Chewing activity is associated with puppies. Puppies are teething, which is the normal time to chew. This activity will continue as your pet develops a new set of teeth. Many people are surprised that chewing behavior happens with dogs of all ages. Chewing is a behavior or habit that has many causes. Breed plays a large part in whether a dog continues to chew after teething. Breeds that were trained to retrieve items or are bored easily are the most likely to engage in chewing. Research the breed and understand the challenges associated with them before buying or adopting a pet.
Teething is the stage that most people are familiar with. Like children, dogs outgrow their set of baby teeth and receive adult teeth. Teething starts usually between three and six months of age. Dogs have forty-two teeth. By nine months of age, a full set should have arrived. During this time, their teeth and gums are sensitive. The chewing is a mechanism to massage the gums. Providing a cool towel or ice cubes may eliminate the need to bite other objects. By a year of age, the dog should have outgrown this activity. Therefore, many owners are surprised that their dog still chews up different items.
Adult dogs tend to chew because of three factors: boredom, anxiety, and medical issues. Boredom comes down to a variety of factors. Is your dog alone a lot? Are they from an active breed? How much exercise are they getting? Terriers are one breed that is infamous for chewing. Provide toys, exercise, and attention. Chewing should decrease significantly. Small dogs are notoriously anxious. Despite age, separation anxiety is a leading cause of chewing. There are many trainers out there that can teach you to correct destructive chewing Medical issues are more prevalent in smaller dogs. These breeds are less likely to lose their baby teeth. This can cause discomfort or decay. A vet is your best bet to address this issue. Senior dogs tend to act up a little bit more. This displaces the notion that senior dogs would chew objects the least. Again, medical issues are the reason. Frequent vet visits can stop your senior dog from acting up. Being aligned and understanding the needs of your pet will go a long way in pinpointing issues causing different behaviors.
The best way to protect your possessions is to hide them. Remember, your pet will pick things they have easy access to. If you put your stuff in a closet with a closed door, they will not be able to open the door. For items you cannot hide, find a way to cover them or seal them up. If you catch your pet, be sure to discipline them with a strong voice and point at the activity. A spray bottle will help your pet understand what they did was wrong. Starting early will curb bad habits more. With an older dog, it may be harder to change them. Still, a dedicated trainer can work on creating routines that guide a senior dog through more appropriate self-soothing.
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