Dogs don't discriminate when it comes to gnawing on household items. Gnawing or chewing is an innate behavior that helps dogs relieve stress, expend energy and satisfy the need for play.
Here are a few tips to help humans cope with their pets' need to gnaw:
- Keep off-limits items out of reach and sight.
- Do NOT give dogs items that are similar to items you don’t want them to chew, for example, old shoes!
- Set aside time for play every day so the dog gets exercise and relieves boredom.
- Change toys regularly to keep playtime fun and interesting.
- Use toys that stimulate active play, for example hollow toys that biscuits can be placed in or weighed balls that roll in unpredictable directions.
- Give the dog a safe, long-lasting chew treat once or twice a week.
- Arrange for a friend, neighbor or pet sitter to play with the dog to reduce anxiousness or loneliness.
- Redirect unwanted gnawing to acceptable behavior and then praise with a treat! When dogs like what happens as a result of a certain behavior, they will repeat the behavior.