We love our dogs. Except when they chew our furniture.
Ok, ok, we still love them then, but it becomes a challenge. We want less challenges and more happy times as pet parents, so here’s how to stop dog or puppy from chewing on furniture.
Why do dogs and puppies chew?
Chewing is natural and normal for both dogs and puppies. For the pups, they are teething a lot and need to chew. For full grown dogs, chewing is a way to clean teeth, strengthen jaw muscles, and just relax.
With puppies, chewing is mostly a training issue. Puppies need to be taught early on that they can’t nip, bite and chew. Check out this post on puppy biting training.
With adult dogs, it’s a little more complicated. Depending on the circumstances, your dog could be bored, stressed or suffering from separation anxiety. Either way, there are two ways to face the problem. You can try to fix the root cause or you can use deterrents to keep your dog from chewing.
The Easy Way: Dog Chew Repellents
Dog chew repellents are sprays you put on your furniture or anything else you don’t want your dog chewing on. You can either buy one or make a solution to put on your furniture to deter your dog from chewing on it.
DIY Dog Chewing Repellent:
Dogs do not like cayenne pepper. You can make your own spray by mixing one part cayenne pepper and 10 parts water. Put it in a spray bottle and try spraying it on the furniture you are trying to protect. This works for some dogs right away.
Other Dog Repellent Spray
If the cayenne pepper doesn’t work, it might be time to step up your game. You can buy chew repellents that are specifically designed to keep dogs away. One popular spray is PRO Anti Chew Spray For Dogs & Puppies – Alcohol Free and Safe for Use Around House – Most Powerful Bitter Deterrent Available on the Market – 8oz
One nice thing about the Pro Anti Chew spray is that it comes with a 14 day stop chewing program guide. The spray has great reviews on Amazon, but remember to always do a test run first. Not all dogs react the same to spray repellents.
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The Longer Way: Get to the Root of the Problem
If the dog chewing repellents don’t work or you are looking for a more permanent solution, you need to fix the underlying problem. Before you can do that, you need to figure out why your dog is chewing on the first place.
In order to figure out the cause, ask yourself the following questions:
When does the Chewing happen?
Is anyone at home when it does?
Is your dog getting enough exercise?
Is your dog bored?
Does your dog bark or cry when you leave?
At a minimum, it could be that your dog is just bored. Try to make sure your dog has to chew toys to satisfy that chewing urge. The KONG Classic Dog Toy is always a good standby. They are good for filling with treats to keep your dog busy.
Separation Anxiety and Stress in Dogs
Sometimes the issue can be more serious. Separation anxiety and stress in dogs can lead to a lot of unwanted behaviors.
The build-up of stress, as with humans, can come out in many different ways. Some dogs will bark nonstop, some will become hyper and not settle, some will dig holes and be destructive. Some dogs chew.
The chewing actually releases endorphines which can help calm your dog down, very similar to when humans are stressed and chew gum. The bottom line is that they are stressed. They are unsettled and chew because they can’t settle down.
Working with a Dog That Chews
One of the best ways to cure this in dogs is through working on the relationship you have with your dog. If you are not giving your dog boundaries and rules, they probably think that they are in charge. With dogs, someone has to be in charge of the group. If your dog thinks he is in charge, it leads to extra stress when you leave.
If you can work with your dog and show that you are the leader, your dog will relax when you leave. Being the leader doesn’t mean bullying your dog or running around yelling. It’s more subtle than that. When it comes to being a leader for your dog, usually it’s easier to see it in action to understand how to do it. Check out The Online Dog Trainer, they have over 250 training.
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They use a method with 5 very powerful principles that they call the 5 Golden Rules to ensure that your dog understands that you are the pack leader. When you are the leader, you are free to come and go as you please. Your dog can then relax and not worry when you leave the house.
The methods are also very kind and gentle and work with the dog’s nature. The best thing is that this technique fixes your problem whether it’s chewing or any other dog problem. It’s definitely worth checking out.