If your puppy shows signs of inappropriate chewing — for example, chewing on woodwork or upholstered furniture, one of the best ways to stop the chewing is by using a deterrent.
You can buy bitter apple cream, and spray can be purchased in pet stores and online. Then apply it to your woodwork and furniture; the taste is so bad that it will make most dogs stop chewing on these objects.
You will need to reapply as necessary. It can also be used on electrical cords and other things dogs like to chew in the house.
Some people use Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce for the same purpose. But it will deter your dog from chewing on things and risks staining or damaging your items.
Just be careful not to use anything that could harm your dog as a deterrent.
Edible chewing substitutes
Another way to stop your dog from inappropriate chewing is by providing him with plenty of his things to chew.
For example, moose antlers or rawhides can be good chews for dogs. Look for sterilized rawhides from USDA beef because they are safer for your dog.
When you give your dog rawhides to chew, you should supervise and remove small pieces that come off so your dog can’t choke on them.
Safe chewing substitutes
One of the best ways to stop your dog from inappropriate chewing is to give her a safe toy to chew on instead.
Many good dog chew toys satisfy your dog’s urge to chew and stop inappropriate chewing.
Rope toys, hard rubber toys such as Kongs, Nylabones, and many others are suitable for dogs that like to chew.
If you have a puppy, be sure to provide him with many toys for chewing.
Puppies teethe from the time they are about four months to 17 months, and they have a strong urge to chew on things during this time.
Spending a few dollars on chews and toys for your dog is an excellent way to save expensive home furnishings from inappropriate chewing.
Another good way to deter inappropriate chewing is to ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise.
Dogs who get lots of exercise are less likely to be destructive at home.
They are more likely to spend their time sleeping when you are not home with them. Tired dogs are happy dogs.
If your dog is destructive and chews things when you are not home, consider crating him when you are away from home for a few hours.
Most dogs regard their crate as a den and are happy to sleep until you return.
Don’t leave a dog unattended in a crate for more than a few hours.
Dog-proof your home
Give your pup the best chance to succeed by stowing away valuable items until they learn what is and isn’t meant for them to chew.
Keep shoes in a closed closet, put dirty laundry in a hamper, and put books on shelves. Keep tantalizing temptations out of reach.
Supervise and keep your puppy busy
Stay one step ahead of your pup’s chewing habits by proactively providing puzzle toys filled with something delicious when he may be most inclined to chew.
Using some of your pup’s daily food ration as a reward in the toy is a bonus for their efforts.
To ensure your furry friend won’t wander to chew on items, they shouldn’t try supervising them during all waking hours. If you can’t supervise your puppy, use its crate or a puppy playpen to keep it out of trouble.
If you see your dog start to lick or chew something inappropriate, gently remove the item from its mouth and substitute it for something more suitable.
Don’t forget to praise your dog to encourage good behavior.
Final thoughts on inappropriate chewing
If you follow the suggestions here, you should be able to stop your dog from inappropriate chewing.
Try different suggestions, or try all of them. Find the solution that works best for you and your puppy.
Bitter apple and suitable chew toys often stop most chewing problems.
Nancy Cope is the owner of four rescue dogs and Pampered Dog Gifts.