How to Keep Your Dog From Chewing on Deck Rails

by Amy Hunter
    Dogs left alone outside may entertain themselves by chewing on your deck.

    Dogs left alone outside may entertain themselves by chewing on your deck.

    Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

    Chewing is a normal part of dog behavior. Puppies chew while they are teething, and adult dogs chew to relieve boredom and stress, and because they enjoy it. While there are plenty of normal reasons your dog chews, there is no reason he needs to chew on deck rails. Not only does this damage the house, but if he swallows splinters or chunks of the wood, it can also lead to gastrointestinal problems that require intervention from the veterinarian.

    Step 1

    Apply taste deterrent spray to any areas of the deck rails your dog likes to chew. Commercial taste deterrents are typically very effective. The drawback of using a taste deterrent is that your dog may just move along to chew somewhere you haven't applied the spray. Combining a spray deterrent with other management practices is the most effective way to stop chewing.

    Step 2

    Provide your pup with chew toys while he is outside. While most dogs have a few chew toys lying around the house, many pet owners don't think to provide outside chew toys. Dogs like to chew, and if they don't have something available to chew on when the urge strikes, they are likely to find something themselves.

    Step 3

    Exercise your dog regularly, don't count on him to exercise himself. A dog regularly left alone in a fenced yard won't get much more activity than a dog left alone in the house. He may trot over to the fence to investigate some noise, or catch a grasshopper that hops under his nose, but he won't exercise hard enough to work off excess steam. Take your dog on daily walks and spend time with him in the yard, throwing a disk or ball.

    Step 4

    Spend time with your dog. Boredom is a key reason dogs chew. Left alone, your dog may lie on the deck anxious to join the family, and when boredom sets in, he'll start chewing on the closest and most available thing. Dogs are social creatures and get bored, anxious and lonely when left to their own devices for extended periods of time.

    Step 5

    Correct your dog when you see him chewing. One benefit of spending more time with your dog is that you are more likely to catch him in the act of chewing. A firm "no" should be enough to get him to stop chewing on the deck rails. If he continues, take him by the collar and walk him to another area so the rails are less tempting.

    Items You Will Need

    • Taste deterrent spray
    • Chew toys

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.

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