No doubt you love your furry friend. You’d do anything for them. And they make your life so much better by giving you love and companionship. But if your dog is into destructive chewing, it can be hard for any dog parent to know what to do.
You might be wondering why your chewer is chewing up their pet bed. What can pet parents do for a puppy or dog chewing bed? There are many options from reinforcement with chew toys or you can even try a chew proof dog bed. Read on for more.
Your Dog Needs Plenty of Things to Chew On: Provide Different Sizes, Shapes, and Textures of Chew Toys
For starters, your dog might be chewing because they’re feeling bored, they’re hungry, they could be experiencing separation anxiety, or they might just be an aggressive chewer.1 As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to help your pooch by anticipating their needs.
If you’ve got a chewer at home, you know they can feel guilty about their destructive chewing behaviors. Your pup doesn’t want to upset you. And you don’t want to come home to that look — the one where your pooch won’t meet your eye because they can read your disappointment.
How can you help keep your pooch’s dog bed intact? Try offering them toys of different sizes, shapes, textures, and types. For one thing, chew toys are less dangerous than the filling or memory foam in your dog’s bed.
Not only that, but you can often use toys to control and manage your dog’s behavior. Don’t let your dog have all of their toys available at the same time. Keep the toys in a basket out of your pooch’s reach.
Then, when you want to redirect your dog’s habit, pull out a toy they haven’t seen in a while. They’ll usually be so excited to see an ‘old friend’, they’ll stop what they’re doing and give you their attention. You can use these toys as treats in teaching moments. Reward your dog by giving them time to play with these toys.
And if the toys are different from each other, your dog will not get bored as easily.
Boredom, Separation Anxiety, And Hunger: Help Your Dogs Help Themselves
Try to walk your dog a couple of times a day. Your dog needs to be active. And if you are busy working all day, it can get pretty lonesome and boring being a dog. Especially if you crate your dog, they’re going to become miserably bored after long stretches in the crate.
But if you come home, leash up your pooch, and take them out for a long walk, you can help them beat their boredom. The exercise will be good for their bodies, but it will also help prevent destructive behavior. Chewing up the memory foam or stuffing in their bed costs dogs lots of energy. If your dog has been exercised, they likely won’t have the energy to tear up their bed. Toys will help with this too.
Not all dogs experience separation anxiety, but you’ll know if your dog is anxious while you’re gone because when you come home they will get extremely excited. They may even try to escape. Chewing is one way your dogs may try to calm themselves.
Dogs love routine. Feed them at the same times each day and they’ll be confident that their meal is coming. Even if you’re late one day, they’ll likely wait patiently because you rarely let them down. They can rely on their schedule and they can rely on you.
One thing you should NEVER do is come home to your dog’s destruction and punish them by yelling or shoving their nose into the mess they made. Your dog will not be able to associate your anger with the damage they did hours ago. This will only make your dog afraid of you.
The Power of Positive Reinforcement: Offer a Chew Toy or Treat When They Stop Chewing on Command
Again, positive reinforcement works wonders with most breeds. In most situations, dogs tend to repeat behaviors that feel rewarding to them.2 Think about training your dog to sit. If you treat to train, you’ll usually have better luck than with any other method. Why?
Because if your dog gets a treat if they sit, they’ll be eager for another treat the next time. You can think of training your dog not to chew in the same way. A chew toy is a treat — when offered, your dog will learn to drop whatever they’re doing and pay attention to you.
Redirection is a great tactic to use with your dog if they start to chew on their bed in front of you. They want to chew — so show them that it is okay to chew on something like a chew toy. In time, when they get the urge to chew, they’ll go looking for you to give them a chew toy (or they’ll look for the toy if they can access it).
Just do your research. Make sure you choose a toy that won’t break apart in your dog’s mouth. Look for well-reviewed toys that have good safety specs. Your dog’s safety should be of the utmost importance to you when choosing a chew toy.
Should You Get a Chew Proof Dog Bed or Perhaps an Elevated Dog Bed?
There are some great chew proof dog beds out there. You can avoid stuffing and memory foam. If you are having too tough a time getting your dog to stop chewing their bed, shop for a chew proof dog bed. Many chew proof dog beds have removable covers. This way, if your dog tries to chew it, you can take off the cover and wash it to keep the bed sanitary. Even dogs don’t want to sleep in their own slobber and drool.
Elevated dog begs are another good option as far as chew resistant dog beds go. Industrial strength elevated dog beds are sturdy and tough. Plus as there is no filling, there’s not as much material for your dog to chew.
Furthermore, the metal frame in most elevated beds will discourage your dog from chewing because, well, they won’t be able to.
If you aren’t sure you want to try a chew proof dog bed, there are some other options. There are some good sprays you can use to deter your pup from chewing. Not every dog will react positively to the sprays, some may just ignore them.
It may be worth a shot to try an anti-chewing spray. This shouldn’t be your go-to solution for the long haul though, so keep working with your dog on anti-chew training.
The Tail End
It can be quite stressful if your dog chews their bed. But be patient and remember that your dog’s safety is key. Do not muzzle your pooch. Do not crate your pooch for long periods of time — especially during the day. Think of how you feel cramped on a long flight — you get bored, restless, and irritable. Why would it be different for your dog?
Be kind to your pet. Play with them. Give them time and space to exercise. Feed them regularly. If you follow these guidelines and use positive reinforcement to train them — you’ll likely end up managing their chewing habit. If you still can’t seem to manage their chewing habit, talk to your vet or a dog trainer. They will for sure be able to help you and your pup.
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