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July 22, 2019

Understanding Dog Chewing Behavior

Dogs are such an incredible part of our lives. As any dog owner will tell you, their pups are like children to them. It is a sad tragedy that over six million animals, many of which are dogs, end up in animal shelters throughout the United States each year. While sometimes this is a good thing, as it is getting the animal out of an abusive situation, often times unprepared pet owners end up dumping their dogs to shelters because the owner wasn’t educated enough on how to properly care for their pet.

Owning a dog is a big responsibility. In addition to extra expenses such as dog food, vet visits, dog beds, dog kennel pads, and toys for your pup, there is a lot of responsibility that comes with training. While training, a bit of patience is also required. Many people who get a dog find that it isn’t all about the fluffy pets and the cute licks. It’s also about the potty training, the chewing and gnawing, and about obedience training. Dog chewing is one of the reasons so many owners opt for an indestructible dog kennel bed. Having an indestructible dog kennel bed is a great start. But what is the source of the chewing and gnawing? Can it be trained out of your dog? There is nothing more frustrating to new dog owners than coming home to find dog pee on your carpet and your new pair of shoes all chewed up. So let’s dig into dog chewing behavior.

The better you understand your dog’s behavior, the easier it will be to train out of your pup. As you get ready for this adventure, remember that especially with puppies, training takes time. Because of that, we recommend you get an indestructible dog kennel bed. Indestructible dog kennel beds are designed to last and help keep your pup from destroying their bedding while giving you the time to properly train them to stop chewing.

When it comes to chewing . . .

Dog Chewing is Natural and Normal: The first thing to remember is that for dogs, chewing this is a natural and normal part of life. Dogs are curious and love to explore. In addition to exploring through sight, sound, and smell, dogs love to taste and feel things with their mouths (kind of like how we pick things up to examine their texture). In addition to chewing to explore the world, puppies will often chew on things while they are teething. This helps promote healthy growth as their baby teeth fall out and new ones come in. Additionally, dogs will sometimes chew or gnaw on items when they are hungry and searching for something to eat. Also remember, not all chewing is bad! Chewing can help clean your dog’s teeth and gums, keeping them healthy.

Not ALL Chewing is Normal (or good!): There are behavior problems that can develop around chewing. Be careful to watch for these. For example, some dogs begin chewing things because it gets them attention or treats. If you reward your dog with attention, or with treats, to get them to stop chewing, they will begin to associate chewing on something inappropriate (such as a shoe or a table leg) with getting something they want. Be mindful of what is happening directly before and after your dog starts chewing on something. This will ensure that you don’t accidentally reward poor behavior, reinforcing your dog’s desire to chew.

Some dogs will also chew due to anxiety, just as humans will sometimes stress eat or fidget with their hands. Dogs that feel stressed, have separation anxiety, or are confined to crates during travel may end up chewing to relieve the stress. If you have a stress chewing dog, getting an indestructible dog kennel bed is one of the best ways to help keep you sane. This is especially true if you are traveling with your dog, as traveling will usually require a crate, bed, and your attention on the road instead of on your dog. Having an indestructible dog kennel bed ensures you can focus on driving safely, while your dog can quietly chew to reduce anxiety without destroying anything. Make the investment. It’s worth it.