How to Stop Your Pup from Chewing on Furniture
Whether your have just bought your pooch his very own bespoke home or you are a collector of fine furniture, chances are, your worst nightmare involves ‘fangs’, wood, and your deep disappointment at losing a beloved chair, mirror, or couch, to dog chewing. If you have already had to throw out a beloved shoe, perhaps a cushion, and you are worried about your dog graduating to more expensive territory, fear not; with a well devised strategy, you can ensure your furniture continues to look as perfect as the day you bought it.
Homemade Deterrent Sprays for Furniture
Even delicate woodwork can withstand a deterrent spray, whenever it is made with gentle yet effective materials. The most oft used DYI spray is easy to make. Just blend around 2 cups of water with 1 cup of white distilled vinegar, and around 15 drops of a therapeutic grade citrus essential oil such as bergamot or mandarin. With this spray, you will not only repel curious biters from your furniture, but also fill the home with an inviting and invigorating scent.
Another recipe involves mixing 5 ounces white distilled vinegar, 5 ounces of apple cider vinegar, and 5 ounces of water. Pour whichever solution you decide upon in a spray bottle. The solution should last you for over a month.
Train, Click, Treat
Use a clicker and delicious treats to teach your dog about acceptable behavior. The moment you see your dog chewing on woodwork or furniture, make a loud noise (this could be clapping or shaking a bottle of coins) and immediately give him a replacement chew toy, ensuring the latter comes from a trusted brands. Cheap toys can sometimes be made with chemicals or can break in sharp pieces, which can injure your dog or pose a choking risk. Swap your dog’s toys every few days so he doesn’t grow tired of them.
Training is a highly efficient way to let your dog know that chewing is not acceptable; sprays are fine, but the first step should always be putting in the time required to teach your dog ‘family rules’.
Makeshift Changes to Your Home
Leaving a dog in a crate all day is not to the liking of many dog owners. There are better ways to keep your dog away from your favourite table; for instance, by using an indoor foldable metal fence (the kind used at dog shows to create a safe space for dogs) or kids’ safety gates, which are ideal for all dogs except for Olympic level jumpers.
For ‘jumpers’, consider keeping them in a large room where they can still roam around and have enough space to stretch and play with other dogs. Indeed, canine company is important when it comes to fighting boredom. Storage is also important. Don’t leave tempting items like shoes lying around.
Having dogs and a beautiful home are perfectly compatible. Be prepared to make practical changes and above all to take the time to train your dog regarding what items he can and cannot chew on. If the behavior is persistent and accompanied by other issues, including urinating inside the home frequently, and howling or barking, see your veterinarian about a possible diagnosis and treatment for separation anxiety.