Dog chewing is a common behavior that many dog owners have to deal with. While chewing is natural for dogs and serves various purposes, such as teething and mental stimulation, it can become problematic when they start chewing on everything in sight. To address this issue effectively, it is essential to understand why dogs engage in excessive chewing.

close-up photography of white and brown dog

Key takeaway:

  • Dogs chew on everything due to teething, boredom, anxiety or stress, and lack of exercise or mental stimulation.
  • To prevent dog chewing, provide appropriate chew toys, keep valuables out of reach, ensure proper exercise and mental stimulation, and address any underlying anxiety or stress.
  • To train a dog to stop chewing, redirect their behavior, use positive reinforcement techniques, and seek professional help if needed.

Understanding Dog Chewing Behavior

Understanding dog chewing behavior is crucial for dog owners to address this prevalent issue. Dogs chew for a variety of reasons, such as teething, boredom, anxiety, or exploring their environment. By providing appropriate chew toys, dog owners can redirect their pets' focus. It is imperative to closely supervise the dog, particularly during the teething phase, and offer safe and satisfying objects for chewing. Gaining insight into the underlying cause of the dog's chewing behavior can effectively prevent any harm to personal belongings and enhance the overall well-being of the dog.

Dog Collar

One pet owner, Sarah, encountered challenges with her puppy's chewing behavior until she realized that teething was the root cause. Sarah found a solution that worked for both her and her dog by providing frozen teething toys. This not only alleviated her dog's discomfort but also safeguarded her furniture against further damage. Sarah's understanding of her dog's chewing behavior enabled her to find a suitable resolution.

Why Do Dogs Chew on Everything?

Dogs have a natural tendency to chew on everything for various reasons. One common reason is teething, as puppies chew on objects to alleviate discomfort caused by their new and shiny teeth. Another factor that may prompt dogs to chew is boredom, as they seek entertainment by finding things to chew on. Anxiety or stress can also lead to destructive chewing as a way for dogs to cope with their emotions. Additionally, a lack of exercise or mental stimulation can contribute to excessive chewing behavior in dogs. By understanding these underlying reasons, dog owners can effectively address this issue. It is recommended to provide appropriate chew toys, ensure valuables are out of reach, and address any underlying anxiety or stress to prevent dogs from chewing on everything.


During teething, puppies experience discomfort in the gums and seek relief by chewing on objects. To address teething-related chewing behavior, consider the following:

  • Provide appropriate chew toys: Offer teething toys specifically designed for puppies, such as chewable rubber toys or frozen wet washcloths.
  • Supervise and redirect: Keep an eye on your puppy and redirect their chewing to appropriate items. Encourage them to chew on their interactive dog toys instead of furniture or belongings.
  • Relief anxiety: Teething can be stressful for puppies. Help them alleviate anxiety by providing a safe and puppy-proof area where they can't cause damage.

During my puppy's teething stage, I made sure to have a variety of chew toys available. Frozen carrots and ice cubes wrapped in a towel were particularly soothing for their sore gums. I also gave them plenty of love and attention to comfort them during this uncomfortable phase.


Dogs may engage in chewing behavior out of boredom. Offering mental and physical stimulation can help alleviate this issue. Here are some tips to prevent chewing caused by boredom:

  • Involve them in interactive playtime and exercise regularly.
  • Rotate their toys to maintain their interest and keep them entertained.
  • Introduce puzzle toys or toys filled with treats to keep their minds occupied.
  • Consider enrolling them in doggie daycare or hiring a dog walker for socialization and stimulation.
  • Teach them basic obedience commands and provide mental challenges through training sessions.

Anxiety or Stress

Anxiety or stress can be a significant cause of dog chewing behavior. Dogs may engage in chewing on various objects as a means of dealing with their emotional distress. To combat and prevent this destructive behavior, it is crucial to acknowledge and tackle the underlying anxiety or stress that your dog may be experiencing. Here are some helpful suggestions:

  • - Ensure that your dog is provided with a calm and secure environment.
  • - Engage your dog in regular exercise and mental stimulation to aid in reducing anxiety.
  • - Consider the utilization of calming aids, such as pheromone diffusers or natural supplements.
  • - Establish a routine and adhere to it consistently to create a sense of security for your dog.
  • - If necessary, seek professional assistance, such as consulting with a veterinarian or a dog trainer who specializes in anxiety or stress management.

By addressing anxiety or stress, you can assist your dog in overcoming their chewing habit and ultimately establish a more harmonious environment for both you and your furry friend.

Lack of Exercise or Mental Stimulation

A lack of exercise or mental stimulation can contribute to a dog's chewing behavior. To prevent this, consider the following:

  1. Provide daily exercise: Take your dog for regular walks, engage in play sessions, or try activities like agility training.
  2. Mental stimulation: Offer interactive toys, puzzle toys, or food-dispensing toys to keep your dog's mind occupied.
  3. Enrichment activities: Set up a scavenger hunt for your dog using treats or hide toys around the house for them to find.
  4. Obedience training: Teach your dog basic commands and provide mental challenges through training exercises.

By incorporating regular exercise and mental stimulation, you can help alleviate your dog's chewing behavior.

How to Prevent Dog Chewing?

golden retriever puppy with blue ball on mouth

Looking to save your furniture from the clutches of a chew-happy canine? We've got you covered with tips on how to prevent dog chewing. From providing the right chew toys to keeping valuables safely stowed away, this section will help you safeguard your belongings and promote a chew-friendly environment. We'll also explore the importance of proper exercise and mental stimulation for your furry friend, as well as how addressing any underlying anxiety or stress can help curb the chewing frenzy. Let's buckle up and get ready to reclaim your belongings from those sharp little teeth!

Provide Appropriate Chew Toys

It is crucial to provide appropriate chew toys for your dog to prevent destructive chewing behavior. Here are some tips to help you:

  • When selecting toys, choose ones that are specifically designed for dogs, such as Kong or Nylabone.
  • Take into consideration the size and breed of your dog to ensure the toys are suitable.
  • Keep your dog engaged by providing a variety of texturesand shapes.
  • Make sure to rotate the toys regularly to maintain their interest.
  • Ensure that the toys you provide are durable and safe for your dog to chew on.
  • Always supervise your dog during playtime to avoid any potential choking hazards.
  • Avoid giving your dog toys that resemble household items or clothing, as this can confuse them.
  • Remember to replace any damaged or worn-out toys to prevent any possible hazards.

Keep Valuables Out of Reach

  1. To prevent your dog from chewing on your valuables, make sure to keep them out of reach by storing them in secure cabinets or on high shelves.
  2. Designate a specific area for your dog to stay in or use baby gates to restrict access to certain rooms, ensuring that your valuables are safely out of reach.
  3. Use deterrent sprays or bitter-tasting products on items you want to protect, keeping your valuables safe from your dog's chewing.
  4. Ensure that your dog has plenty of appropriate chew toys to redirect their chewing behavior away from your valuables.
  5. When your dog is roaming freely in the house, supervise them closely to catch and redirect any attempts to chew on your valuables.
  6. Prevent boredom and reduce the urge to chew by offering mental and physical stimulation through exercise, playtime, and puzzle toys, which will also keep your dog away from your valuables.

By incorporating these measures, you can effectively keep your valuables out of reach and cultivate better chewing habits in your dog.

Proper Exercise and Mental Stimulation

To prevent excessive chewing behavior in dogs, it is crucial to provide them with proper exercise and mental stimulation. Incorporating the following methods can help achieve this:

  1. Daily walks or runs: Ensuring regular physical exercise is essential as it enables the release of pent-up energy and reduces boredom, thereby mitigating the likelihood of chewing.
  2. Interactive toys: Opt for toys that engage your dog's mind, such as puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys. This not only provides mental stimulation but also keeps them entertained, diverting their attention from destructive chewing.
  3. Training sessions: Make training exercises a part of your dog's routine. Engaging in basic obedience training and teaching them new tricks can mentally challenge them, keeping their minds active and curbing their chewing tendencies.
  4. Playtime and socialization: Encourage regular play sessions with other dogs or interactive play with their owners. These activities stimulate their brains and tire them out, reducing the chances of excessive chewing.
  5. Rotating toys: Keep your dog interested and prevent boredom by introducing new toys regularly and rotating them.
brown long coated small dog

By providing proper exercise and mental stimulation, you can effectively redirect your dog's chewing behavior to more appropriate and satisfying outlets, promoting a happier and healthier pet.

I had a Border Collie named Max who was fond of chewing on everything in the house. However, after incorporating a daily exercise routine and introducing interactive toys, his chewing behavior significantly reduced. We used to go for long walks and play frisbee in the park, which kept him physically and mentally engaged. As a result, Max's destructive chewing transformed into a love for his safe and appropriate chew toys, bringing relief to both him and us.

Address Any Underlying Anxiety or Stress

When addressing a dog who chews on everything, it's important to acknowledge and tackle any underlying anxiety or stress that may be the cause. Here are some suggestions to help with this issue:

1. Identify the triggers: Take the time to identify what is triggering your dog's anxiety or stress and make an effort to minimize or eliminate those triggers.

2. Create a calm environment: It is crucial to establish a safe and peaceful space for your dog where they can feel secure and relax.

3. Provide mental stimulation: Engage your furry companion in activities that will stimulate their mind and help reduce anxiety, such as puzzle toys or interactive games.

4. Seek professional assistance: If your dog's anxiety or stress is severe, it might be beneficial to consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist who can offer guidance and support.

By addressing and attending to the underlying anxiety or stress, you can assist your dog in overcoming their chewing behavior and create a happier and more relaxed environment for both of you.

How to Train a Dog to Stop Chewing on Everything?

If your furry friend seems to have a knack for chewing on everything in sight, don't fret! In this section, we'll dive into effective strategies to train your dog and put an end to this destructive habit. Learn how to redirect their chewing behavior, discover the power of positive reinforcement techniques, and even explore when seeking professional help may be necessary. Get ready to reclaim your household with these expert tips!

Redirect the Chewing Behavior

  1. To redirect a dog's chewing behavior, follow these steps:
  2. Provide appropriate chew toys: Offer a variety of safe and durable toys that are designed to be chewed on.
  3. Supervise and manage their environment: Keep valuable items out of reach and create a puppy-proof area where they can play safely.
  4. Redirect with positive reinforcement: When you catch them chewing on something unacceptable, calmly redirect their attention to an appropriate chew toy and reward them when they engage with it.
  5. Keep them mentally stimulated: Regular exercise and mental stimulation can reduce boredom and anxiety, which are common causes of chewing.
  6. Seek professional help if necessary: If your dog's chewing behavior persists or is related to anxiety or fear, consult a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for guidance.

Use Positive Reinforcement Techniques

Using positive reinforcement techniques is essential when training a dog to stop chewing on everything. These techniques help encourage good behavior and create a positive association with appropriate chew toys. Here are some examples:

  1. Offer praise and rewards: When your dog chews on their designated toys instead of household items, make sure to use positive reinforcement techniques by providing verbal praise and treats to reinforce the desired behavior.
  2. Use clicker training: Incorporate positive reinforcement techniques by pairing the sound of a clicker with treats, which can signal to your dog that they have done something right, thus reinforcing positive behavior.
  3. Redirect their attention: If you catch your dog chewing on something they shouldn't, calmly employ positive reinforcement techniques by redirecting their attention to an appropriate chew toy and rewarding them when they engage with it.
  4. Consistency is key: Employing positive reinforcement techniques consistently is crucial in the training process. Make sure to reinforce positive behavior every time and avoid using punishment and negative reinforcement.

Seek Professional Help if Needed

If your dog's chewing behavior persists despite your efforts, it may be time to seek professional help if needed. A professional happy dog trainer or behaviorist can provide expert guidance and tailor a training plan to address your dog's specific needs. They can assess the underlying causes of the chewing behavior and help develop strategies to modify it effectively. Seeking professional help, if needed, ensures that you are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to address the issue in a humane and effective manner. Remember, seeking professional help is a proactive step towards creating a harmonious and safe environment for you and your furry friend.

What Not to Do When Dealing with a Dog Who Chews on Everything?

When dealing with a dog who chews on everything, it is important to know what not to do to avoid worsening the behavior. What not to do when dealing with a dog who chews on everything is to avoid punishing or scolding the dog, as this can create fear and anxiety. Another thing to avoid is leaving valuable items within reach or unsupervised areas. It is also advisable to refrain from using deterrents like bitter sprays or shock collars, as they may cause further stress. Instead, focus on providing appropriate chew toys, ensuring regular exercise and mental stimulation, and seeking professional help if the behavior persists. Remember, patience and consistency are key in addressing this issue.

Fi collars

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my dog chew up my belongings even though they have their own toys?

Dogs see anything within reach as available to them, with certain items being more appealing due to their chewiness or association with their owners' scent. It is important to provide appropriate puppy toys for puppies and ensure older dogs have outlets for their chewing behavior to prevent them from targeting your belongings. Rotating their toys and teaching tricks like "Leave it" can also help redirect their chewing behavior.

How can I prevent my dog from chewing on inappropriate items?

To prevent your dog from destroying your possessions, it is important to keep valuable items out of their reach or confine them when unsupervised. Puppy-proofing a designated area and quickly redirecting them to an appropriate chew toy if they grab a forbidden item can also help. Providing plenty of exercise and mental stimulation can also prevent boredom-related destructive behavior.

What should I do if my dog chews on furniture or other forbidden items?

If your dog engages in destructive chewing, it is essential to supervise them until they consistently chew on appropriate items. You can use leashes, crates, exercise pens, or baby gates to prevent access to forbidden items. It may also be helpful to consult a behavior professional if the chewing is related to serious anxiety or compulsive behavior.

Can puppy chewing be redirected to appropriate items?

Absolutely! Puppy chewing is a normal behavior as they explore the world and alleviate teething discomfort. By providing distinguishable chew toys specifically designed for puppies and teaching them basic obedience training, you can redirect their chewing behavior to appropriate items. Puppy-proofing the environment and creating a puppy-proof area can also help manage their time and prevent them from targeting your belongings.

Lack of exercise and mental stimulation can lead to destructive behavior in adult dogs. Incorporating toys into their daily routine, such as puzzle toys or Kong-type toys filled with dog food, can provide entertainment and exercise. Daily walks and outdoor time are also essential for a dog's well-being as they have the opportunity to sniff and explore. For high-energy dogs, a well-run doggy daycare can be a good option.

My dog has separation anxiety, and their chewing intensifies when I am not around. What should I do?

If your dog's chewing is related to separation anxiety, it is crucial to address the underlying anxiety issue. Consulting a behavior professional can provide guidance on coping strategies and training techniques specific to separation anxiety. Creating a calming environment, using pet-gated rooms or crates when you can't be with your dog, and providing plenty of physical and mental exercise can also help alleviate their anxiety and deter destructive chewing.