How to deal with chewing and digging
Dogs have the innate sense to chew and dig, thus demolishing some of your most precious possessions. Chewing and digging are activities that help your dog relieve stress or anxiety and combat boredom. This behavior is normal, but can be stopped with simple preventative measures.
For the young puppy that is teething, be sure to have a lot of puppy bones and toys on hand. Teething puppies also love chewing on a frozen washcloth and they even make puppy teething rings that owners can freeze. If you catch your pup chewing on a shoe or other inappropriate item, promptly take it from your dog and replace it with a suitable toy. Once you teach your dog what items he can and cannot chew, it is important to switch up his toys so that he does not get bored with the ones that he has.
There are many toys and bones that are made to fight the battle of chewing and even digging. Interactive toys with hidden bones can keep your dog occupied for hours, preventing the urge to chew or dig on something he shouldn’t be. Long lasting dog bones and boredom buster toys such as Kong bones keep your dog busy while still giving them the excitement and chew that they desire. Soak bones in different soups to change up the flavors and praise your dog when you see them playing with a chew toy rather than a human toy.
There are also many alternatives available in pet stores and drug stores. There are a variety of sprays that you can apply directly to floorboards, clothes and virtually any item you do not want to be chewed on. Typically, they will taste bitter and unappealing to a dog, but will go unnoticed by humans. It is important to not confuse your dog by giving him household items such as old shoes to chew on. He will likely take this to mean that he can chew on any shoe, and will do just that.
As with most wearisome behaviors that dogs acquire, daily exercise, play and attention can put a quick end to the problem. An exercised dog is usually a happy, tired dog. If your dog is worn-out, he won’t bother interrupting his snooze time for chewing.
When all else fails, use a baby gate to keep your dog confined to the same area that you are in or an area that is free of tempting chews. Like any other concerning and unstoppable behavior, there are behavior therapists for dogs that can assess the reasons behind the vehement chewing.