We love our dogs, but coming home only to discover that they destroyed our headphones, throw pillows, phone chargers, and more can be very frustrating. This behavior starts when your dog is a puppy, but many dog owners ask, “Why is my dog so destructive when I’m not home?”
This guide answers questions like “How do I get my dog to stop chewing when home alone?” and “What are the purpose of chew toys?” It also explores reasons why dogs chew things up and the different types of chewers.
Teaching your dog to stop chewing up your stuff can take time and patience, but it is possible.
Why Do Dogs Chew?
Before searching online for “how to stop my dog from chewing stuff when I’m gone,” let’s first explore reasons why dogs chew to begin with. First, it’s normal for a puppy and an adult dog to chew. Like how we use our hands, dogs use their mouths to interact and explore the world.
For puppies, chewing is a way to explore their new environment. However, if you have an adult dog chewing items when you’re gone, they’re likely suffering from separation anxiety. A dog may also chew if they’re bored, and we’ll explore these three types of chewers in more depth.
Puppy Chewing Habits
While normal, puppy chewing can become very frustrating. For puppies, chewing is part of their teething and exploration process. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to completely correct this behavior, but some techniques can lessen it, such as:
- Remove any items that your puppy can reach.
- Invest in various chew toys and observe if your puppy prefers one type of chew toy over another.
- Create a crate area where your puppy can play.
Dogs with Anxiety
Dogs don’t always have the best sense of time. A small moment of your day, like an hour, may seem like an eternity to your dog. An anxious dog suffers from feelings of isolation until you return home.
While this problem is the most common in abandoned or abused dogs, any dog can deal with anxiety. Here are some ways to ease these feelings of isolation:
- Give your dog lots of physical and mental stimulation before you leave.
- Keep your dog in a single space before you leave, but never use their crate as a form of punishment.
- Leave your dog alone for short stretches of time, gradually building up to longer periods.
Be aware that if your dog starts hurting itself during isolation, then you’ll want to talk to a veterinarian.
The Unstimulated or Bored Dog
When asking, “What is the purpose of chew toys?” the main answer is that they’re to provide stimulation to dogs so that they don’t chew on an owner’s personal items.
However, if you have toys, but your dog continues to chew up your shoes, you might ask, “Are chew toys mentally stimulating?” Chewy toys can go a long way, but they’re not enough for all dogs, especially if you have a puppy or a larger dog in a smaller space.
When asking, “How do I get my dog to stop chewing when home alone?” for a bored dog, try the following:
- Exercise your dog by taking it out on walks, playing fetch, or doing other activities.
- Provide your dog with plenty of attention when you’re home.
- Crate-train your dog and provide them with a designated space in your home.
- Give him an inedible chew bone that won’t easily change its form.
What Is Chew Toy Training?
Chew toy training involves providing your puppy or dog with different chew toys to help them with physical and mental stimulation. Chew toys are often the number one answer to questions like “how to stop my dog from chewing stuff when I’m gone.”
However, many types of chew toys exist, ranging from small bones to squeaky toys, puzzle toys, and more. Every dog has their preference, but the goal is to provide a wide variety, especially for puppies, as they can get bored easily. Eventually, they’ll find a favorite type and you’ll be able to expand your inventory as they grow so they’re never without their “favorite” toy.
How Can I Make My Chew Toys More Appealing?
It’s frustrating coming home and seeing your dog chew up another pair of socks when they have several chew toys to choose from. Again, avoiding this problem often depends on the type of chew toys you have versus how many.
While you may want some basic chew toys, like inedible bones and squeaky toys, incorporate puzzle toys and toys filled with food. KONG toys, for example, are hollow toys filled with food.
Many pet owners discover that their pets will spend hours on end chewing on these types of toys, trying to get the food inside. These chew toys can also help with teething.
Are Chew Toys Mentally Stimulating?
Chew toys come in a wide range of options, and some are more mentally stimulating than others. Some dogs only need a simple squeaky toy, while other dogs may require KONG chew toys to retain their attention.
However, it’s essential to note that chew toys aren’t a replacement for giving your dog the attention it needs. The fact is some dogs require more attention than others. Furthermore, bigger dogs often require more space to run around and play.
Many pet owners ask, “Why is my dog so destructive when I’m not home?” even when they have plenty of puzzle toys and other gifts for their dog to play with.
While chew toys can help when you’re not home, you should still carve out time to take your dog on walks or play fetch with them. Doing so can help them burn off excess energy, making them less likely to chew things when you’re away.
Call Our Animal Clinic Today!
When asking, “What is chew toy training?” and “How do I get my dog to stop chewing when home alone?” you must remember that many factors go into taking care of a dog. Ensuring your dog’s health also includes taking them to the best pet clinic available.
Dog owners can contact Penny Paws Animal Clinic to discover our many services!