Contrary to popular belief, pet owners in Miami shouldn’t have to put up with their things being chewed by the family dog. Chewing is a behavior that can be limited to appropriate chew toys. First, though, it’s necessary to figure out why your dog is a “chewer” to begin with. One reason it’s important to determine the reason is that inappropriate chewing behavior can lead to other issues, such as constipation, intestinal blockage, and general family life disruption.
1. Your Dog is Still a Puppy
Toddlers explore their world by putting things in their mouths, and puppies are no different. If your puppy is chewing everything in sight, it could be just a stage that he/she will grow out of. All you can do for now is reprimand when chewing happens with unacceptable items, and substitute with Miami veterinarian-approved replacements, like rope, rags or rawhide bones.
2. Your Dog is Acting Out
If your dog is upset with you, he might turn to chewing to get attention or get “revenge.” This may especially be the case if he seems to only chew things that belong to you, versus items that belong to other family members. You won’t win this battle with your dog, because short of putting all your possessions into a vault, you can’t stop your dog from chewing your things. What you can do is try to find out in a loving manner what your dog is upset about. Is it lack of attention? A new family member, like a baby or second pet? When you resolve the underlying issue, the chewing will cease. For assistance with figuring out what is upsetting your dog, make a visit with your veterinarian in Miami.
3. Your Dog is Bored
If you routinely leave your dog alone for hours at a time while you’re at work, and then while you socialize after hours, chances are your dog is chewing out of sheer boredom. You can’t expect your dog to entertain himself with nothing to do all day and into the night. The answer may be to hire a dog walker who will bring your dog to a park during the day, spend more time with your dog when you’re home, and to provide some playthings for your dog.
4. Your Dog is Just Hungry
Is your dog getting enough to eat? If your dog is swallowing the things he’s chewing, you may not be feeding him enough. While portion control is essential to overall good health, some dogs simply have larger appetites, just like humans. It’s better to provide nutritional, proper food than to let your dog try to eat non-food items to satiate hunger pangs. If weight becomes an issue, talk to your vet about low-calorie food options.
5. There’s an Underlying Medical Problem
Does your dog chew everything in sight? The reason may be medical, not behavioral. Medical issues that can lead to chewing behavior include nutritional deficiencies, sore teeth and gums, a painful superficial wound, constipation, and internal disease. Some dogs will chew as a means to self-soothe. If your dog is an incessant chewer and none of the previously mentioned reasons seem to be the answer, it’s time to visit the veterinarian to determine if there is an underlying medical cause. Once that medial condition has been treated, you should notice a reduction in chewing immediately.
For more personal advice about your dog’s chewing problem, make a visit to your local veterinarian in the Miami area, Ramon de Armas, DVM. Be prepared to tell your vet what items your dog is chewing, when the behavior began, and when it seems to happen most often. The more details you can offer about your dog’s chewing habits, the better the vet will be able to determine the underlying cause.