How to Stop Dogs from Chewing on Everything?

Chewing is absolutely common in dogs. In fact, this behavior is normal for dogs of any age. Wild and domestic dogs both spend hours chewing a variety of things. The act of chewing accomplishes several things; relieve pain from growing teeth, keep their jaws strong, and keep their teeth clean. In addition, chewing fights anxiety and frustration. But there is such a thing as destructive chewing. How can we manage this kind of behavior?

You can assist your dog or puppy find appropriate outlets for their biting by concentrating on removing unsuitable biting opportunities, being dependable, and providing suitable dog toys.

Understanding Your Dog

Puppies use their mouths to explore their environment in the same way that babies and young children do. Additionally, they undergo a six-month period of teething like babies, which is extremely uncomfortable for them. Teething is facilitated by chewing, and it also relieves sore gums.

Adult dogs, on the other hand, may chew destructively for a variety of reasons, such as a way to deal with stress and boredom. Finding out why your dog is chewing is the first step in stopping the behavior; remember that they are not doing it to spite you. The following list of causes of destructive chewing includes:

  • They weren’t taught what is and isn’t appropriate to chew as puppies.
  • They don’t have access to chew toys that are suitable and safe.
  • They are bored.
  • Their anxiety about being apart is severe.
  • Their actions are motivated by fear, and chewing is a coping mechanism.
  • It just feels great to chew.

You might need to seek the advice of a behavior specialist if you think your dog’s chewing is caused by severe anxiety to treat both separation anxiety and fear-related behaviors.

What Issues Lead to Destructive Chewing?

As mentioned, there are several things that could cause your dog to start chewing on things that they are not supposed to. While it is completely understandable for puppies, adult dogs with destructive chewing behavior may have the following issues:

Separation Anxiety

The majority of the time, or at least most frequently, when left alone, dogs who chew to relieve the stress of separation anxiety will only chew. In addition, they exhibit other symptoms of separation anxiety, like whining, barking, pacing, restlessness, urinating, and defecating.

Fabric Sucking

Some dogs will lick, suckle, or chew on fabrics. Some experts say this behavior results from early weaning, before seven or eight weeks of age. A dog’s fabric-sucking behavior has developed into a compulsive habit if it persists over an extended period. It is challenging to break the habit when the dog tries to engage in it.


A dog on a low-calorie diet might chew and destroy things to find different food sources. This type of chewing is typically directed toward items connected to food or has a food-like smell.

Educate Your Dog About What to Chew

At the end of the day, it is vital for us to teach our dogs the basic dos and don’ts and be firm and consistent with our training.

Be Accountable for Your Personal Property

Don’t make something available to your dog if you don’t want them to eat it. Keep your dog’s reach away from shoes, books, trash, eyeglasses, and remote controls. The easiest way to avoid errors is to store trash in a cabinet or block off areas with alluring items.

Give Your Dog Toys That Can be Distinguished from Everyday Objects

Make sure they understand by giving them socks and shoes as toys and expecting them to tell the difference between your shoe and theirs.

Keep an Eye on Them

Keep them on a leash with you at all times inside the house so they can’t make a mistake away from your sight or restrict their access to only a few rooms. Select a dog-proof “safe place” and offer fresh water and “safe” toys. You can also confine your dog to its crate for brief periods if they have been trained to do so. Never use crates as a form of punishment; instead, make sure your dog feels safe inside of them. Baby gates and exercise pens are additional valuable items.

Make Sure Your Dog Gets a Lot of Mental and Physical Exercise

Your dog will find something to occupy themselves if they are bored. However, a tired dog is a good dog, so make sure they engage in plenty of mental and physical activity. The appropriate amount of exercise should be given based on their age, health, and breed characteristics. Sniffing will be more enriching for your dog than trying to power walk two miles without stopping, even though daily walks and other outdoor activities are essential for their well-being. A well-run dog daycare is an excellent option for high-energy pups who enjoy the company of other dogs.

Include Toys in Your Daily Activities

Instead of using bowls, give them puzzle toys or Kong-style toys filled with their kibble. For more experienced chewers, cover the puzzle toy’s openings with peanut butter or canned cheese and freeze it overnight before giving it to them. Maintain a rotation of toys as well; your dog will have a lot more fun with novelties than with the same old toy from last year. Bring some toys out from hiding when you need to keep your dog busy.

Give Your Dog an Appropriate Toy if You Notice Them Chewing on Something They Shouldn’t

Keep high-value treats on hand to trade it out for if they choose an item that is too fun to part with. As soon as your dog grasps this concept, you can add the command “give” as a cue for them to release the object in exchange for the treat. When you take something out of your dog’s mouth, he might start acting like a guard dog or try to flee when you need to get something back.

Try Freezing a Rubber Toy for Your Puppy if They are Teething; the Cold Rubber will Help to Soothe Their Gums

Always keep an eye on your puppy to prevent any swallowed pieces from being chewed.

Use a Deterrant to Discourage Your Dog from Chewing 

A taste deterrent can be applied to make furniture and other items tasteless. When using one of these deterrents for the first time, watch your dog carefully. Some dogs will still chew even if an object is coated in a taste deterrent. Be aware that some of these deterrents must be applied again to remain effective.

If Your Dog Runs Off With a Grabbed Object, Don’t Chase After Them

You are only giving your dog what they want if you chase them. It’s exciting to be pursued by humans! Call them over instead, and provide them with a treat.

Keep Reasonable Expectations

Your dog will unavoidably chew something you value at some point; this is frequently a part of adjusting to a new home. Your dog needs some time to figure out where to find suitable chew toys and what they are. Set them up for success by taking safety measures and keeping things out of their reach.

How to Control or Reduce Destructive Chewing in Your Dog

Destructive chewing is something we should try to avoid. This is a behavior that can be corrected.

Puppy Teething

Puppies chew due to the discomfort of teething and their curiosity about interesting objects. Puppies go through a stage where they lose their baby teeth and feel pain as their adult teeth erupt, much like young children. By the age of six months, this phase of increased chewing usually ends. Some advice is giving puppies ice cubes, frozen dog toys, or frozen wet washcloths to chew on to ease teething discomfort. Although puppies need to chew on things, gentle training can help your dog learn to only chew on appropriate items, such as toys.

Normal Chewing Habits

Dogs of all ages can chew, and this is entirely normal. Domestic and wild dogs both spend a lot of time chewing bones. This activity keeps their teeth and jaws healthy. Dogs enjoy chewing on bones, sticks, and anything else they can find. They chew for entertainment, stimulation, and to calm their nerves. While chewing is a common behavior in dogs, occasionally, they chew on things that shouldn’t be. Dogs of all ages, including puppies, should have access to safe and appealing chew toys. However, simply providing the appropriate chewable is insufficient to stop inappropriate chewing. Dogs must be taught what is appropriate to chew and what is not. They should be instructed in a patient, thoughtful way.

Lack of Physical Activity or Mental Stimulation

Some dogs merely do not receive sufficient mental and physical stimulation. Chewing is one method that bored dogs often use to pass the time. Make sure to give your dog plenty of opportunities to engage in mental and physical activity to discourage destructive chewing. Daily walks and outings, off-leash play with other dogs, tug and fetch games, clicker training lessons, dog sports, and feeding meals in food puzzle toys are all excellent ways to achieve this.

Frustration and Stress

When under stress, a dog may occasionally chew, such as when he is confined in a car with children or is crated next to another animal with whom he does not get along. Try to keep your dog away from stressful or upsetting situations to lessen this kind of chewing.

Dogs not allowed to participate in exciting activities occasionally bite, shake, tear, and chew on nearby objects. When people pass by their kennels, shelter dogs and puppies may grab and shake blankets or bowls to attract their attention. They act destructively out of frustration when they don’t understand. When a dog spots a cat or squirrel running by and wants to chase it but is confined by a fence, the dog may grab and chew on the gate. When a dog in a training class observes another dog having fun, he might become so enthused that he grabs and chews his leash.

The best action for this issue is to foresee potential moments of annoyance and provide your dog with a suitable toy for shaking and tearing. Carry a tug or stuffed animal for your dog to hold and chew on during class. Tie a rope toy to something sturdy by the gate or barrier if your dog gets upset by things or animals on the other side of it at home. In their kennels, give toys and chew bones to puppies and dogs in shelters. Teach them to sit quietly at the front of their kennels whenever possible to attract attention from bystanders.

Practical Advice on Dog Chewing

  • Make your home “dog-proof.” Put priceless items away until you’re confident your dog is only chewing on appropriate things. Keep your books on shelves, your shoes and clothes in a closed closet, and your dirty laundry in a hamper. Make it simple for your dog to be successful.

  • Give your dog a ton of his toys and some inedible chew bones. Pay attention to the toys he enjoys chewing on for extended periods and keep providing those. To prevent your dog from becoming bored with the same old toys, it’s best to rotate or introduce something new into his chew toys every few days.

  • Toys that are edible, such as bully sticks, pig ears, rawhide bones, pig skin rolls, or other natural chews, should be provided to your dog. Dogs can occasionally choke when they bite off and swallow big chunks of edible chews. When your dog chews, keep him away from other dogs so he can unwind if he tends to do this. Also, keep an eye on your dog whenever he is chewing on an edible object so that you can step in if he begins to choke.

  • Find out when your dog is most likely to chew and give him a puzzle toy with some tasty treats during those times. You can put a portion of your dog’s daily food allowance in the toy.

  • Spraying chewing deterrents on inappropriate items will deter chewing. Apply a small amount of the deterrent to some cotton wool or tissue before using it. It should be placed gently in your dog’s mouth. Spit it out after letting him taste it. Your dog may shake his head, drool, or retch if the taste offends him. He won’t take the tissue or wool out of his pocket again. Ideally, he will have discovered the link between the deterrent’s taste and smell, making him more likely to refrain from chewing things that smell like it. All items you don’t want your dog to chew should be treated with a deterrent. Every day for the next two to four weeks, reapply the deterrent. Please be aware that more than just using deterrents will be necessary to treat destructive chewing successfully. What they can chew and what they shouldn’t chew should be taught to dogs.

  • Until you are confident your dog’s chewing behavior is under control, try your best to keep an eye on him during all waking hours. Say, “Uh-oh,” take the object out of your dog’s mouth, and replace it with something he can chew if you notice him licking or chewing something he shouldn’t be. Then joyfully commend him.

  • Your dog must be kept from chewing on inappropriate objects when you aren’t around to watch him. For instance, if you work during the day, you can confine your dog at home for up to six hours. Use a crate, lock the door, or a baby gate to a small room where you’ve placed your dog. Remove all prohibited items from your dog’s confinement area and provide him with suitable toys and chew items in their place. If you crate your dog, keep in mind that you’ll need to exercise him frequently and spend time with him when he’s not crated.

  • Make sure your dog gets a lot of mental and physical exercise. Make sure your dog gets plenty of playtimes before you have to leave him alone for more than a short while.

  • It’s important to avoid confusing your dog by offering unwanted household items, such as worn-out shoes and discarded cushions, to help him learn the difference between things he should and shouldn’t chew. You cannot reasonably expect your dog to learn which shoes are acceptable to chew on and which ones are not.

  • Some young dogs and puppies enjoy chewing on soiled underwear. The best way to solve this issue is to place dirty underwear in a closed hamper consistently. Some dogs enjoy raiding the trash like puppies and gnawing on used tampons and sanitary napkins. This carries a significant risk. A sanitary item that a dog eats may expand as it passes through his digestive tract. Put tampons and napkins in a container that your dog cannot access. As they mature, the majority of young dogs outgrow these behaviors.

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