It can be very frustrating when trying to find a solution for a puppy or grown dog that likes to chew on seemingly everything. This is a guide about dealing with a dog that chews.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
As the owner of a overly curious and very hyper Jack Russell, I have learned how to deal with a obsessive chewer. My dog, Abby, was six weeks old when we got her. I wanted her to be an inside dog, so she pretty much had the run of the house. When we would leave the house and even when we went to bed, we would leave her out.
After she got past the regular puppy stage, we noticed she still had an obsession with getting into stuff and chewing. After work, we would come home to pillows on the floor and sometimes chewed up and things scattered everywhere. One time, she found a tiny hole in the couch and ripped it open. Shoes, socks, checkbooks, pretty much anything she could get her paws on.
Now I know you think she's probably a little terror, but she is actually a sweet and very affectionate dog. All she needed was some boundaries. We bought her a pet taxi, but it just wasn't big enough for her to stay comfortably in for long periods of time. Finally, we bought her a big, fold up kennel. You can find them at Walmart and they are not that expensive. It was big enough for her to move around in and she had food, water, and toys to entertain her while she was in there. After she got used to the kennel, things got so much better. No more tearing up and getting into things, she learned then she had her limits on what she could or could not do. Now she knows when we get ready to leave, that's where she supposed to go, and she heads towards it. She has turned out to be the best dog and a wonderful part of the household. I know not everyone has a dog that's like this, but for the ones who do this is the best solution I found.
By Heather from Stanton, KY
Here is my tip for today. If your dog or puppy is chewing your home or your shoes for that matter anything, up, try some all natural clove oil. Rub a bit of clove oil on and watch out. No more chewing!
By Wendy Nan from Los Angeles, CA
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Here are questions related to Dealing With a Dog That Chews.
I have a Pit Bull that chews everything she gets her mouth around. She will chew wood toys, rugs, beds, and drywall. What kind of toys can Pits have? She chews every kind of toy I get. How can I stop her from chewing the house up?
Another idea is to make sure your puppy gets enough exercise and attention. That helps tire the dog out and cures the boredom factor that often leads to the bad behavior. Nice long walks and play involving running and fetching will make a big difference. Then gentle correction when you see chewing on the wrong items.
By Petertink from Tehachapi, CA
Nope. No muzzle. Not a good idea. He needs enough exercise to exhaust his endurance and toys for hearty chewers. Ask your vet. I am sure there will be some good answers.
Why do outside dogs on a leash chew up on anything that it gets to and how can I stop it?
The reason your dog chews on everything is because you treat him as an "outside" dog. Dogs are meant to be part of a pack, that is, you and your family. He is bored and unhappy spending all his time tied up on a chain. Does he get exercise? Do you spend time playing with him, walking him? That's the answer. Time and love will cure this. Why have a dog if you are going to tie him up and leave him alone outside? Don't understand it.
My Pit is basically a year old. Today I decided to give her a test and not crate her; I was only gone for an hour and she chewed the window sill. I have two other full-grown dogs here as well, they are 5 and 7 year old Labs. Why is she still chewing and how do I correct this issue of my dog?
Ae you kidding? Your Pit is still a puppy! And will behave like one until it's three years old. I once had a Great Dane who ate up my piano bench when he was one and a half years old. Sounds to me like your puppy also suffers from separation anxiety as well as teething issues.
My suggestion is to get a kong and fill it with treats when you're going to leave him in his cage for a while. Also, make sure you have pressed rawhide bones (the white knobby rawhide bones he can choke on) to give him to chew on.
You could also try an old kennel trick and turn on the radio or TV so he can hear it and not feel isolated. If you have his cage in an area where the other dogs in the house can't go I'd suggest that you move the cage so that he can see them and not feel so isolated. Give it more time for him to grow up. Good luck.
We have two puppies that love to chew on everything from the dining table legs, chair legs, plastic garbage bags, weights and have even destroyed the blue padding that covers the springs on a trampoline! I've tried scolding verbally, they ignore me. I tried showing them the fly swatter and smacking my hand with it, also to no avail. What can I do to stop these two from chewing everything we own up? I have thought about tabasco, but have heard that destroys their taste buds and they'll be finicky (sp) eaters after. I'm one step away from begging for help here!
By person (Guest Post) 11/23/2005
puppies tend to chew on stuff becasue their teeth hurt. like babies pups go threw a teething stage. try giving them a chew toy thats squishy or a rawhide. and when you see them take them to stop where they did the wrong thing such as the dining chair legs and give them a spank no too hard though.
I have a year and a half old Dachshund and she is very spiteful. She is excellent for weeks alone in the bedroom when I leave and then she randomly chews something out of the blue when she has bones and toys all over the room to chew. What do I do? Please help me I need advice I am at my wits end.
You might want to consider leaving the TV or the radio on for your little one. Dogs really do suffer when we leave them, they are so codependent. You might want to keep it on food network something like that so she is always hearing a human voice. It does help. I have a Rat Terrier and a Jack Russell and this does help when I have to leave. My rat terrier is the one who shreds toilet paper in the bathroom or chews on my shoes. It helps to close up the closet, leave the toys and an old shirt or pair of socks with your scent will help too. Just something to keep your dog thinking about you, in a good way! Hope this helps.
Does anyone have an idea for a dog bed pad for a dog that really likes to chew? I've been using an old quilt that I have to sew back up almost every day. I've also used old packing blankets that he just chews to shreds.
By Leese from OR
A litle more about the dog. He's a 1-1/2 year old boxer and already sleeps in a crate with his brother, a 5 year old wire-haired terrier, and his kong. They sleep on the U-Haul blanket, and we throw his sleeping blanket on top of the two of them when they go to bed. Need to, the back room is still too cold for them at night. When things heat up in the summer, we leave the top blanket off. I'm afraid to just put the quilt over the top of the crate. I don't want him to destroy the blanket they sleep on top of.
My 10-month-old female Dachshund loves to chew on shoes (other things, too, but mostly shoes). We have changed our habits by ensuring that our shoes are out of reach, but it's difficult to communicate this importance to guests who visit for extended periods.
I think something that would go a long way toward training her would be to limit her "approved" chew toys list. Personally, I would like to have one (maybe two) unique toys that she knows are OK to chew on. My husband, however, seems to think she needs "stimulation," so just about every week, he brings in one or two new squeaky, bouncy, chewy things for her to play with - to the point that now we have about 15 or 20 toys (that haven't already been destroyed) to choose from.
I think this is confusing to her, giving her too many options. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? (Note: We do have a 14-month-old male companion Doxie, too. He's been "shoe-chew-free" for about 10 months now.)
By Toni M.S. (Guest Post) 07/31/2006
I understand that the dog chews on shoes, but it's still a pup. You have to work with them often, and if you catch them with a shoe, give them a stern 'No!'. They will soon understand, and if they are 'Shoe-free' for a day or two, give them a treat, such as a raw-hide.
My dog has everything a dog can have, even more; she lives better than many Americans in this hard economic situation. My dog needs attention and love I guess every second because if not she destroys things. Every time she is left home alone when I go to pick up my son from school (just for 30 minutes), she destroys my son's bed, sheets, and pillows.
I'm scared she can hurt my two kids. I have a 13 month old baby that my dog does not like too much. Please help, I'm thinking seriously of taking her to a shelter. BTW my dog has a bed inside our home, she eats, drinks, and stays inside, because if not she gets upset, we also walk her.
By Cio R.
Get yourself a dog crate and crate her when you leave. I have always crated my dogs. I have owned Rottweilers, and now have an Australian Cattle Dog and two Pugs. All run to their crates when they see us getting ready to leave. They hop in and I close the door.
I have the Doskosil crates like the airlines use and they actually spend time in them when they rest or play with their toys. It is not a punishment. It saves my rugs and my possessions from sharp little teeth in a bored animal. Your dog is throwing a temper tantrum because you left it home. Put its bed or better yet an old towel or comforter in the crate. That way if it gets shredded, it is no great loss.
If the dog shreds, leave it in the crate with nothing to shred. This is totally unacceptable behavior on the part of any dog.
I have a Dachshund that chews holes in all the blankets he can get his teeth into! Nothing else, just blankets. Is there anything I can spray on my blankets or any other ideas to prevent his blanket chewing? All my blankets are full of little holes!
By Sue from VA
My dachshund does this all the time. My vet told me she thinks they do it to sooth themselves sorta like a kid sucking his thumb. I don't even try to stop it. It's his blanket and I would not take it from him. Neither do I worry about it.
Why is my dog chewing up everything when left home?
By Djsam from Azusa, CA
I agree it is separation anxiety. I am no expert on this situation, but having had many dogs, I know that they need regular exercise several times a day, they love a schedule so they know what to expect and when to expect it. If they have a good schedule, usually you can spend some few hours away from home and not have so much anxiety. But check with your vet. Good luck.
How do I break my 6 year dog, that I just adopted 5 months ago, from tearing holes in comforters. I have tried time out, making her wear the blanket around her neck because the hole fit over her head for 20 minutes, and not allowing her on the bed. Help me this is getting expensive.
I have experienced this behavior in two dogs - one had been severely abused and one was rescued from a puppy mill. Two things that helped were:
1. Pheromone spray which helps calm the dog and prevents stress-related behavior (can be purchased at Drs. Foster & Smith.com), and 2. Always having a chew stick for them available 24/7. I use made-in-the-USA pizzle stix (also called bully sticks). These are much cheaper purchased online than at pet stores.
Our great Dane is 7 months. She stays outside during the day in a wooden kennel. She goes in the garden and chews our sprinkler pipes. How can we make her stop? We tried to close it up with a fence about a meter high. She still goes through.
By Wanda from Worcester
You've got a large breed dog which can be quite destructive. And puppies chew pretty much all the time. You're going to have to just start thinking bigger and tougher than a meter high wooden fence. Perhaps electric fencing. Wood is simply nothing to a Great Dane. They can reduce it to splinters.
Large breed dogs are not for everybody. I do not know if this is the case, but if you're having any second thoughts about being able to handle this dog when it actually grows up, please rehome the dog when it's still a puppy. It will be easier for the animal to adjust. If you're serious about this, though, stop thinking wood and start thinking wrought iron.
My 3 year old Yorkie chews his bed and blankets. He does not do this when left in the house alone, but will start when I return home, especially if I am on the phone.
By Mary J
You can seek help from your vet-they have much experience in these types of problems. Take your dog to your vet for a check to be sure there are no medical problems and discuss how to help your dog. The vet may recommend medication to help your dog improve his behavior.
I have a two year old male Pit Bull that chews on my furniture. I had bought a large cage to keep him in all day while I was at work. Then I had felt sorry for him and kept him out during the day while at work, leaving a radio on in one room and a TV in another room. He was fine for a while, but then reverted back to his destructive pattern. Then I would put him back in the cage again, then felt sorry for him, kept him out, then same pattern started all over again. I purposely have kept one piece of furniture in the house that he keeps destroying, but when I came back home today it was destroyed and I have to throw it out. Honestly I am over it! I can not take this anymore and I am torn about giving him up. Are there any meds I can give him during the day while I am out to keep him chilled and calm? Maybe I need to take some meds to deal with this!
Are you walking this dog on a regular basis? He needs one good walk, or a trip to the dog park every day. Do you take time to play with him when you are home on a regular basis? You need to be channeling the energy a energetic young dog has. If you don't have time to do so, the pattern you describe may continue.
A dog requires a consistent commitment of your time on a daily basis. If you don't have the time, look for a home for the dog that does have the time. It may take a while to find the right home, but you will be able to feel like you did the right thing by your dog. Good luck.
Our Pit is chewing everything. Where do we get Kong products; at what pet store?
By Reginald D from Detroit, MI
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I am in need of advice. I have two Pit Bulls. one of them is 3 years old and has no problems at all. I got her when she was only 5 weeks old, but the other is approximately 1 year and a large male.
My daughter has a 8 month old pit that is chewing up everything! She just called, he chewed up her new glasses this morning, the old ones a while back. Anyway, she loves this pit so much and doesn't want to get rid of him. She has crated him, he still shows her no signs of catching on. How can she stop this before she has to seek the alternative?
Judy from Leighton, AL
First, you must puppy proof your house. Put up anything you don't want chewed. Have lots of chew toys available to them at all times. The best that I know of are the Kong toys. They are virtually indestructible and are hollow so you can pack them with treats and the dog will be occupied for hours trying to work them out. Also consider looking for a good dog trainer to work with you. There are no bad dogs, only poorly trained ones. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation. Many veterinarians also offer training services. (07/05/2006)
We have 2 new puppies. Dyson, he's a basset hound and Boo, she's a Basset/Yorkie. Both are about 6 months old now and they keep eating the stair carpet and underlay. Everywhere else is laminated. Has anybody got any tips, the other 3 never did this. Shoes and trainers, yes. Help before my husband runs away!
Ray and Sylvie from England
It is never to early or late to start crate training. They do not need the run of the house at this point. They are not trying to cause problems they just don't know the ropes yet. Put crate training in the search bar and look up various methods. They can get to where they really like their little houses. Also, fill a can with pennies and tape it shut. It is a good distraction to shake it and get their attention off the chewing. Give them lots of chew toys, and praise them when they are chewing on these. I would crate train and let them out only under supervision. They sound sweet and adorable.
Teach them how to come when called by offering treats when they come. Help them learn to sit down before they get a treat. Hold it up above their nose so they have to look up and then bring it backwards so they (usually) will sit down. Once they learn to look to you as their trainer and learn to love learning, you will be on your way to better communication with them. Crate training just helps you eliminate mistakes by letting them out only under supervision. I would say, let them out every so often during the day if they are not potty trained. This might take just a few hours or days or whatever they need. (02/01/2009)
I got a dog for Christmas from my ex boyfriend and I love it a lot. It's so cute, but my parents want to get rid of it because he chews up everything. What can I do to make him stop chewing on stuff?
I have a black Lab and Pit Bull mix. I can't figure out how to stop her from eating up my house when I am gone.
I have a red nosed pit bull and she is about 9 months old. She was chewing on everything when we first got her so we used a crate. We slowly left her out for an hour at a time, and then all day.