Ask the Veterinarian/puppy chewing

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QUESTION: I have a 6 month old puppy, bassett hound cross sharpei, how do we get him to stop chewing. He has plenty of chew toys and bones, he is walked regular and lives with a 5 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier. He will chew whether we (owners) are in the house or not. Please help.

ANSWER: Hi there,
is there something in particular that he is chewing? Shoes or furniture, or just everything? Will he chew his toys, or has he developed some other preferences? By around 6 months usually all the adult teeth are through, so the worst of the teething chewing resolves. But chewing does feel good and is a great stress reliever for dogs.

You can in some cases make the chew toys appear more attractive by rotating them so he gets a 'new' one each day, or use Kongs (stuff them with treats, sweet potato or peanut butter).

In some cases dogs are totally like having a baby around the place, they have to be supervised or everything needs to be off the floor! You could also train him to stay in a certain room (laundry or bathroom) or a crate while you aren't there to supervise him.

If there is something in particular he is chewing there are non-toxic sprays you can get that are bitter and discourage chewing, like bitter apple.

Hope that helps, sorry for the delay responding.

Eloise
www.lovethatpet.com


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: He started chewing shoes but we made sure we picked them up, he occasionally chews the wooden garden table and wooden pallette, and now he's taken an interest in somehow pulling the carpet up from the corner and has chewed that.

Answer
Oh dear, the shoes at least you can pick up, but the table is much harder! I would try spraying it with something bitter and redirecting his attention when you are around to something more appropriate and high value like a Kong and really make the Kong more attractive by making it into a game.

Some wood furniture is treated with chemicals that are quite toxic, particularly treated pine.

If he is chewing when left alone due to boredom, make sure you take him out for a huge walk or play games with him at home to wear him out so that he will sleep more during the day.

The carpet in the corner is a problem. I would put something heavy in those corners to deter him (I imagine now he has started it is even easier for him to get purchase and chew even more!).

It may be he is looking for a certain texture to chew on, that perhaps you could mimic with a rope chew toy of some kind, something pretty durable so he doesn't swallow it and end up at the vet.

Hope that helps a little. Definitely try a Kong stuffed with treats and wear him out as much as possible.

Eloise
www.lovethatpet.com  

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Eloise Bright

Expertise

I am a vet with a special interest in dermatology, particularly allergic dogs and cats, behaviour and acupuncture. I work mainly with dogs and cats. If you are wondering why your pet is still itchy, despite good flea control, or why your dog licks his feet, I may be able to give you some solutions. I'm currently very passionate about behaviour and am doing some further education in this area. So if you have a troubling behaviour with your dog or cat, such as barking, leash reactivity, anxiety or a dog who is a little wild and difficult to control, I may be able to help you with some solutions.

Experience

I work in an area of Sydney where we see lots of allergic pets. I think behaviour problems are very common and I help a number of owners find solutions that will restore peace to them and their pets. Currently I enjoy answering questions, providing advice and writing pet care articles for www.lovethatpet.com

Education/Credentials
I graduated as a vet from Sydney Uni in 2006 and have since been completing my Masters in Small Animal Practice and am also updating my skills with a behaviour course through Sydney Uni.

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