Help! My Dog is Tearing My House to Shreds!

Why is your dog chewing up everything she can get her mouth on?  Quite often it has to do with the fact that your dog is probably bored.

If you are very busy or frequently away from home, your dog has nothing to do, so she invents solutions of her own.  Her solutions often involve something that belongs to you and she has no concept of how much something may or may not cost!oops

Some people think that the problem will be solved by getting their dog a playmate.  This sometimes works, but be careful—it is not a guaranteed fix.  You may end up with double the trouble when you double the fun. You may find that you end up with twice the destruction that you had before!

One way to curb some of this destructive behavior is by using a crate.  By confining your dog to a crate, she can not get to your shoes or your favorite couch.  In addition, it keeps her away from things that can do her harm.  A crate can be moved from one room to another and allows her to feel that she is with you, but relieves you to go ahead and function as necessary.

Whether you decide to crate your dog, confine her to a special room, or place her outside; it is a good idea to give her something to do.  Special treats and toys will serve as entertainment and likely save your yard!  Hiding treats around the yard will help entice her away from doing things you’d rather she didn’t do.  Even in a crate, it is a good idea to give her some treats, a chew toy or her favorite stuffed toy.

Dog toys are good solution.  There is a wide variety of toys available and a wide range of prices.  Be sure to look for toys that are durable enough for your dog and keep in mind that toys that were not designed as dog toys can often have choking hazards that you may not immediately think about.  Buttons and eyes that come off are some of the things you want to be on the lookout for.

Some dogs are harder on toys than others.  Be sure that you get a toy that can stand up to your dog’s chewing level.  It may cost a little more money, but you don’t want a toy that will fall apart the first time your dog plays with it.  It can be dangerous, if one of the smaller pieces get stuck in your dog’s throat or stomach.    There are numerous toys on the market that are specifically designed for power chewers.   Look for products by companies like Nylabone, Kong, and Orka.   If you give your dog a ball, be sure that it is too big for your dog to swallow.

Many dog toys today are designed to allow you to put treats inside them.  They actually become a kind of puzzle to occupy your dog.  Toys are being designed on a regular basis to challenge your dog’s problem solving skills.  Cheese stuffed into a sterilized bone (found at pet stores) can occupy a great deal of time.  If it is hot outside, you might consider getting the kind of dog treat that you freeze.  Your dog will enjoy playing with it until it thaws enough to eat.

People have differing opinions on Rawhides.  Some people swear by them and others swear them off.  An excellent alternative is something called a Bully Stick.  They are not cheap, but dogs love them and they last quite a while.  No matter what you decide to use, make sure to take the chew toy away when it gets small enough to swallow.

To truly keep your dog interested, change the toys out now and then.  After your dog has played with a toy for a few days, trade it for another.  The next time you bring it out, it will seem like a brand new toy!

By giving your pet something to occupy her attention, you will avoid the destructive behavior that has been a problem in the past and you both will be happier!

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