How to Get Heavy Chewer Dogs to Stop Their Madness

Did you know that stomach upset is the number one reason for veterinary visits? Heavy chewer dogs are particularly prone to ingesting foreign objects, so if you want to keep your pup healthy (and save on vet bills), here are a few things to keep in mind should you adopt a pup with a penchant for chewing.

By Leigh Kunis ∙

If you’re thinking about adding a new furry friend to your family, make sure you know what you’re getting into. If you want a low-maintenance pet, consider getting a cat, like one of these quirky and funny kitties. However, if you’re able to take on a bit more responsibility, a dog may be your best bet – but do your research into the various breeds so you know what to prepare for. Some pups are heavy chewer dogs, which can lead to destruction around your home (and closet).

Big dogs such as labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and saint bernards are some of the worst heavy chewer dogs out there and tend to be worse than their smaller counterparts, such as terriers and toy dogs – especially if they get bored.

If you do decide to adopt heavy chewer dogs, here are a few tips:

Dogs chew for a variety of reasons | heavy chewer dogs

Do you have pet insurance? It’s similar to human health insurance. You pay a small deductible each month (find out how much pet insurance costs per month) and in return, you will be reimbursed for a portion (if not all) of your veterinary fees. While pet insurance isn’t mandatory, it can come in handy when accidents and illness arise.

“Stomach issues” are the number one pet insurance claim, many of which are due to dogs ingesting things they shouldn’t such as rocks, socks, and more. Accidental ingestion of foreign objects is most common in heavy chewer dogs: They find something they shouldn’t, chew it to pieces, and then ingest some of those pieces. In best best-case scenario, your pup has a bit of a stomach upset and may vomit. Worst case? Surgery to remove foreign objects can be quite costly if you don’t have pet insurance.

4. Subscribe to a Dog Subscription Box for Heavy Chewers

Toys can help keep your dog entertained so he doesn't chew things he shouldn't | heavy chewer dogs

To help your dog stay entertained and avoid chewing things he shouldn’t try to ensure he doesn’t get bored. One of the ways to do this is to make sure he has plenty of toys to keep him entertained! Pet subscription boxes such as BarkBox are a perfect way to make sure your pooch has a constant stream of new toys. You can even get a dog subscription box for heavy chewers specifically (check out the links we just gave)!

A dog subscription box for heavy chewers is a monthly subscription box. Once a month, your dog will receive a gift box filled with toys, treats, and even grooming products personalized for your pooch based on his size. This will help ensure he doesn’t get bored with his existing toys – or run out should he chew them all to bits.

And if you use services like Bullymake, which only makes boxes for what they call “power chewers,” you know you’re on the right track. A constant supply of toys will help even the worst of heavy chewer dogs stay out of trouble.

3. Get Some Bitter Apple Spray

Bitter Apple Spray Can Help Stop Your Pup From Being a Heavy Chewer Dog

This product is a saving grace for heavy chewer dogs. While you may not think your Nikes, your Louboutins, or even the corner of your wall look appetizing, your dog thinks differently and will happily chew them to bits. However, while your dog may not find the smell or taste of your dirty shoes unappealing, he certainly will if you spray a little of this on there!

Bitter apple spray has been around since the 1960s. Made from apple cider vinegar, it has a strong vinegar taste that dogs can’t stand. It’s non-toxic, non-staining, and odor-free to humans, making it the perfect chewing repellent. It can also be sprayed directly on your pup if he has a habit of chewing or licking his fur.

2. Don’t Give Chase

If your dog chews something he shouldn't, don't chase him | heavy chewer dogs

Dogs play games. If they’re bored or want your attention, oftentimes they’ll act out and do things they know they shouldn’t do, such as grabbing items off a table, out of your closet, or worse. While some dogs chew items they know they shouldn’t, others purposefully take items for the thrill of it.

If your pup has a habit of taking forbidden items in front of you, make sure you do not reward this behavior by giving chase. This is what they want you to do, and it turns it into a game. As backward as it may seem, chasing your pup and yelling at him can be fun for him as he sees it as a way of playing.

If your pup takes something he shouldn’t stay calm. Call your dog to you and offer him a treat or another toy, then casually remove the forbidden item from his mouth.

1. Keep Your Pup Stimulated

Dogs are smart, energetic creatures, some more than others. If you have a pug or a bulldog, they’ll be content sleeping their day away and going on minimal walks. If you have a border collie, labrador retriever, golden retriever, or other large dog, this tactic likely won’t work.

Dogs need exercise and mental stimulation; otherwise, they’ll get bored, and boredom often leads to chewing and other destruction. No matter how busy you may get, make sure you take time to play with your pup, whether it’s throwing the ball, going on a run, or taking a long walk around the neighborhood. Tired dogs are better-behaved dogs as they’ve released most of their pent-up energy. And tired dogs don’t chew as much as their energetic, curious counterparts!

Do you have a dog with a chewing problem? Tell us how you keep him from destroying things!

tips for heavy chewer dogs

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