Chewing is a natural instinct for dogs, and they do not understand why they should not chew on everything that is chewable.
If your dog likes to chew on things such as sticks, your wooden bed, tables, cupboards or furniture, you should read this post.
I will be sharing some great tips which will help you to stop your dog from this nasty habit!
So let’s dive in on what you CAN do to help your dog stop this undesirable action.
Stop your dog from chewing on wood by giving him alternative things to chew on such as rubber or leather chew toys, KONG toys or nylabone bone. Correct his chewing behavior by easing his boredom through physical and mental simulation, address his teething discomfort and start him on obedience training.
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Give him Alternative To Chew On!
But what should you give the dog to chew on?
What I suggest is to get some good rubber dog toys and give them to your dog to play with. This will keep his mind occupied while at the same time keeping him from chewing on things he shouldn’t.
Here are a few good choices:
Kongs With Stuffed Treats
These are great toys for making your dog exercise his mind to get the treat out from the toys and also satisfying his chewing desire.
Place the KONG stuffed with peanut butter in the freezer and only take them out when you want to give it to your dog.
By having the peanut butter in frozen state, your dog will need to spend more effort in getting the treats out from the Kong. This will keep him busy for quite a while.
These are long, stiff, hard rubber bones which look like human thigh-bones. Dogs love to chew on these, and they don’t hurt much when they chew on them.
Give your dog one of these, and he’ll think he’s got a real treat.
Soft Rubber Toys
These make great teething toys for puppies. As your puppy grows older, you may want to consider switching to a hard rubber toy.
There are so many kinds of soft, squishy toys made just for dogs. Some of them resemble mice or squirrels; others look like footballs or soccer balls; and some are just plain old shapes that dogs love to gnaw on!
Hard Rubber Toys
These make great “chew toys” for the older dog and help to discourage them from chewing on things. They are very durable and are very good for your dog’s teeth and gums.
Some popular toys are Kong dog toys, Goughnuts dog toys, Multipet dog toys etc.
This is a natural material that most dogs seem to like. Leather is strong, durable and does not splinter or break like other materials. Plus it has a nice “dog-friendly” smell.
Some people like to cut up old shoes and leather belts to give to their dog as toys. Don’t do this! Instead, get your dog some nice, tough leather toys made by a reputable company.
Work On Stopping His Chewing’s Behavior
Stop His Boredom
Bored dogs chew for the simple pleasure of chewing.
One of the common behaviors that all dogs do when they are bored is that they start to chew on things that they can get hold of.
He might shred his toys or chew on your wooden furniture just to “kill” his boredom.
So make sure that your dog is never bored by helping him to release his pent-up energy. As the saying goes, “A tired dog is a good dog”.
When your dog is tired, he is less likely to create havoc and will be well-behaved.
You do this by keeping your dog mentally and physically active, giving his mind and body something to do.
This can be done in a few ways such as playing fetch games, chasing bubbles, playing flirt pole or hide-and-seek in the backyard.
You can also take him for a long walk (at least an hour) and let him run and play with some other dogs. This will also help in his socialization skills as well.
For me, I would prefer to play a “fetch” game with my dog as that can easily make him physically and mentally tired.
When you throw the ball and tell your dog to “Catch” or “Find” it, he will likely chase after the ball but not run full out with the enthusiasm that you want to encourage.
So, what you should do next is to make him work for his rewards. You give him a treat for getting the ball back to you.
And guess what? That would trigger his enthusiasm and he will be going full out to grab the ball in exchange for a reward.
In a very short time, he will drop the ball and turn away from you and start to walk or run in another direction. And that’s when you know you have successfully “exhausted” his brain and “tired out” his body.
The same technique works with many other games and exercises.
Address His Teething Discomfort
When your dog’s teeth start to come through, the chewing instinct and behavior happen.
The chewing becomes even more intense when the teeth are fully through and your dog is trying to relieve the discomfort of the new teeth erupting.
This is when he will turn to whatever things that he can chew on and of course, the most enticing thing will be your wooden furniture.
You can deter him from chewing on things that he should not have his mouth on by spraying them with bitter apples deterrent. You can find this in any pet store.
Just spray it on the areas that he is chewing, and the smell will repel him away from those objects.
Another alternative is to mix vinegar with orange juice and put a bit of the mixture on the places that he is chewing. This will cause an unpleasant smell which will deter him from chewing on those particular items.
The last alternative is to use an electric shock collar on him. This will give him the unpleasant sensation of being shocked every time he tries to chew on something that you have forbidden him to chew on.
The best solution though, is prevention. If possible, don’t allow him to have access to any objects that he can chew on.
This way, he won’t have the opportunity to get into trouble when you are not around to stop him.
Putting him in a crate and placing some chewing toys (the ones that I have suggested above) for him to ease his teething discomfort could be an option.
Ease His Separation Anxiety
At times, separation anxiety could trigger your dog to start his chewing behavior.
Just like when you are anxious or stressed, you will often bite your fingernails or chew on a pencil or some other object to help you “de-stress” a bit.
This behavior can also happen to your dog as well. When he gets stressed out or nervous, he will chew or gnaw on something to help him deal with that negative energy.
It’s a natural behavior that helps to calm him down.
So if you find that your dog ONLY starts this undesirable action when he is alone, you would need to ease his separation anxiety.
Spend more time with your dog. Let him be your buddy. Play with him, go for walks together, take him to the park, feed him with treats and let him lick your hand and face whenever he wants to. In other words, do everything you can to keep him happy and content!
Make him feel at ease when he is in the crate by making the crate a comfortable place for your dog to be in whenever you are not around.
Get a crate that is large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and lie down. Most likely, your dog will spend most of his time lying down in his crate.
However, don’t force him to stay in the crate all the time if he wants to walk around. That defeats the purpose of him being in the crate.
The goal is to make him feel calm and not lonely when you are not around by diverting his attention to playing with chewing toys in his crate and not going around chewing things.
Start Him On Obedience Training
Train your dog to know that it is NOT okay to have his teeth on anything that he can get hold of. Teach him this through positive reinforcement.
Make him understand that he will get a nice “treat” (reward) for NOT chewing on things (in particular your wooden furniture).
After a while, he will begin to understand that it is more rewarding to obey than to disobey. This will create an instant bond between you and your dog.
The way to do this is very simple… just keep giving him small rewards for doing what you ask him to do. If you are consistent, he will soon learn to love doing what you want him to do.
Do not yell or shout at your dog if you find him chewing things that he is NOT supposed to.
Instead, calmly remove the item from his mouth and give him a treat as soon as possible. Praise him for NOT chewing on your stuff and repeat the process until he gets the idea.
Never punish your dog for chewing. Punishment only confuses him and makes him more likely to chew even more.
Another thing you should do is to make sure your dog has access to plenty of safe, chewable items.
You see, if he is not given enough opportunities to practice this natural chewing instinct, he may turn it into a bad habit that could one day cause him health problems.
Give your dog an outlet for this natural instinct. Make sure there are no dangerous or poisonous items in your house (like those made of certain types of wood) that he can get his teeth on.
What Happens When Dog Swallows Chewing Wood?
Wood chewing is a bad habit that can be very dangerous. Although your dog might seem like it’s just chewing on wooden furniture as if it were a bone, you should know that it’s not as harmless.
In fact, some pieces of wood that your dog swallows could end up causing him harm. Here are some reasons why:
1. The type of wood that he is chewing may contain chemicals that are very toxic to him.
2. The process of breaking down the wood into smaller pieces causes all the chemicals in the wood to come out into the bloodstream of your dog. These chemicals can irritate his digestive tract and cause many unpleasant side effects for him.
It is not uncommon for a dog to have this undesirable chewing habit and to reduce the risk of him ingesting anything toxic, it is important to correct his chewing behavior.
So make use of the tips shared in this post to stop your dog from chewing your wooden stuff!