Dogs like to chew things and that’s just a fact of life. They’ll chew and gnaw on almost anything they can get their teeth on. This includes everything from their favorite toys and even their very own bed. You know how frustrating it can get when your dogs won’t stop chewing on their belongings. You have to go back and forth to the pet store and spend a lot of money just to replace things that were unnecessarily ruined by your pup’s chewing. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to stop your dogs from chewing their bed.
Why Does a Dog Chew its Bed?
Before we talk about how to make your dog stop chewing on its bed, let’s first discuss why your furry friend does this. If your dog is young – less than six months old – they’ll chew to help relieve the tenderness in their gums as their teeth grow. A couple of months later, experts believe that chewing instead becomes a way of strengthening their jaw muscles. Many dogs like to chew on different objects to test if something will come out of whatever they’re chewing. Others like to chew because of sheer boredom.
For some pooches, chewing is an instinctive activity. As they grow older, they feel more responsible towards themselves or towards their children, if they have any. If this is the case, then chewing becomes more of a protective mechanism instead of a destructive one. In some more uncommon cases, however, dogs will chew on their beds when they suffer from anxiety. They may have also developed an obsessive chewing disorder, which could become unhealthy if left unchecked for some time.
Get an Indestructible Dog Bed
The first way you can stop your dogs from biting their bed is by switching out their old ones for indestructible dog beds. In recent times, this type of dog bed has become more affordable, so you no longer have to shell out a fortune to stop your dog’s bed chewing. This is the best option for a lot of dog owners. The bed is made from memory foam for maximum comfort with a double layer construction to make them very durable. No need to worry about getting these dirty too. The linings are easy to remove and are machine-washable.
Also, try to find a dog bed that has the zipper on the bottom of the bed. This way, your dog can’t open it and chew on the soft foam inside. The best dog beds are the heaviest ones since they’ll be hard to flip over, especially for smaller dog breeds. If your dog can’t move their bed, they can’t get to the zipper. It’s as easy as that. Some indestructible dog beds come with bolsters while others don’t. Different options like this make it extremely easy to find the one that makes your dog comfortable and suits their particular needs.
Put Their Attention Somewhere Else
The next thing you can use to stop your dog from ruining their bed is to divert their attention. One of the best ways to do this is by getting them a new toy, preferably a chew toy. Unlike their beds and pillows, it’s perfectly appropriate for your pup to chew on one of these toys. If your dog enjoys a chew toy or two, let it try out dental chew sticks as well. These have the added benefit of cleaning your dog’s teeth and making them stronger. Although it may sound cliché, you can also give them bones if you can get your hands on some. Just make sure that you don’t give them bones that easily break and splinter, or small bones they can choke on.
Another way you can divert your dog’s attention is by playing with them or taking them on a walk outside. You can even teach them a new trick if you can. As we’ve said before, chewing sometimes arises from your dog growing bored. Let them pass the time with something that’s more productive instead. Alternatively, you can buy toys that allow you to put treats inside. Once the treats are inside, these make it pretty hard for dogs to get them out. Before they know it, several hours have passed, and they already too tired to chew on their bed.
If you keep your dog in a crate, never let them stay there for more than eight hours at a time. If you can’t let them out in that time, have someone else you trust do it for you. If you keep your dogs in a crate for too long, it may only serve to intensify their destructive behaviors. It’s also important that you dedicate at least half an hour to vigorously exercise your dog before putting them back into the crate. Doing so won’t make him feel isolated, which also helps prevent anxiety-induced chewing, which we’ll touch a bit more on later.
Spray on an Anti-Chew Formula
A deterrent or anti-chew spray is another tool you can use to stop your dog from chewing on beds. These sprays have a bitter taste that your dog surely won’t enjoy. If you regularly spray this stuff on their bed and they chew on it, they’re going to associate that horrible, bitter taste with the bed and be turned off to the notion of biting into it any further. If you can, get a deterrent spray that’s made from all-natural ingredients so that when your dogs do get a taste, it won’t upset their stomachs. Stay away from sprays that contain ammonium sulfate.
Relieve Your Dog’s Anxiety
If your dog’s chewing proclivities are caused by their anxiety, make sure that you avoid putting them in stressful situations. The first thing you’ll need to do is to identify what stresses them out then take immediate action to remove these. For instance, your dog may feel anxious when around other animals. They may even feel stressed in the presence of small children. If that’s the case, then your best course of action would be to separate them from these triggers by first keeping them in separate rooms then slowly reintroducing them.
Another reason why your dog may feel a bit anxious is because they don’t like being separated from their owner. For this, you can leave the radio or TV on while you’re gone. It could also be beneficial to make use of recordings that were specifically done to help relieve stressed out dogs. Some dog owners have also found that it helps to make recordings of their voice to soothe their pooches while they’re away. As much as possible, try not to be away for too long. If you need to be, leave your dog with someone they’re quite familiar with.
Your dog’s anxiety could stem from being away from their family, specifically their mother. Because of this, a couple of companies have already introduced products laced with synthetic dog pheromones, which could be exactly what your dog needs to lessen their anxiety. These come in many different options such as wipes, sprays, diffusers, and even collars. They are even colorless and odorless so you don’t have to worry about getting them on any of your furniture and other personal belongings. However, the effects of the pheromones only last for a month, so you have to reapply them. They also take a bit of time to kick in, so be patient as well.
Take Them to Behavioral Therapy
If all else fails, you could try taking your dog to behavioral therapy. Aside from chewing, this also helps reduce, or even completely eliminate, other aggressive behaviors your dog may possess. The first pillar of this therapy is desensitization, wherein a dog will be taught how to familiarize themselves with their triggers. One way you can help teach this to your dog is by keeping calm even if they are exhibiting unwanted behaviors. You need to set a good example for your dog, so don’t berate them if they can’t keep their cool the first couple of times.
Another tenet of behavioral therapy for dogs is counterconditioning. This is where a dog is taught that their triggers could have positive outcomes that work in their favor. Behavioral modification also involves a bit of massage therapy as well. This could help your dog relax whenever they’re faced with a stressful stimulus or an uncomfortable situation. This doesn’t directly target the cause of the anxious behavior, but it can definitely help in reducing its effects.
Structured exercise is also a part of most behavior improvement programs for dogs. As we’ve talked about before, tiring out your pooch helps reduce their aggressive behaviors, since they simply won’t have the energy to act out in a negative manner. Lastly, deference training teaches dogs that if they learn to wait, or even perform appropriate gestures, they’ll be able to get what they want. This could be a yummy treat or a chance to play with their favorite toy.
Those are just some of the ways you can get your dog to stop chewing on their bed. For some pooches, using just one of these techniques will do the trick. In a lot of cases though, it takes a combination of these to truly get the job done.
- Why Does My Dog Chew His Bed? – Canna-Pet
- How I Stopped Gwen the Destroyer from Chewing Her Dog Bed – Dog Files