You’ve likely seen the videos of dog owners when they come home to a house filled with shredded material. It might be a pillow torn open with the stuffing tossed about, toilet paper bits scattered, or even doors gnawed through. As the owner, it can be a nightmare to see this. Even in more mild cases, your dog might try and chew electrical cords, zippers, tags, or nimble on your fingers. Regardless, chewing on non-dog items is a behavior that you’ll want to change as soon as possible.
The first thing you need to do is figure out why your may like to chew. There are a couple of main reasons this may occur, though you should consult with your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist to determine the exact cause.
Lack of Exercise or Stimulation
One of the most common reasons a dog might chew, is a lack of exercise or stimulation. Dogs, even the smallest of them, need to be exercised regularly. The duration and intensity of the exercise depends on the dog. However, if your dog lacks exercise, they will have a lot of pent up energy that they will unleash elsewhere, such as your throw pillows. A tired, well-exercised dog, is a happy one.
Lack of stimulation can also be a factor because the dog can become bored. Cerebral, inquisitive dogs like Jack Russell Terriers need to be mentally stimulated as well as thoroughly exercised. Mental stimulation keeps their brains busy, thus tiring them out mentally. With such inquisitive minds, if they are not mentally stimulated, they will explore on their own terms. This usually doesn’t bode well for your personal belongings.
Another common cause of chewing might be anxiety. The type depends on the dog, but a lot of dogs get extremely anxious when you leave them home alone. Talk to a trainer about anxious behaviors to work on fixing their anxiety.
Great Chew Toys
Just like the amount and type of exercise varies by dog, so will their favorite chew toy. Dogs that need to be more mentally stimulated can really benefit from chew toys that require them to do certain things in order to obtain a treat. A couple of options include the Gamechanger and the Kong Classic Dog Toy.
Another great option are toys that squeak. You’ll find no shortage of these at your local pet store. While they might be a tad irritating to you, just find relief that your dog is chewing a toy and not your couch.
Antlers are another great chew option. These incredibly tough and strong antlers will occupy dogs for a long time and last for a long time. They are great for puppies and younger dogs with strong teeth. The only people that should avoid the antlers are those with older dogs that may have more brittle teeth, as the antlers can actually be stronger than your dog’s teeth.
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