Chewing woodwork is particularly a problem for puppies who are still exploring their new environment. Just like babies and toddlers, puppies explore their world by putting things in their mouth, so know that your dog isn’t being deliberately destructive when chewing on things, but that they have additional needs which they need help with. Read on to learn what you can do to mitigate the situation, and save your furniture.
Establish the reason for furniture chewing
The first thing that you will need to do is establish the reason why your dog is chewing the furniture. Puppies often chew the furniture because they are exploring their home, sadly with their teeth. They are yet to learn boundaries, so do not have the simple understanding that things that aren’t food, shouldn’t be chewed. Many puppies chew furniture too, because they are trying to alleviate the pain from having new teeth breaking through.
The cause of furniture chewing for older dogs is often stress and anxiety. Often the reason is boredom – a dog is simply not getting enough exercise and mental stimulation. They become apprehensive and distressed, taking this frustration out on the objects in their home environment. Some dogs simply don’t feel safe and secure being alone. Older dogs sometimes chew furniture in order to clean their teeth and gums. They are using the table leg, in the same way they would a dental chew.
Breaking the behavioural pattern
For puppies, it is important that you train them and break the behavioural pattern of furniture chewing as soon as possible. You can use a deterrent spray on your furniture in order to stop them. Many of these sprays have a taste that is unpleasant to dogs. It is a good idea to make sure your dog has a safe space that they can go when you are out – somewhere that they know is theirs alone. Make sure that your dog has a bed that they can go to to. It may be worth investing in a crate for when you go out, so that they have a safe and enclosed space to be. Dogs like their own beds just as much as humans do.
It is often effective to give your dog something different and more appealing to chew than the furniture. A hardy dog chew that is long-lasting can often break the chewing cycle, particularly if you have a puppy that is teething.
Finally, make sure you take your dog for lots of walks. A happy dog is the one that has had sufficient exercise. This physical and mental stimulation is what keeps a dog entertained and less likely to chew the furniture.