Dogs are one of the most faithful and obedient creatures to humans. They usually have a playful and respectful nature. A common habit found among dogs and puppies is that of chewing objects. It is an instinct in them. They have long and pointed canines that help them to tear their food. Dogs eat almost everything, which can sometimes be damaging.
What possible reasons lead dogs to uncontrolled chewing? The chewing habit of dogs can be, at times, disastrous. Due to various reasons like aggression, separation, or hunger, it can lead to destructive chewing. Pet owners must try to identify the reason for this alteration of behavior in them. Different methods can help them calm down and stop damaging the dog’s own health and property.
Behavioral nature in pet dogs
The actual characteristics of dogs have had a lot of changes due to mixed breed, change of lifestyle, and a close connection to human beings. Training pet dogs from a very young age is usual. Their behavior is kept under check so that they cause no harm to others. They can easily understand the commands and orders given. They also possess advanced memory skills. But despite many positive characters, they can sometimes become vulnerable. As they cannot express through words, chewing is a form of expression for them. This expression can lead to severe issues. Thus, to identify the actual cause, pet owners must also know the various reasons for the same.
Causes of destructive chewing
Below are the reasons that may have brought a change in the canines leading to differences in behavior and nature, which results in vigorous chewing.
Destructive chewing is a stress reliever for pet dogs caused due to departure from a close affinity. It may be their favourite human parent, mate, children, or family. Sudden separation by the death of a loved one can affect them emotionally.
Like humans, young dogs and puppies also feel a sensation in the gums of their mouth because of the growth of new teeth. A sense of irritation makes them feel like chewing everything. Puppies examine their environment by chewing objects available in their vicinity.
To calm themselves from changing emotional needs, dogs chew. Chewing objects like carpets, cushions helps them relax.
Due to various reasons for an attack like possessiveness, the intrusion of space and belongings, they express their anger by chewing.
Separation of puppies from their mother dogs results in providing them with an adult diet. As these young dogs cannot consume mother’s milk, they tend to chew fabric, which can sometimes become destructive.
Dogs are almost hungry every time. They chew on non-consumable items due to starvation. Similarly, when an obese dog gets a calculated amount of food, they cannot control their hunger. They start chewing objects, which sometimes become uncontrollable.
Lack of exercise and training may not make them understand what to chew and what not. Sometimes dogs are not aware of which items are consumable and which are not.
Effects of uncontrolled chewing of dogs
Destructive chewing can cause significant damage. It not only affects the household objects but also put their health at risk. Excessive chewing can sometimes choke them and lead to severe health conditions resulting in death. Due to various reasons when chewing becomes uncontrollable among dogs, they tend to:
- Tear off fabric from the sofa and other furniture
- Chew shoes
- Break their teeth
- Consume harmful objects
- Stomach infections and diarrhea
- Damage of property
Identification of the reason
Every pet owner must have come across incidents when their pet dogs have damaged a new furniture cushion or have eaten up the front part of a shoe. Unexpected damages are a common scenario in homes with a pet dog. These dogs get so engrossed in chewing that they do not even realize which are eatables and which can be harmful.
Even after training them, sometimes these dogs who otherwise are quite obedient and show their best behavior; may start damaging the property. They may chew every other object coming in their way. Instead of punishing them or getting frustrated, identifying the actual cause is necessary at the right time before initiating further damage. It is crucial as a parent of your pet, to know the reason for this changed behavior. The various purposes, as mentioned above, needs consideration.
Proper identification will help to support them emotionally and also stop them from further damage. As guardians, they have to manage the needs or issues that the pet might be facing. Analyzing the situation with proper observance will be easier to eradicate the suffering. It will help the pets return to their normal, behavior minimize health hazards, and safeguard valuable items.
How to help pet dogs stop destructive chewing?
Once identification is made of the reasons causing the pet dogs to have a change of behavior, measures to curb destructive chewing is a must. It is essential to prevent severe damage from further chewing. Methods to stop the unnatural chewing are:
- During teething in puppies, ice packs will help the gums to minimize irritation.
- Unique gel-based toys can provide a soothing effect on young puppies.
- Puppies can use wet clothes instead of other valuable fabrics to calm themselves.
- To avoid damage to household items, personal toys for dogs will help.
- Outdoor activities and sports will minimize aggression and reduce uncontrolled chewing, as well.
- Regular exercise will make them healthy and reduce underlying illnesses.
- A Newborn puppy must have the provision of milk and spend ample time with their nourishing mother time before weaning.
- Training pets will ensure that they are aware of consumable items and discard of inconsumable ones.
- Melanistic masks will stop unnecessary chewing of household objects.
- A well balanced and healthy meal in an appropriate quantity will keep hunger away.
It is necessary to follow a few safety tips when there is a pet dog at home who is inclined to damage chewing. Along with remedies of stopping destructive chewing among dogs, some precautionary measures can help reduce risks associated with them.
- Keeping away valuable items out of reach from pet dogs will prevent their damage.
- Canines can be made available with toy bones and other playing objects to keep them engaged.
- With a destructive dog at home, closed cabinets will avoid chewing of objects.
- Avoid giving them tiny and small toys to prevent a choking hazard.
- Whenever the dog indicates initiation of chewing, distraction will support minimizing chewing.
- Never address an aggressively chewing dog with bare hands.
- Maintain distance from vulnerable dogs and keep away face and hands.
- Ask for professional help during extreme cases.
Damage causing chewing cannot stop immediately. This shall take a certain amount of time to minimize. As dog parents, it is responsible for supporting the dogs in case of emotional and environmental distress. It will also help them establish a stronger bond. Every pet owner must keep a close check on the activities of their canines.
Any anomaly in their behavior should not go unnoticed. Identifying and analyzing the reason for the change in routine will also help recognize the causes of unnatural chewing. The reasons can differ in different species as per their age, breed, lifestyle, and training. Chewing in puppies may have its reasons as per eating in adult dogs.
Identification of ideas at the right time will help not only the canine but also his human parent. It shall help them calm down and move forward in life with more positive energy. Having a cheerful dog at home is always better. But as parents, one should also support grumpy and naughty dogs and help boost their energy. It will allow them to lead a happy and content life.