How to Stop a Dog from Chewing Its Bed
Chewing is a common behavior for all dogs. The challenge lies in trying to divert this destructive chewing into more acceptable outlets. If your dog is continually chewing its bed, this can be extremely frustrating as they are causing damage to an essential piece of furniture for them, and you may end up having to buy an entirely new one. But even more dangerous is if their jaw is strong enough to bite off bits of the bed entirely. These can become lodged in their digestive system, leading to choking and possibly even risking death.
Before we get started on how to stop your dog chewing their bed, we need to know a bit more about the possible reasons why they are doing this in the first place.
Reasons Why Dogs Chew
One of the most understandable reasons why dogs chew is when they are going through the teething stage. This happens when your puppy is between four and six months old, and it is an instinctive behavior to help their teeth as they grow. It can also be an effort to relieve tenderness in the area.
- Tooth and Jaw Benefits
While you keep your teeth and gums healthy through brushing, dogs do the same by chewing. It also provides a form of exercise to their jaw muscles.
Dogs who don’t get enough stimulation are more likely to suffer from boredom, which can often lead to destructive behavior such as chewing up their bed. This often occurs when dogs are lonely as they spend a long period of time by themselves.
Sometimes, the chewing is the result of strong feelings of tension or anxiety. It can feel comforting to them, which is often why they do it.
Or it could simply be the case that your dog chews because they enjoy it. If something feels nice to chew on, they are likely to keep doing it. However, this can quickly turn into an obsession, which can lead to increasing levels of destruction.
How To Stop Your Dog’s Destructive Chewing
If you can put your finger on the cause of your dog’s destructive chewing, you are more likely to be able to help alleviate the issue.
- Provide a Chewing Outlet
If your pup is teething or you have determined the cause of their chewing is simple enjoyment, you can provide them something that is meant to be chewed on such as some toys. Encourage their attention in this direction as opposed to their bed. You can also provide some dental chew sticks as well. In some cases, bones can be beneficial – but you need to be wary of the stronger chewers who can bite shards of the bone off, which can present a choking risk. While your dog is chewing, you should try to supervise them as much as possible. If you notice that your dog is starting to chew on their bed, give them the sanctioned chewing object as a clear demonstration of what they should be sinking their teeth into.
- Reduce Their Boredom
If you think that the cause of the chewing may be boredom, you should try to provide your dog with more entertainment in their life. Often, it is a result of too much pent-up energy, so you should try to up your dog’s exercise regimen. Obviously, different dogs require different levels of exercise, so you need to take this into account. You can also try to stimulate them mentally. Perhaps you could teach them a new trick or engage in a new game. When a dog is tired at the end of the day, it is likely that their destructive behavior will reduce.
- Identify the Causes of Stress or Anxiety
If you believe that the behavior is the result of stress or anxiety, you need to start by working out what is causing this in the first place. It could be that there is too much noise where they are trying to sleep, so you could try moving their bed to a different, quieter location in the house. It could be that the stress is caused by a particular member of the household who doesn’t know the best way to behave around dogs, so this is something that they need to learn. If you spend a long time out of the house in the middle of the day, you could hire a dog sitter or walker to come in from time to time to provide them with some company.
- Use an Anti-Chew Spray
Another possible solution is to try using an anti-chew spray that has a bad taste and repels your dog from the object that you don’t want them to chew on. Make sure you inspect the ingredients closely before you use this as a solution. Bittering agents are safe for dogs, but those containing too much aluminum sulfate can prove to be dangerous.
- Engage in Behavioral Therapy
If nothing else seems to be working, you may have to take the step of engaging in some behavioral therapy to reduce the issue. This is the strategy that works best when dogs are suffering from severe anxiety. You should consult with your vet to see if they can recommend a specialist in the area that can help.
- Get a Chew-proof Dog Bed
While it may not address the root cause of the chewing, getting a chew-proof dog bed will stop them from ripping out the filling and will force your furry friend to find something else to chew on. Some beds are especially durable to withstand the attentions of even the toughest of chewers.
There are a host of possible causes and solutions to your dog’s chewing problem. Hopefully, this post has given you a decent overview of what could be causing the issue and how you can deal with it effectively. If one solution doesn’t work, don’t get disheartened – you simply need to move onto the next one and you will get there in the end.