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Help My Dog is Chewing Up Everything in My Back Yard!

By admin | Dogs

Oct 23
Help My Dog is Chewing Up Everything in My Back Yard

 

Pets can bring us joy without asking much in return.

 

Lulu the lemon beagle we adopted from a shelter is the greatest dog on earth, but the list of chewed victims in her wake include:

 

  • Pool cleaner pipes
  • Underground lawn sprinklers
  • Hose pipes
  • Plastic buckets
  • A wooden door (yes, a wooden door)
  • Rubber buttons on the Jacuzzi
  • Our poodle’s tail

Lulu – for whom the world is a chew toy

Figuring out exactly what is happening, and then correcting it, is very important. Some might think that chewing on items outdoors is fine because this behavior is not being displayed inside the home.
However, this is still a sign that should be acted upon by the caregiver. The chewing could turn into costly repairs and could even injure the dog racking up expensive medical bills if not properly corrected.
There are many reasons that puppies and dogs might chew, and below, we’ll discuss some of them and their respective remedies.

The Young and Chewful

First, realize that chewing issues vary by age. Puppies use a variety of behaviors including chewing to learn about their environment and will pick up on cues provided by their caregivers and other dogs around them. Older dogs should have worked out what is and is not appropriate to chew on in their surroundings. Redirection should be appropriate by circumstance as well as age and knowledge of the individual dog.

Provide Distraction

If you are finding that your dog is excessively chewing inappropriate items, a good first step is to be sure there is food, water, and appropriate chewing alternatives provided.

Supplying a variety of chew toys can help alleviate boredom in a single toy or rawhide that might lead to gnawing on slippers or door frames.

Just as our preferences change throughout our lives, a dog might suddenly stop showing interest in a favorite type of chew toy in favor of another. Keeping this in mind, providing a small variety of toys such as rope pulls, hard rubber chew toys with pockets for treats, rawhides, and bones can all be a great idea for dogs.

Our Secret Weapon

We found the ultimate solution as far as distractions are concerned. The equivalent of a gym for your dog and an outlet for its frustrations.

Help My Dog is Chewing Up Everything in My Back Yard Rope Ball

   

Get a rope with two tennis balls on the ends and hang it from your rotary washing line. For Lulu our dog this left us with a calmer dog and fewer mangled garden items.


 

Some caretakers will leave on a television or a radio with music or programming playing to help negate any feelings of loneliness the dog might experience during long periods of separation like work days or overnight trips away.

Quality Time

Sometimes chewing happens even when we are home and there are plenty of toys around for alternatives. Be it boredom or anxiety, increasing the interactions with your dog could help to reduce anxiety and increased activity can help your pup get more rest and less chewing while inside your home.

Crating?

Another solution that could help reduce destructive chewing is to reduce the area available to your dog. Confining your dog to a crate if indoors or a dog house or igloo if outdoors helps eliminate available targets for chewing. Always provide appropriate food, water, and toys for your dog while confined. This can be especially helpful for dogs that display separation anxiety while their caregiver is away or in certain situations like thunderstorms or other triggering events.

Deterrents

Help My Dog is Chewing Up Everything in My Back Yard Vicks Vaporub

Image courtesy of Vicks

Using a deterrent can also help to protect things around your home or yard by emitting a smell or taste upon contact that drives the dog away from that area. Sprays and other remedies are commercially available over the counter, but there are also some household items that can be used as a deterrent to chewing such as chest vapor rub or vinegar sprays with essential oils. These can be applied to an object, like a water hose or fence post, that the dog has been showing a particular interest in to help eliminate the behavior.

Medical Reasons

Most importantly, checking in with a veterinarian to rule out any dental or other physical issues is essential in maintaining the quality and longevity of your dog’s life. If you find you have tried everything only to still find shoes destroyed or doorframes splintered, check in with a veterinarian to rule out anything serious. They can also provide a helpful insight into your dog’s behavior and might provide some additional steps you could take.

Training

Seeking help from a professional dog trainer could be beneficial for on going or long seated chewing habits when all other options have been exhausted. They can provide specialized insight and recommendations for both your actions and the dog’s behavior. Having someone come into your space can help you pinpoint issues that are arising that you might be overlooking or are just not in tune with in a way that a professional would be.

Finally

Getting a solid plan in place is key to overcoming inappropriate chewing, both indoors and outside the home. Avoiding cost and injury is important for your pocketbook and health of your dog. Providing toys, making sure they are healthy and happy, and giving lots of opportunities to run and play, interacting with other dogs are all essential parts of a happy and healthy dog. What are some of the ways you have helped eliminate chewing behaviors with your dogs? What are some ways you suggest to prevent and eliminate these behaviors?

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