It can be so frustrating when you come home from a long day, only to notice that your dog has created a mess! Your dog might be looking at you innocently and wagging their tail, but they just destroyed an item in your house! Dogs will tend to destroy items that they have access to. Shoes, carpet, furniture, and dog beds are all common choices. Dog beds can cost anything up to a few hundred dollars, making them expensive to replace. Luckily, there are many solutions to change this behavior in your dog.
Understanding why dogs chew items is critical to stopping the behavior. Many dogs chew items as a displacement behavior, which alleviates stress or tension. Identify when your dog feels stressed or anxious. It may peak at certain times of the day. If you can, take your dog on a walk or pay attention to them. If you are not available, a dog walker is a great solution to mitigate their anxiety. Providing a lot of exercise will release endorphins and calm separation anxiety while you are gone. Walk your dog several times a week if you can!
Behavior training will teach your pet that tearing up the dog bed is unacceptable. When you see this behavior, say no, don’t chew, or “uh uh” and then provide the dog with a chewable item. This trains your dog that the dog bed is not the proper item to chew. However, do not scold or muzzle your dog as a punishment. The dog may not understand why you are scolding them, and it will not stop the behavior. Avoid giving your dog old clothes or household items. This will confuse your dog about what is acceptable to chew. If that doesn’t work, spray a repellant that deters the dog from chewing with its unpleasant taste. Vinegar works well because your dog will avoid the bitter taste. Several other sprays exist on the market that will stop your dog from biting, including a bitter apple spray.
A simple solution is to keep your dog away from its bed if you are out of the house. If necessary, a crate will stop them by giving them a barrier from the dog bed. Leave them in another room where they do not have access to the bed or utilize a dog barrier. This will eliminate the problem because they won’t be able to access the bed to chew.
Next, provide your dog with something else they might enjoy. Puppies in particular are likely to chew items because they are teething. Chewing toys and treats will allow puppies to focus their attention elsewhere. If you are home, cold items like ice cubes may alleviate their symptoms. Unfortunately, not just puppies rip up dog beds. For adult dogs, rawhide bones are a treat that attract their attention from objects in your house. Pig ears may serve a similar purpose. Beyond dog snack choices, there are countless toys on the market.
Interactive toys will distract the dog and allow them to release stress or calm separation anxiety. A puzzle toy is a lot of fun and can include a food treat. Like humans, dogs may get bored playing with the same toys. So, mix it up! Switching out toys or rotating toys keeps your dog engaged. All of these suggestions are likely to stop the problem and allow your dog bed to be used only as intended.
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