Destructive Chewing: Preventing A Dog From Chewing Everything

Destructive chewing dog

Destructive chewing is a common problem that many dog owners face. Left unaddressed, it can lead to damaged furniture, ruined personal items, and even potential health risks for your dog. However, with the right strategies, you can prevent your dog from chewing everything in sight. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to stop destructive chewing and ensure your dog stays safe and happy.

Understanding Why Dogs Chew

Natural Instinct: Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs. It helps them explore their environment, relieve teething pain in puppies, and keep their teeth clean and jaws strong.

Boredom: Dogs often chew out of boredom. Without enough mental and physical stimulation, they may turn to chewing as a way to entertain themselves.

Anxiety and Stress: Separation anxiety or stressful situations can also lead to destructive chewing. Chewing can be a coping mechanism for dogs to relieve anxiety.

Preventing Destructive Chewing

Provide Appropriate Chew Toys: Ensure your dog has a variety of chew toys appropriate for their size and chewing style. Rotate the toys to keep your dog interested.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation: A tired dog is less likely to engage in destructive chewing. Regular exercise and mental stimulation through play, training, and interactive toys can prevent boredom.

Training and Redirection: Train your dog to understand what is acceptable to chew. When you catch them chewing on something inappropriate, redirect their attention to a chew toy. Reward them when they chew on the correct items.

Puppy Proofing: If you have a puppy, puppy-proof your home by keeping valuable and dangerous items out of reach. Use baby gates to restrict access to certain areas if necessary.

How to Stop Destructive Chewing

Identify Triggers: Determine what triggers your dog’s chewing. Is it boredom, anxiety, or teething? Addressing the root cause can help you develop a more effective prevention plan.

Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement to encourage good chewing habits. Praise and reward your dog when they chew on appropriate toys.

Chew Deterrents: Apply dog-safe chew deterrent sprays to furniture and other items you don’t want your dog to chew. The unpleasant taste can deter them from chewing these objects.

Crate Training: Crate training can be effective, especially when you cannot supervise your dog. Ensure the crate is comfortable and filled with safe chew toys to keep your dog occupied.

Regular Vet Check-ups: Schedule regular vet visits to rule out any medical reasons for destructive chewing, such as dental problems or nutritional deficiencies.

Chew Toy Recommendations

Durable Toys: Invest in durable chew toys made from strong materials like rubber or nylon. Brands like KONG and Nylabone offer a variety of tough chew toys designed to withstand heavy chewing.

Interactive Toys: Interactive toys that dispense treats or make noises can keep your dog engaged for longer periods. These toys provide both mental and physical stimulation.

Edible Chews: Natural edible chews like bully sticks, antlers, and dental chews can satisfy your dog’s urge to chew while promoting dental health. Ensure they are size-appropriate to prevent choking.

Creating a Chew-Friendly Environment

Safe Space: Create a designated safe space for your dog filled with their favorite toys and chews. This can be a crate, a specific room, or a corner of your living area.

Regular Supervision: Supervise your dog, especially during the initial training phase. Correct inappropriate chewing behavior promptly and consistently.

Consistency: Consistency is key in training. Ensure all family members understand and follow the same rules regarding what is acceptable for your dog to chew.

Addressing Anxiety and Stress

Routine: Establish a consistent daily routine to provide your dog with a sense of security. Regular feeding times, walks, and play sessions can reduce anxiety.

Calming Products: Consider using calming products like anxiety wraps, pheromone diffusers, or natural supplements to help reduce your dog’s anxiety levels.

Professional Help: If your dog’s destructive chewing is due to severe anxiety or behavioral issues, consider seeking help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.


Destructive chewing can be a challenging behavior to manage, but with patience, consistency, and the right strategies, it is possible to prevent your dog from chewing everything. Providing appropriate chew toys, ensuring adequate exercise and mental stimulation, and addressing any underlying anxiety can help redirect your dog’s chewing habits towards more acceptable outlets. Remember, understanding and addressing the root cause of your dog’s chewing is crucial to finding a lasting solution. By creating a safe and stimulating environment, you can keep both your dog and your belongings safe and happy.


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