repeatedly may give you the results you’re looking for.