Many dog owners brace themselves for the mess and carnage their dog has created in their home whilst they’ve been out. With over 600,000 pooches living in New York city, there’s a fair amount of destruction they can cause. Damage caused by destructive chewing costs owners and home insurers thousands each year. Therefore, getting to the root of the problem is not only beneficial to your finances, but is important in keeping your dog safe and content, too.
Out of Boredom
A dog stuck home alone all day with no interaction with others and with very little to do will naturally seek ways to amuse himself. A house full of furniture, shoes, clothes and kids’ toys is a welcome distraction to any bored canine and you’ll very likely find your favourite pair of slippers ripped to shreds when you return home. Stimulation and distraction is key to keeping your dog entertained and away from your personal belongings. See if family or friends or a local dog nanny could take your dog for the day or pop in multiple times to play and give him the opportunity to stretch his legs.
If you’re away from home for long periods every day then it’s a good idea to consider putting your four legged friend into doggy daycare where he can play freely with other dogs, or hire a dog walker to take your pet out for some much needed fresh air, interaction and exercise. These can both be beneficial services which provide peace of mind to owners and help to break up the day for lonely pooches. It also ensures positive behaviors are reinforced by qualified staff who have a desire to do their best for New York’s dogs.
Risks of Chewing
Destructive chewing can be dangerous for canines as there’s a high risk that they will ingest items which they shouldn’t. Consuming wood chippings can be dangerous as it can cause blockages in their digestive system and cause a stomach upset. There’s also a risk of the wood cutting the inside of the dog’s mouth or stomach lining if it has sharp edges, therefore you should do all you can to stop your dog from chewing on woodwork and similar items. To assist with stopping chewing, there are various natural sprays you can use on the baseboards or corners of your furniture that will help.
A crate placed inside a pen or confined area (kitchen, hallway area) designed especially for hounds could be used to confine your dog to a safe environment when you go out. It’s not recommended that dogs stay in crates for long periods at a time and 8 hours on rare occasions should be the absolute maximum, but if you’re just popping to the grocery store then they can be ideal in protecting your home and your hound. Be sure to make the crate comfortable for your pet and leave the door open and some of his belongings inside when you are home so that he associates it with happy times, too.
Stimulation & Exercise
Does your dog have toys to chew on? Do you engage in activities and play with your furry friend when you are home? Do you ensure he gets a long walk each morning before you leave the house? If the answer to any of these is ‘no’, then you need to take steps to change this.
Giving chew toys to dogs encourages them to chew on things which are appropriate to them, rather than your furniture. Playing chase, hide and seek, and providing toys stuffed with treats are excellent ways to keep a dog amused, stimulated and will eventually tire him out. While, a decent walk first thing in the morning will ensure a sleepy pooch who is less likely to chew the staircase when you leave for work.
A medical concern such as a broken tooth, pain in the body or separation anxiety could be the cause of your dog’s destructive chewing. It can be somewhat difficult to diagnose these conditions yourself, though, so it’s worth making an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying conditions. Owners can observe behaviour and look for signs of anxiety, though. Setting up a camera when you leave your dog home alone is a great way of seeing how your pet copes when your leave. Signs of anxiety include obsessive licking, barking, circling, toilet accidents and whining, so if the recording shows any of these you should seek help from your vet who may suggest medication or seeking support from a dog behaviorist.
A dog who loves to chew can quickly ruin your home and the bond between you and your dog. Therefore, owners should take steps to keep their pets stimulated when their furry friend is going to be left alone for long periods of time.
Enroll in a Dog Training Course
Each dog has a specific job that they are bred to perfect over time that is breed specific. Some dogs have more physical energy that needs to be catered to while others are quite the sleuths. Find a local dog course that focusing on agility training or a class that can amongst other things help address behavoirs that you deem less than idea for their development and overall well being.
This article was submitted by contributing writer Jane Wood.
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