Friday, 21 January 2011

That Chewing Problem

With Christmas well out of the way and the new intake of kid's toys scattered around the house, some dog owners are finding that these toys are extra fodder for a dog that likes to chew things. Fortunately, the majority of dogs do not chew everything in sight and of those that do it is often a transient phase. However, if you have a dog that continually chews house hold items and furniture is there anything you can do.

Chewing is a natural thing for a dog but if this chewing becomes  destructive and even compulsive is there anything you can do about it?

The best idea is to provide your dog with toys that it can chew.  A good chew toy will satisfy your dog's natural requirement  to chew and keep your dog happy for quite long periods. This activity will also help to keep your dog's teeth and gums clean and healthy.

 Chewing specific toys will also help break your dog's tendency to chew anything in sight. Make sure your dog has several toys which it knows are acceptable to chew on and to play with.

It is essential that you give your dog only good quality chew toys.  Make sure there are no removable parts that can break off and be swallowed. Avoid any  toys that are too small and could be swallowed by your dog
Some dogs have a very powerful bite or sharp teeth (or both) so it is always advisable to provide really tough toys. An example would be to choose toys from the "Kong" range - your local pet shop should be able to advise.

When you  give your dog a new toy, spend some time playing with your dog using the toy as part of the game.  This will teach the dog that some things are are okay to play with and to chew. Strangely enough this seems to help the dog understand that some things must not be chewed. It's alright to use treats to reward your dog for fetching or finding the hidden toy.

Get into the habit of rotating your dog's toys so as to maintain interest. Don't forget to wash all toys on a regular basis.

Take care.



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