Monday, October 19, 2009

Why do Dogs Chew?

Is your dog a chewing bandit, chomping you out of house and home? When your shoes, furniture and clothing are all fair game for his teeth, it can be highly frustrating.

Dogs explore the world through their mouths - new objects, new places & new tastes.

Chewing also helps them relieve teething pains, tension and stress. There are also some instances where chewing could be a sign of mental or physical health issues including:

1. Boredom - chewing because there's nothing else to do
2. Poor nutrition - chewing on things to get lacking nutrients
3. Separation anxiety/feeling alone - chewing for comfort
4. Gum or tooth problems - continuously chewing on hard objects

In other instances chewing is quite normal. Dogs who chew significantly more than others are what many call Aggressive Chewers. What makes a dog an aggressive chewer? Here are some guidelines:

1. Destroys an appropriately-sized rawhide in less than an hour
2. Shreds the typical vinyl toy in minutes
3. Toys quickly turn into piles of frayed and tangled threads
4. You feel you'll never get your money's worth out of a toy before it's time to throw it away

Establishing good chewing habits is truly our responsibility as pet owners. Aggressive Chewers will continue to chew inappropriate things until you teach them right from wrong.

Be selective in what you give your dog to chew - start out by only giving your dog proper chew toys. Giving your dog an old shoe to chew teaches him that all shoes are made for chewing.

Dog owners of Aggressive Chewers need the toughest dog toys on the market. Tough toys allow them to exercise their natural chewing instincts and train them on what to chew and not to chew. With an Aggressive Chewer, chances are no dog toy will last forever, but they can still benefit from a tough toy that lasts longer than most.

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