Nibbling and chewing things are natural activities for puppies. Adult dogs also tend to do it although generally less than young ones.
Here are the 5 most important reasons why dogs chew things:
- To relieve the pain caused by the growth of adult teeth
- To explore their environment
- To play
- To relax
- To relieve digestive discomfort
It is important for a puppy to have the right to chew, but it must be taught that some objects are allowed while others are not (eg your hands and legs, your pants, the legs of chairs, etc.).
We recommend these 6 tips to prevent your dog from biting your hands or other forbidden objects:
- Do not use your hands as toys. Your puppy will try to catch them, which will teach him that he has permission to bite them.
- Refocus his attention on the toys that he allowed to bite. There is no point in reprimanding a puppy who nibbles because he will do it again right away. Instead, do this:
- Say no! in a firm tone or make a small shrieking sound that mimics the cry of a puppy. This will surprise him and he will stop his bad behavior;
- Introduce a toy that he has the right to chew;
- Praise him very enthusiastically or offer him a treat to encourage him if he is playing with the approved object.
- Provide him with a variety of toys and alternate them. Dogs do not like all the same toys. By trying several types of (rope, rubber, plush, etc.), you will be able to identify the tastes of your dog and what he prefers to chew on.
- Use toys that are long. Indeed, the puppy can easily scrape your hands with his teeth in the heat of the action if the toy is short.
- Stop playing and ignore him if he continues to bite you. Indeed, the worst punishment for a dog is to be ignored when he wants to play. If he is too excited and persists, place him in his cage for a few minutes until he has calmed down. Be careful though! You must not present the cage as a punishment, but as a quiet refuge.
- Remember that a tired dog is a "good" dog. Get your puppy to exercise everyday. He will then have less energy to nibble everything within his reach. Be careful not to wear your puppy out if he is very young. In this case, the intensity of the exercise should be light to moderate.
Sometimes puppies and even adult dogs nibble on things because they have digestive discomfort. These dogs do not know what to do to relieve this discomfort and so they put everything in their mouth.
This "bad" behavior is often the only thing that can make us suspect a digestive problem. Indeed, these dogs are often very alert, their appetite and weight are normal, they do not vomit and they have no diarrhea.
In many cases, the digestive abnormality is chronic (present for a long time) and tests must be done to identify it (blood and urine tests, abdominal ultrasound, biopsies, etc.).
It is a fact that puppies and dogs love to nibble objects. Generally, this behavior does not lead to serious consequences.
On the other hand, the animal can still physically hurt people or destroy things if no limit is put on what is allowed and what is not.
The animal that puts everything in his mouth can also swallow objects that can block its digestive tract and put his life in danger. Indeed, a foreign body caught in the bowel can tear it cause the animal’s death.
Your dog chews everything? Make an appointment at one of our establishments to make sure his teeth or stomach are not causing him pain. We can also give you advice to prevent this behavior from becoming a problem for him and for you.
Text created in January 2019