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This is why chewing is important for dogs
Every one of your socks has a hole in it, your furniture has recently taken on a rustic look and your floor is constantly littered with tattered remnants of household items? Sounds familiar? Chewing is a normal pastime for dogs, but it can also be an annoying and even dangerous habit when items around the house are subjected to indiscriminate taste testing. The good news is, with a little patience and persistence, your home can become a place without teeth marks.
Why do dogs chew?
Chewing is a natural behaviour of dogs of all breeds. It can relax them when they are stressed and keep them occupied when they are bored. Since dogs don't have hands with which to pick up and explore things around them, they use their mouths to examine objects that pique their curiosity.
Why do puppies chew on objects more often?
The reason puppies often chew on things is because they are teething. During this stage, puppies lose their temporary milk teeth, which are replaced by permanent teeth. Teething takes place between three and six months of age. During this time, chewing on cold objects in particular can help soothe sensitive gums and the oral cavity.
Dog owners sometimes unintentionally reinforce chewing behaviour by giving the dog extra attention. Chasing the dog around the house until it gives up the object or playing tug-of-war to get the object back is fun for a bored dog and encourages it to continue the behaviour. With a little prevention, annoying chewing behaviour doesn't have to become a habit.
Control the dog's chewing behaviour
A first step to prevent inappropriate chewing is to provide your dog with his own chew toys from the start. This can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. At the same time, you need to dog-proof your home and take responsibility for your own belongings. Keep any items you don't want in your dog's mouth in a place he can't reach.
Keep cupboards closed, remove dangerous or poisonous items (including plants) out of the dog's reach. Keep rubbish bins locked or stow them in a place out of the dog's reach. Electrical cords should also be hidden.
Do not give your dog old shoes or toys that resemble those of your children. This is because your dog will not be able to tell the difference between his old, chewed-up trainer and your new one. Nor will they be able to tell the difference between similar toys.
Give your dog a chew toy like the Everlasting Treat Ball™ to keep your dog's mouth constantly busy.
Remember that your dog is not directly able to distinguish what is his and what is off limits. This must be clearly shown to the dog. Do not punish your dog for chewing something - this will only confuse him and make it even harder to get your message across to him. You need to catch the dog in the act of chewing. Then you should take the unwanted item away and replace it with one of his chew toys.
If you are unable to supervise your dog, confine him to a dog-proof area of your home. This area must be large enough and provide a relaxing atmosphere with a dog bed, blanket and enough chew toys to keep him occupied.
To prevent your dog from developing a chewing habit out of boredom, keep him physically active and mentally stimulated. Do obedience training with him to ensure clear communication and keep his mind active. Schedule time every day to exercise with your dog: Take the dog for a walk, jog or bike ride often.
Remember to set realistic expectations for your dog. At some point, he will most likely chew on something he shouldn't, or even something valuable. When this happens, stay consistent with your training. Again, make sure you pick up anything that is not meant to be misused as a toy and keep it out of the dog's reach. Your home should not become a venue for your dog's teeth marks.
We recommend the following chew toys from Starmark to consciously control your dog's chewing habits:
Starmark's Everlasting Bento Ball™- Give your dog something to chew on that is more fun and tastes better than your shoe! The unique shape of the ball allows you to hide treats inside.
Treat Dispensing Tetraflex™- Chewing and throwing toy with nubby surface.
Starmarks`s Treat Dspensing Bacon Ball™- Treat filled play ball with natural bacon flavour that dogs love.