How to Stop a Dog or Puppy from Chewing

Dogs chew for all kinds of reasons. Their jaws are built for some serious gnawing, but they also seem to chew because it's fun and probably relaxing. While it may be unfair to expect your dog to stop chewing completely, you should be able to teach her

Which items are appropriate for chewing.

Here are some ideas to prevent your dog or puppy from chewing inappropriate items:

1. Prevention goes a long way!

Some dog owners underestimate the power of prevention. You can prevent your dog from chewing your shoes and other belongings by keeping everything picked up. Another way to prevent your dog from chewing your property is to leave her in a kennel when you are not home. Not only will this prevent your dog from chewing your stuff, but it will also keep your dog safe. Sometimes dogs can choke or get hurt from chewing inappropriate items such as wires, cables or aluminum.

2. Provide your dog with her own toys.

Make it easy for your dog to make the right chewing choices by providing her with plenty of options. DogIDs recommends the Jive Eco-Friendly Ball for dogs that love to play fetch or carry around a ball. This is spokesdog River's favorite toy to play fetch with, and it's also indestructible. It can handle some serious chewing. DogIDs also recommends natural dog treats made without chemicals. Other possibilities could include squeaky toys, rope toys or any type of puzzle or interactive toy.

3. Rotate which toys are available.

Sometimes dogs get bored with the same old toys. Keep your dog interested by rotating which toys are available. Choose two or three each day and leave them out for a limited amount of time. Keep toys put away when they're not in use and save them for when your dog is bored or when you will be gone for long hours. Just as your dog will appreciate different toys every now and then, mix up the types of rawhides, bones and treats you use.

4. Provide your dog with enough exercise.

Dogs that get enough daily exercise are less likely to find trouble because they'll have less energy to spare. We all know a tired dog is a good dog, right? Be fair to your dog, and make it easier for her to behave by taking her for a long walk every single day. Make sure she is wearing current dog ID tags, and then challenge her mind by visiting new places such as the dog park, pet friendly stores and different trails.

5. Train your dog.

It's important for dogs to learn patience and self-control. This is why all dogs should learn basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, down, come and heel. Dogs that learn these skills know how to act within certain rules. Because they have developed a higher level of self control, they will have an easier time ignoring tempting "chew toys" such as that pair of leather shoes. It's also helpful to teach a dog the command for "leave it" to signal that certain items are off limits.

What are some additional ways to prevent unwanted chewing?