Own a dog, do you? He definitely is your favourite, isn’t he? He fills your lonely days with quality company. BUT : What does he do, when you leave him alone?
“Coming home you see your deluxe wooden furniture damaged. You try hard to examine what really happened and discover it to be damaged from constant chewing. At last you end up with a horrible inspection – your lovely dog did this, when you were at work.”
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- Sounds familiar?
It can be exasperating for you if the piece of furniture is your favourite coffee table or a precious collection of your ancestors. Maybe your dog has simply done it deliberately. Or he may have done it out of boredom. Whatever the causes maybe, ultimately you have to fix it.
Many dogs love to chew anything woody they get. They even chew logs or sticks lying on the grass of your garden. And in the worst case, they chew your household furniture made of wood. Though chewing is a common doggy business it can be downright dangerous for your puppy. So you need to stop it. But there may be one question lurking in your mind.
Why do they chew wood?
It is not very difficult to find the answers. In most of the cases dogs chew woody stuff mainly for three stimulating factors.
- Boredom : Imagine, you are sitting in your room without any task to do. You will be bored, right? Your dog feels the same. He may be sitting and lying without any job and all of you are out of his sight. Out of boredom, he does such odd things as chewing wood.
- Teething: If you have a young puppy and he chews woody stuff, then it is because he is teething. It is a painful experience for him of course. To heal it, he begins a bizarre sort of chewing and possibly woods are stimulating like those of beef bones. It can be another cause.
- Separation Anxiety: Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety when their masters leave them. It is a serious behavioural issue to be reckoned with. In such cases, the dog desperately does strange jobs, from chewing woods to breaking glasses. It is not impossible that your dog, out of this anxiety, chews woody furniture.
These three are considered the root causes of wood chewing. However, there is a natural tendency of chewing objects in every dog. They love to chew anything. But is it a problematic issue if a dog chews wooden stuff?
Why is it dangerous?
A small piece of wood can choke your closest companion. It can break teeth, infect the mouth, hurt the gums. It can also create esophageal problems. Even catastrophic consequences such as intestinal blockage are the direct result of inappropriate chewing.
See, how grave the issue can be! So it is quite important to prevent your dog from doing semi-suicidal tasks. To do so there are a number of effective steps that you can take. These methods are as follows:
Steps to to prevent your dog from chewing on wood
- Give Him to Chew Toys and Treats
Dogs love toys, don’t they? They also crave for yummy treats. If you want to stop him from chewing wood you need to give him something as replacement. The best option you can choose is puzzled toys and chewing treats. A toy can keep the dog busy. So does a canned food or chewing toy. So if you give your dog these things he is likely to divert his attention from less attractive, unexciting wood to more stimulating, mind tiring stuff. However there are more methods you can apply.
- Keep the Dog Busy
One thing dog owners often neglect is the necessity of keeping a pet busy in exercising or similar job. If they are busy in doing various tiring jobs they would unlikely to create any nuisance. Give him a raw beef bone to chew when you are out. And if you have a puppy give him something soft to chew and a simple task such as bringing this or that to accomplish. Don’t forget to walk with him at least half an hour a day. These all activities have diverting effects on your pup. To make things smooth, you can ask a dog trainer to help you.
- Correct with Training
When you are home and the pooch begins chewing something, it is time for you to be harsh. Scold the dog with a grave voice. Snatch the piece of wood or keep the furniture away from him. This will work as a negative reinforcement. Do this several times to familiarize him. Then he will understand it as something to be avoided. And when he chews toys or treats give him a clap of support. His psychology will catch this as a positive task to do. In this way, the dog will learn to avoid chewing wood. Please ensure you train him multiple times in this way.
- Make the Furniture Repulsive
Here comes another interesting preventive method. You can use various sprays and chemicals to repulse the dog as they have strong smelling power, unlike us. You can use two substances here two get the best possible result.
- Vinegar: Vinegar is a magical, sour-tasting acetic acid. It is usually used not only in cuisine, but also in numerous places. So it is no surprising fact that you can use vinegar to protect your furniture also. First of all take a small cup of vinegar and thrice amount of water. Then mix them with enough jerks. Then spray some of them into the corner of your wooden stuff. Check if the furniture stains or discolors in this process. (Just an extra precaution to protect your decorum as few trees are stained by vinegar). If not, then spray the vinegar into the whole of it. The olfactory cells of your dog will repulse him from coming close to this stinking stuff.
- More Acrid Spray: If you like to buy deterrents from shops to avoid complicacy then bitter apple spray can save you. It is cheap to buy and easy to use. Just like the vinegar using process, you can apply it to the wooden pieces to deter the pet. But if you are not willing to spend more money you can make it easily in your home. Just 2 ingredients are necessary. Normal vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Mix them equally according to your necessity. Then mix some water. This composition is perfect to protect woods as apple cider vinegar has a strong acrid smell, enough to repulse any quadrupeds.
With this strategy, however, there may appear few problems. If the dog can withstand the pungent smell of acetic acid, then it can restart chewing wood. And extra use of vinegar deteriorates the quality and lifespan of furniture. Most importantly, you need to spray the composure regularly. Twice in a week is enough. So you need to take these issues into consideration.
Don’t wanna Spray?
Spraying may seem irritating to many owners as it needs some efforts. Then you can choose other options. You can make a mixture of lemon juice and citrus oil along with a little amount of vinegar. It will create an overwhelming, pungent, unendurable smell. Then take a paper towel, soak it into the mingled substance and swipe the main points of the furniture especially the lower parts. It will burn a doggy’s nasal passage with unbearable odour. Therefore he will not dare to chew it.
- Make Wood Inaccessible
You can put your favourite furniture in a place unreachable to the puppy. Covering the lower part of a furniture with polythene like substance will do. Keeping the dog in a crate while you are out can also help. Or you can make a favourable place inaccessible to the dog’s intrusion. But in case of firewood, you can cover the wood with sack or thick clothes.
Moreover, if you have a big yard full of trees, you need to be more careful. In the lawn usually small sticks, birch branches or even pine logs are found. If the dog gets them to chew he will be accustomed to their taste and smell. So clean your yard, throw these wood out of dog’s paws. People abiding near densely wooded forest might face more problems. Remember, never allow your dog to roam around such places.
Inevitably, precautions can help to stop any sort of disaster. A cautious soul is likely to avoid a mess. You should not, as a precaution, give your adorable pooch sticks to fetch or play. Otherwise, the dog will associate wood or trim as a gaming substance and a source of entertainment. And if your puppy is a few weeks old then he is passing his teething period. Take care of his oral health at this crucial moment even if it means consulting a vet. It will help him to avoid chewing non-chewable stuff. And give your dog plenty of jobs to do both in your presence and absence. It can prevent boredom and the anxiety of separation, the two prime causes of chewing wood. But if your dog is already suffering from a serious issue of Separation Anxiety, take the best course of action with the help of a well-qualified veteran.
A wood loving puppy is not a problem but his bad habit is. This seeming little issue can create bigger problems further. It can spoil precious furniture, necessary tools and. life of a pet and so on. Thus train him properly to grow in him a distaste and disgust for wooded materials. But don’t physically punish him for his recalcitrance. Solve it with the positive reinforcement method.
Never expect from a dog that he won’t chew anything. It is their normal code of conduct. Chewing strengthens a dog’s teeth, and forms his jaws properly. You have to ensure that he gets the right thing to masticate. Give him delicious foods and chewing toys to positively reinforce his behaviour. Cheer him with words when he is munching the right object. Scold him if he explores and unveils any surface of wood. Train your dog to be cozy with or without you. Tell him what is permissible and what is not. A couple of time practising will inculcate in your dog’s psychology what he can do and what he should avoid. Hopefully, you will be able to successfully conclude this wood chewing problem.
Help your dog owner friends. They may have been troubled with similar issues. Assist them by sharing this article. If you have further query, ask me in the comment box below.
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