How to Stop Your Dog From Chewing on FurnitureLiving & Lifestyle
5 minutes read
(Guest Writer: Steffi Trott)
Chewing is normal behaviour for dogs since they use their mouths and noses to explore things around them. But chewing can happen for a number of reasons, and when your pooch starts damaging your furniture, you might want to address the issue hands-on.
If you want to learn how to stop your dog from chewing on furniture in a practical manner, keep on reading!
Why Does Your Dog Seem To Be Chewing Everything?
Chewing is the natural behaviour for puppies that are teething. While you might try a number of techniques to deter your young dog from chewing everything around the house, you should know that if your puppy’s teething, there’s not much you can do about it.
Adult dogs chew on furniture when they develop pica. Pica is a disorder that occurs due to boredom, anxiety, or frustration. The lack of enough playtime, especially for breeds that are extremely energetic and love to spend time outdoors, can be another reason.
All dogs get bored when they spend countless hours by themselves at home. Being cooped up indoors is not fun, and dogs don’t have the same entertainment opportunities as we do - TV, reading books, or listening to music are not activities they can engage in whenever they feel bored.
By the way, furniture chewing happens less in dogs that have a companion to spend their time with, whether a cat or another dog. So getting another puppy might be a good idea.
Some pets can suffer from separation anxiety, or they could chew furniture as a result of being on a low-calorie diet. You might think that wood or leather are not materials that dogs should be interested in if they’re hungry -- but dogs that have pica can chew on absolutely anything.
How To Stop Your Dog From Chewing On Furniture
First of all, you should leave enough space for your dog to roam in when you are out of the house. On the other hand, if you have precious furniture that you want to protect from your dog’s chewing, indoor fencing can be a pretty good idea.
Using couch covers and other protectors can also deter your dog from chewing on your furniture. Some dogs like chewing on softer materials rather than wood, and you can use harder protectors.
Deal With Puppy Teething
Chewing as a result of teething occurs because the doggy is in pain, so there’s not a lot you can do about it. You can minimize his discomfort by giving him ice cubes, frozen treats, or frozen (and old) clothes. Use gentle guidance to teach your canine friend what he is and isn’t allowed to chew on. Puppy teething time is also a great moment to start with overall puppy training as well.
Most dogs respond to their owner's commands, so if you are lucky enough to work from home and you see your dog beginning to chew on your couch, or any other furniture for that matter, you can simply have him stop by firmly telling him to do so.
When you’re not there, your dog doesn’t have to listen to anyone, so he can chew on anything he wants. Paying attention and being present is definitely the right way of going about things.
Give Your Dog Enough Mental And Physical Exercise
Mental exercise means playing with your dog enough during the day. We’re all tired and lead busy lives, but pets need our affection and attention, and they also need to interact with us as much as possible.
Try to take your dog for a hike every weekend, or if you can’t, at least a very long walk and playtime in the park can work, too. Make sure to play with your dog for at least 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening as this stimulates his mind and makes him less bored.
Make Your Furniture Less Appealing
These days, you can find a lot of sprays for that purpose, and their taste and scent are incredibly unappealing to dogs. If you want to protect your furniture against your pooch’s chewing, this might be a solution to consider.
Plenty Of Chew Toys
Chew toys are specifically made of durable materials so that Fido doesn’t end up taking them apart and swallowing bits of plastic or fabric. Needless to say, these can cause intestinal blockages that can lead to surgery.
A Kong is an excellent example of a good chew toy as it is made of highly durable rubber. Best of all, it can be filled with pate or your dog’s favourite wet food, which means that your dog is going to stay busy for at least several hours.
Besides, Kongs are great at making your dog feel entertained, too, since they tend to bounce around everywhere, so they have to be chased.
What Can I Put On Furniture To Stop Dog Chewing?
We’ve already mentioned commercial deterrent sprays, but there are some DIY remedies that can work just as well. Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice offer great results, and they don’t affect your dog’s health.
Do not try to use essential oils as some of them can be particularly dangerous, especially when ingested. Essential oils should be used for aromatherapy, and there’s only a relatively small number of them that are safe.
Bad Ways Of Stopping Your Dog From Chewing On Furniture
Do not scold, spank, or punish your dog for this behaviour. You can use an upset tone, and most dogs are going to react to it and realize that they’ve done something wrong, but never try to physically punish your canine friend.
If you do, your dog can risk developing aggressive tendencies toward you and other people. Dogs can’t associate punishments with something they did hours ago when you weren’t even at home.
Also, don’t keep your dog in a kennel for hours on end in order to punish him or to prevent him from chewing on your furniture. Using indoor fencing is one thing, and so is kennel training, and it never lasts for more than several hours.
Spend Quality Time With Your Canine Friend Every Day
Compared to other pets, dogs are pretty sociable, and they create unbreakable bonds with their owners. So it’s only natural for them to develop separation anxiety or suffer when they are left alone or if they are ignored when you get back home from work.
Try to spend as much time with your canine buddy as possible, and you’ll see that his chewing tendencies will gradually decrease.
If none of the tips mentioned here have any effect, take your dog to a trainer. A professional is often equipped with the right mechanisms and experience to teach your dog how to behave properly, without punishing him in any way.
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