How to Keep Your Dog From Chewing on Household Things

Dogs have a natural chewing instinct.
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Many dog lovers know that chewing can be one of the most troublesome habits to overcome when coexisting with a canine companion. The trouble and expense of replacing damaged items can be quite frustrating until your pet has learned the rights and wrongs of satisfying his natural urges. Knowing how to keep your dog from chewing on household things can help alleviate the problem and several techniques are effective in making a comfortable compromise with man's best friend.

Step 1

Move your belongings. One of the first things to do is relocate any small and easily removed items that may attract your pet from areas of the home that it will have access to. Much like child-proofing your home, you can raise such items to higher shelves and table tops or off of floors to keep them out of the dog's reach.

Step 2

Provide your dog with adequate chew toys and rawhide. All dogs have a natural instinct to chew and expecting any breed of dog to stop chewing completely is an unrealistic expectation. Providing it with a variety of safe and tested dog or puppy chew toys can keep your dog content while satisfying its natural urge to gnaw and detour it from chewing on your personal belongings.

Step 3

Make a trade-off with your dog. If you find you pet has chewed--or is in the process of chewing--something he shouldn't be, immediately reprimand him and offer him one of his favorite chew toys. In a firm voice say "No!," take the forbidden item from him and hand him the chew toy. This action will eventually convey to your dog that chewing is okay, but chewing your belongings is not.

Step 4

Retractable gates can detour pets from chewing furniture.

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Confine "off-limits" areas. If you have a problem with your dog being attracted to chewing larger or immobile objects such as furniture, draperies or wooden trim, confining the troublesome area of the home is an option. Many department stores and infant supply retailers carry small retractable baby-gates that you can assemble in doorways to prevent the dog from entering restricted areas of your home.

Step 5

Keep your dog busy. Dogs of all breeds and sizes require a fair amount of exercise on a daily basis. Keeping your dogs active with long and frequent walks, brisk romps around the park and plenty of interactive play time and attention can curb its need to chew as much. Dogs that spend extensive amounts of time indoors or alone are prone to chew more as a means to combat boredom and loneliness.

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  • Depending on the size of your dog, certain chew toys may be a choking hazard. Always buy dog and puppy toys that are safety tested and recommended for the specific breed, age and size of your pet.


  • Many pet supply retailers carry non-toxic sprays that you can apply to household items to detract pets from chewing on them.

  • Avoid confusion. An important part of teaching your pet not to chew is drawing a clear line between what items are and are not allowed to be chewed on. The best policy is not to offer any discarded household items--safe or not--to your pet as not to confuse it. For instance, the dog may enjoy chewing on an old unwanted gym shoe, but it will then believe it is okay to chew up your new leather boots as well. Keep its chew toys limited to real dog toys designed for chewing.

Items You Will Need

  • Infant safety gate
  • Dog or puppy chew toys