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Dog Chewing Problems: Why They Chew & How to Stop Them

When you get a new dog or puppy you likely expect some amount of chewing. But how do you get them to only chew on their own toys? Here, our Los Angeles vets share some of the common reasons behind chewing and ways that you can get your dog or puppy to stop.

Dog Chewing Problems: Why Won't My Dog Stop?

When your dog is chewing on everything, it is their way of exploring the world around them. Chewing can also be a way for puppies to relieve teething pain and for adult dogs to keep their jaws strong and teeth clean.

However, while chewing is a natural tendency in dogs, your pet may have developed dog chewing difficulties. The following are some of the most prevalent reasons why dogs chew on items they shouldn't:

Stress or Anxiety

Because dogs are sociable animals, leaving the house will undoubtedly cause them some worry. Chewing may be a way for your dog to relax while you are away.


If your dog spends long amounts of time alone without mental stimulation, he or she may become bored and resort to chewing on any fascinating objects they discover about the house to pass the time.

Puppy Teething

Just like human babies, puppies will go through a period of teething when they are young. Chewing is how your new puppy will relieve any pain that they are experiencing with teething. If you are concerned about this you can always schedule a visit for a dental examination with the vet.


It is normal for dogs on calorie-restricted diets to begin chewing on items in an attempt to find alternative sources of sustenance. If your dog is suffering from this, they will most likely seek out objects that smell like food to chew on.

How to Stop a Dog From Chewing

When attempting to prevent your dog from destructive chewing, it is critical to first identify the source of the problem and eliminate any of the issues stated above. The second step is to shift your dog's chewing to more appealing stuff, such as chew toys. Below are some tips to help your dog stop their destructive chewing habits.

Lots of Exercise

Exercising your puppy frequently is the simplest approach to keep him happy and weary. One of the most effective strategies to prevent destructive chewing is to ensure that your dog gets lots of exercise before you leave the house. Border collies, German shepherds, Brittany and Springer spaniels, and other high-energy breeds require at least two hours of daily exercise. Smaller breeds like Pomeranians, pugs, and Shih Tzus often do well with as little as 40 minutes.


You should provide your dog with some type of amusement when you leave the house to prevent boredom and to ensure that they have fun. When you leave, give your dog a puzzle toy loaded with food, as well as a selection of interesting, special toys that he can only play with while you're gone (to keep the novelty).

Providing your pooch with lots of interesting toys will not only create a positive association with alone time, but it will also serve as a distraction from the objects that you don't want your dog to chew on.

Be sure to buy appropriate chew toys for your dog. Chew toys that are too small and can be easily swallowed pose a choking hazard for dogs. Additionally, toys made of hard materials that can break into sharp pieces should also be avoided to prevent injuries to the dog's mouth and digestive tract. 

Dogg and Puppy Proofing

The simplest technique to prevent your dog from chewing on things they shouldn't is to place the object out of reach. Place important objects out of reach, put your clothes away or in a closed hamper, and keep books and children's toys out of reach of your dog.

What to Do if You Discover Your Dog Chewing on Something Off-Limits

If you discover your dog chewing on your home things, tell them no and offer them a chew toy. When your dog nibbles on that instead, you should lavish him with praise. If none of the above recommendations work to stop your dog's destructive chewing, you might try spraying any objects you don't want your dog to chew with a dog deterrent spray.

When You Should Go to the Vet for Your Dog's Destructive Chewing

You should see a vet for a dog's destructive chewing if the behavior persists despite attempts to correct it with training and environmental changes. Additionally, if the chewing is causing physical harm to the dog or damage to your home, it is important to seek professional help promptly. 

A vet may recommend some more rigorous behavior modification techniques. In severe cases, medication or referral to a veterinary behaviorist may be necessary to address the underlying anxiety or stress causing the destructive chewing behavior.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog was chewing and accidentally swallowed something they shouldn't have, please contact our vets in Los Angeles.

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