How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing on Furniture

Most people that got a dog dealt with this problem, at some point. Dogs like to chew on things and, unfortunately, they tend to choose our shoes and various furniture items. Chair and table legs, sofa upholstery, pillows, and even doors. It can be rather frustrating to come home, after a long day at work, and see your favorite coffee table all chewed up and destroyed. So, why do dogs chew on furniture or wood? Is there a way to correct this kind of behavior?

How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing on Furniture

In most cases, dogs chew on things out of boredom, because they are growing teeth, or because they suffer from separation anxiety. Yes, the fact that they spend too much time alone at home, away from their family and owner, triggers a high degree of stress. The bad part is that anxiety and stress are often pushing a dog to adopt various destructive behaviors once it is left home alone. But, you can correct this as well, with calmness and patience. To understand better why dogs chew on furniture and how to stop this, we need to take a closer look at the causes and see what can be done to make it stop.

The appearance of permanent teeth in pups

Puppies have a set of temporary teeth, just like humans, when they are very young. The number of dog teeth will not remain the same over the years. As they age, the temporary teeth will fall off, making room for their permanent teeth. This process occurs between 4 and 6 months of age, so during this period, the dog will lose its “baby” teeth, which will be almost immediately replaced by permanent teeth. As you can tell, the process is rather uncomfortable, as the gums become tender and painful. Thus, most dogs will start to chew on things around this age, out of the desire to find relief for their gums. Chewing on hard materials, such as wood, helps them massage their gums and alleviate some of the pain the dog experiences.

How to stop a puppy chew on household items? You will have to get your dog special toys and products destined for chewing. In pet stores, you will find a wide range of products specially created for teething puppies. During the summer, you can even make some chewing toys at home. You can take a piece of clean cloth, make some knots on its surface, soak it in water, and place it in the freezer. Chewing on the frozen piece of cloth will help the puppy find the much-needed relief from pain, as the coldness will calm down its inflamed gums.

Chewing out of boredom

Chewing is a natural process for a dog and it usually chooses to do so in order to stay active and chase away boredom. When the dog stays home alone for a considerable number of hours, it will definitely get bored and will look for something to do. Chewing on furniture or various items is usually the kind of activity a dog selects to get rid of boredom. If you know you’re going to leave the dog at home for hours in a row, like it happens when you have to go to work, you should give it toys for entertainment. There’s a wide range of toys and special bones for chewing to choose from. Just make sure that you pick something interesting for your dog. If it already has a good number of toys but appears to have lost interest in them, hide them and offer the dog just one or two of them. Do this in an alternative manner, instead of allowing the dog to have all its toys at once.

How to stop your dog from chewing on furniture - chewed up armchair

Separation anxiety and destructive behaviors

Separation anxiety is one of the most challenging problems for many dog owners. While small dog breeds are usually prone to developing separation anxiety, it can happen in the case of any dog breed. This occurs when the dog is stressed by the absence of its owner and spends too much time alone. This condition manifests in a variety of ways, as the dog may adopt a wide range of unwanted behaviors. Barking and howling, whining, urinating and defecating inside the house, and destroying furniture, doors, and even walls are examples of how separation anxiety can manifest. So, in this case, chewing is used as an anti-stress remedy by the dog. Unfortunately, this can lead to serious damages around the house.

Separation anxiety can be fixed, but you first need to identify it. It is definitely not normal for your dog to whine, bark, and jump on the door as soon as you leave the house. It will take a while to correct this behavior, including destructive chewing on furniture, but it can be done. If you have the feeling that you can’t handle this on your own, you can always get the help offered by animal behaviorists. While it is true that chewed furniture is not something you would like, this should not keep you from getting a dog, if this is what you truly want. Any negative or unwanted behavior can be corrected, with patience and love. Just make sure you get a dog that fits your personality and lifestyle. For example, it is not recommended to get a husky if you’re not an outgoing or active person. Maybe a poodle would be a much better option in this case. There are quite a few aspects to consider before getting a dog and visiting can help you find the ideal pup. Take the time to look for it and you will gain a loyal friend that will make your life more enjoyable for sure.

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