Does your dog keep destroying things in your home? Such destructive behavior can cause huge stress and should be tackled immediately. Here are just a few reasons why your dog may be chewing everything it can get hold of and what you can do to stop this behavior
Is it separation anxiety?
Many dogs – especially puppies – get separation anxiety when their owner leaves the house without them. Unable to deal with being alone, they may start to cause carnage in your home chewing everything from sofa cushions to carpets. Because you can’t stop this behaviour, the only thing you can really do is dog-proof your home – put any precious items out of reach or block access to rooms full of valuables. You shouldn’t be leaving your animal alone for hours on ends, especially if they’re a puppy, so consider getting a dog-sitter to help keep them company. You can also ensure that your dog is left in a stimulating environment with lots of toys that it can chew and maybe even some dog puzzles.
Is it attention seeking?
If you’re dog is destroying things whilst you are there, they could be doing it to seek attention. They may know that by chewing something that they’re not allowed to chew, it will attract your attention, regardless of whether this attention is negative or not. The best thing you can do to prevent this behaviour is to take the item away from them swiftly and then ignore them so that they realise chewing things they’re not supposed to doesn’t cause you to play with them.
Is it boredom?
Some dogs may start chewing things out of boredom. Whilst a routine is important for your dog, they still new things in their life to add variety. Make sure that they’ve got enough toys and rotate these so that they’re constantly getting to play with something new – try to buy new toys and treats too to add variety. Going on regular walks and visiting new places with them will also help stimulate them and stop them getting bored (physical activity will also knacker out your dog, making them too tired to be destructive!)
Are they in pain?
A dog may also start chewing things if they are in pain. This is why many puppies that are teething are so eager to chew things. If you’ve got an older dog and they’ve suddenly started displaying random destructive behaviour, it could be because they have a toothache or some other kind of pain in their mouth that they’re trying to relieve by chewing. Try visiting a veterinary clinic and see if there are any tooth problems – they could be in need of some doggy dentistry. You can even try checking their mouth yourself and seeing if there are any abnormalities.
Do they suffer from hyperactivity?
It’s possible that your dog may have unusual levels of energy – this is known as hyperactivity and it is rare. Such a condition could mean that they need more stimulation than regular dogs, which means more walks and more playtime. You’re best getting this diagnosed by a dog behaviour expert, who will be able to tell when a dog is genuinely hyperactive or simply misbehaving.