How To Stop A Dog From Chewing

Looking for tips on how to stop a dog from chewing everything? Get to the root of the chewing problem by analyzing your dog’s behavior, and providing them with the tools they need to get past it.

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When adding a puppy to the family, many new dog owners are shocked at just how much they chew. Even adult dogs can be super destructive.

It can be really frustrating when you don’t know where to start or how to get your dog to stop chewing everything in their path, especially if you expected the problem to fix itself as your puppy gets older.

The reality is that many dogs are chewing for reasons other than puppy teething or play. You’ve tried all the best puppy teething toys, you’ve redirected when they chew on things they shouldn’t be, and they still continue to tear your belongings up.

Now what?

This guide will go over the various reasons your puppy or dog might be chewing, how to handle the situation for a long-term solution, as well as what to do in the moment.

*This post contains affiliate links, however, all opinions are our own, as always. 

How To Stop a Dog From Chewing

Firstly, Figure Out When and Why They’re Chewing

The first step is to analyze when and why your dog is chewing. Is it when you leave for work? Is it when they’re bored or understimulated?

Once you know why your dog is chewing on things they shouldn’t be, you can take the proper steps to fix the issue before it happens, and what to do afterward if it’s unavoidable.

Separation anxiety is a very common problem for dogs.

Since they don’t perceive time the way that humans do, an hour away can feel like a lifetime for your pup.

If your dog consistently chews things up when you’re gone, they likely are a nervous chewer. Instead of focusing on discipline, you should take some measures to keep them safe while you’re gone, and comforted when you’re there.

Some dog parents put on the tv so there’s noise while they’re away.

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Use A Crate When You Leave

If your dog is especially destructive when you leave for work or to run errands, you’ll definitely want to use a crate.

This is the one we use.

For large dogs, this is a wonderful option.

According to PetMD, “your puppy’s age in months roughly translates to how many hours he can be crated, so a three-month-old puppy can hold it for about three hours.”

You can also use a gate or set them up in a room with nothing to chew on (or a few chew toys), but bear in mind that they can still find unique ways to be destructive if they’re bored or suffering from separation anxiety, such as scratching up the door, or chewing on the trim.

You can also put your scent on a blanket or toy before you leave, to provide a bit of comfort.

Simply roll the item in between your hands before leaving.

Purchase A Few High-Quality Chew Toys

When shopping for chew toys on a budget, you’ll want to go with quality over quantity. Since they are meant to be chewed on and destroyed, you need safe options.

Here are a few recommendations for chew toys that are safe:

Exercise Daily

You would be surprised how many behavioral problems can be solved by simply making sure your dog is getting enough exercise and stimulation.

Some breeds require more exercise than others, so keep that in mind as well.

When all else fails, make time for a good walk to tire your dog out and get them excited about something other than chewing or being destructive.

Don’t forget that dogs are just as capable of getting bored as we are.

Try giving your furry friend some toys that provide mental stimulation, such as this toy or this toy.

walking dog

When You Catch Them in The Act: Divert

Don’t make a big deal about it, or reprimand them for chewing on something they shouldn’t have.

Simply take the item away and redirect your dog to a toy that they can chew on.

redirecting dog after chewing

FAQs about getting your dog to stop chewing on everything

Most dogs stop chewing as much around 6-8 months old when their adult teeth are all in.

However, behavioral issues and separation anxiety can cause some dogs to chew for much longer.

There are some anti-chew sprays available to purchase, such as this spray.

If your dog chews things when you leave, they’re likely suffering from separation anxiety.

You should leave your scent behind on a blanket or toy, and leave the tv on for them, along with some puzzle toys and chew toys.

Watch this guide for more information on getting your dog to stop chewing:

Tips for getting your dog to stop chewing:

  • Don’t give your dog an old shoe or sock. It might be tempting to give them an alternative to your good pair of shoes, but you’re inadvertently teaching your dog that they can chew on your items.
  • Make sure the chew toys you buy are safe. This is especially true if you know your dog will completely tear the toys apart at some point.
  • Comfort and help your dog feel secure before you leave by leaving your scent behind and turning on some chatter on the TV.
free puppy socialization checklist

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What do you do to stop your dog from chewing? What works and what doesn’t? Let us know in the comments below!

FrugLife strives to provide accurate advice and helpful resources to pet owners. Your pet’s health is important to us, so please remember that the content on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, and is for entertainment purposes only. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified animal healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s medical or behavioral condition.

*Post originally published June 2022, last updated February 2023.

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