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April 22, 2019

Chew On This: Here’s Why Your Dog is Destroying Her Bed (And How to Stop Her)

Owning a dog can be a consistent source of joy… and frustration. An otherwise well-behaved pup might very well have a habit that gnaws at you. If your dog constantly chews on and destroys her bedding, you might be reaching the end of your rope — and of your budget. But in order to thwart this behavior, it’s important to understand its source.

Your Dog Might Be Chewing Her Bed Because…

  • She Misses You: It might sound far-fetched to some people, but dogs experience separation anxiety just like we do. If your dog is feeling stressed or anxious, she might try to relieve those feelings by chewing when she’s left alone. It’s essentially a way for pups to comfort themselves. If her chewing is related to anxiety, she might also whine and bark, pace around the room, or do her business inside while you’re away.
  • She’s Hungry: Is your dog on a restrictive diet? If so, she might be chewing on her bedding in an effort to find an alternative source of food. This is especially true if her bedding smells like something edible. A dog that’s abnormally hungry might seek out just about anything to supplement their diet, while a pup with pica (a condition that prompts dogs to eat non-food items in their environment) might simply be confused about what she should eat and what she should leave alone.
  • She Has a Compulsion: In some cases, a dog may lick, suck, or chew on fabrics. Experts believe it’s a compulsive behavior that might be caused by premature weaning. If you’ve been unsuccessful in distracting your dog from engaging in these behaviors, you may want to consult with an animal behaviorist and sign your dog up for specific training sessions to curb this compulsion.
  • She’s Bored: This is one of the main reasons dogs chew things they aren’t supposed to. A dog who is bored or lonely will seek out things to chew to provide some mental stimulation and distraction. Although some degree of chewing is normal and instinctual, a dog who chews her bedding for a long period of time may simply have no other outlet or form of entertainment to pass the time.

How to Stop a Dog From Destroying Her Bedding

  • Get Some Chew Toys or Treats: Your first order of business should be to invest in some high-quality chew toys and edible chews (like dental chew sticks or bully sticks). A dog who is following her instincts will still chew, as it’s a way for her to keep her jaw and teeth strong. This way, she won’t be inclined to destroy her bed. Just make sure to always supervise your pup when she’s given any kind of edible chew.
  • Distract Her With an Activity: This is key in minimizing destructive behavior. If she starts to chew on her bed, take her outside for playtime, go on a walk, or bring her to the dog park. Exercise and social stimulation are vital here, as they’ll keep her from feeling bored and make sure her energy is spent productively.
  • Invest in Chew Proof Dog Beds: Although 45% of dogs in the U.S. sleep in their owner’s beds, many still have bedding of their own. It’s a good idea for owners to purchase indestructible dog kennel beds, particularly if your pup will be confined to her crate when you’re out of the house. These indestructible dog kennel beds can withstand any punishment — so even if your dog slips up and starts to chew, you won’t have to deal with any damage.
  • See Your Veterinarian: When owners purchase toys, invest in indestructible dog kennel beds, and make efforts to distract their dogs with activities without any behavioral improvement, it’s possible that there could be an underlying medical problem at play. Schedule an appointment with your vet to assess whether your dog might be experiencing physical discomfort and using chewing as a way to cope.

Now that you know what might be causing your dog to chew, you can take steps to keep her from destroying her bed (and help her feel happier in the process!). For more information on our indestructible dog kennel beds, please contact us today.