At some point every dog owner returns home to the unexpected mangled item on the floor.  If you google destructive puppies or dogs there is enough evidence to indicate that chewing is a common problem that almost every owner deals with.  Some dog breeds are more prone to chew that other dog breeds.  The top five dog breeds that love to chew are:  Jack Russell Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and Beagles.

As a Labrador retriever owner, I [Practice Manager, Tiffany] can vouch for why this breed has made the list.  My Maggie has found herself chewing on the heels of my new shoes, makeup, Chap Stick and lotion.  Jill and Paige two of our Veterinarian Assistants, have dog breeds that made the list.  They have also come home to destroyed pillows, blankets, woodwork, shoes and many other household items.

Before you can tackle the problem, it is important to understand why your dog or puppy is chewing in the first place.

A few reasons why your puppy may be chewing:

  • Puppies like children go through a teething phase. As their teeth come in their gums will be sore and chewing on something helps to relieve the pain.
  • Puppies are also curious in nature as they explore their new surroundings. It is difficult for them not to put things into their mouth.

A few reasons why your adult dog may be chewing:

  • Your dog may have never been taught what items were appropriate for them to chew on and what items were not appropriate.
  • Your dog may just be bored. Lack of exercise causes them to find something to entertain themselves with and it might just be your shoes.
  • Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety. Talk to your veterinarian if you think that your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety.
  • Your dog may be chewing out of fear or because they are seeking attention.

Check out our next post that gives tips to combat this common problem: