Does your sweet, obedient, respectful little pup turn into an evil twin of itself, chewing on your most prized and beloved belongings when you are away? Is your pooch chewing and destroying anything it can get its paws on? Are your carpets or rugs frayed and shabby because of the countless hours your dog has spent chomping on them?
If you believe your dog’s chewing habit is getting out of hand, it is time you found a solution. While chewing itself is a normal behavior for your dog, he might sometimes end up chewing inappropriate items. If this habit is not managed and your dog does not learn what is appropriate to chew on, he has the potential to cause harm to not just your belongings but to himself as well.
Find out why your dog is constantly chomping away on items around your home, and why he has a special attraction to your carpets and rugs. Understand the potential harm that this behavior can cause to a dog’s health. Also, learn the various methods you can apply to help manage this habit in your pooch and find some of the best products that you can use to effectively to stop a dog from chewing on carpet.
Why Your Dog is Chewing on Carpets
Dogs chew for a number of different reasons. It helps them explore their surroundings. They also use it for grooming and keeping their teeth clean. Chewing helps dogs to develop strong jaws. Other common reasons for chewing behavior in dogs can be attributed to boredom, stimulation, frustration, or even anxiety. Let’s take a look at some of these reasons.
If your dog has a higher tendency to suck or chew on fabrics like carpets it could be because as a pup it was weaned too early from its mother. Chewing on carpets and other soft inanimate items at a later age is your dog’s way of nursing with a mother-like substitute, providing comfort and safety.
Yes, puppies undergo teething. They have puppy teeth that fall out, just the same as human babies. However, their teething timeline is much shorter than humans, and it takes a few months for all their new teeth to come in. Puppies start teething at 3 to 5 weeks of age and have their complete set of adult teeth between the ages of 4 to 6 months. During this time they can experience severe discomfort and pain in their gums. Chewing helps them relieve this.
Like infants and young children, who explore their environments constantly by reaching out and touching things out of curiosity, puppies and juvenile dogs too are curious about their surroundings. Through chewing they explore and learn about the texture and taste of items in their environment.
Any stressful situation causes a dog anxiety. This could be a noise or item that is causing fear or it can be the absence of your comforting presence, resulting in separation anxiety. Fear can result in your pooch denning in areas it finds safe, like your bedroom, under your couch or table, or even in the bathroom. In order to relieve stress, your dog may choose to chew on something like a rug or foot mat. Other times he might try to chew on the living room or hallway carpet or entry mat in an attempt to eat through the barrier preventing him from reaching you.
Lack of Exercise
A lack of sufficient exercise can result in excess pent-up energy in your dog. One of the most common and fun activities your dog is likely to resort to while trying to release this excessive energy is chewing on interesting items around him.
Lack of stimulation
If your pooch is idle and bored and lacks a stimulating environment he may resort to exploring and finding something new and interesting to chew on in order to divert his mind while waiting for you to give him attention and mental stimulation.
Dangers of Chewing Carpet that are Harmful to Your Dog
The adverse effects of your dog chewing on inappropriate objects can sometimes result in very serious consequences. They can vary from minor injury or infection to life-threatening situations.
- Pieces of fabric or threads stuck between your pooch’s teeth can result in infection.
- Thread or fabric that causes blockage in the stomach or intestine can cause severe internal damage or infection to your dog.
- Fabric or thread lodged in the stomach with some portion extending into the intestine can result in severe problems in the long section of the intestinal wall and could be fatal.
- If a clump of fabric is swallowed by your dog, it can get stuck the throat and can lead to choking.
How to Stop a Dog from Chewing on Carpet
There are a few simple and effective ways for you to ensure your dog stops his inappropriate chewing habit and lives a healthy and happy life. However, in order to choose the right method for your dog, it is important to first evaluate if this behavior is done irrespective of your presence or does chewing seem like a habit that your pooch resorts to when you are not around.
If it is a continuous ongoing behavior then simple efforts like training, providing alternatives for chewing and restricting access to unwanted areas should provide the most effective results.
However, if your dog’s ugly side emerges only in your absence it could be a sign of separation anxiety. Similarly, if your dog’s chewing continues despite any number of distractions then it is possible that the behavior is compulsive. In these cases, we would advise getting the help of a Certified Animal Behaviorist with special training and experience in treating compulsive behavior or separation issues to overcome these challenges.
If your pup’s issue does not require a specialist’s attention, then the following are some effective ways which you can attempt with your dog to stop his inappropriate chewing habit.
The process of acclimatizing your dog to safe objects to chew on while also allowing him to play, explore and express his natural behavior can be slow and it is essential you begin early and remain consistent in your efforts.
Making sure your dog has supervised and limited access to carpeted areas within your home means your dog is not able to spend unsupervised time around your carpets and rugs. Crating or kenneling is a good means to prevent your dog from accessing these areas where he has the potential to cause destruction and harm. You can also use dog gates to restrict him to certain areas of the house.
A great way to allow your dog to continue to hone his natural chewing instinct safely is to provide him with safe and suitable products to chew on. Try and use chew toys to play with your dog. Attempt to redirect the chewing behavior towards an appropriate item. These toys can include bones, flavored treats, jerky’s, air-dried meats and fruits, and squeaky toys.
Sufficient exercise and making sure there is no remaining repressed energy in your dog can be a highly effective means for curbing your dog’s chewing. If he exerts his energy with enough walks and play, then he is less likely to end up chewing your carpets.
Like all beings, your dog requires mental stimulation from his surroundings and companions. Spending long hours on his own with nothing to interest or entertain him can cause your dog to find something interesting. Most often this ends up being something new or interesting to chew on. Providing toys and other stimulating products in your dog’s surroundings can keep them busy and their brain sufficiently active for them to not go looking for something to chew on.
Anti-chew sprays are products that emit a repulsive smell to your dog and have a bitter taste that your dog won’t like. Spraying this on your carpets, rugs, and mats can ensure that your dog loses his desire to chew on these items. These products have been proven to be highly effective in acting as a deterrent in chewing problems in dogs.
The Best Anti-chew Sprays for Dogs
One of the most effective ways to discourage your pup from chewing on inappropriate items which could cause harm to them or damage your precious rugs and carpets is the use of deterrent sprays. Here are our picks for some of the best and safest deterrent sprays available in the market to help you make a suitable choice for your pooch.
Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray is a safe and harmless anti-chewing solution. As its name indicates it has a bitter taste and is a highly recommended product to keep your pooch off items you want to protect. Spraying it on your carpet and rugs will make sure these items are no longer tasty or interesting to your pup, thus protecting them from damage.
Bodhi Dog Bitter Lemon Spray is a natural chew deterrent spray that is non-toxic and safe for dogs of all ages and for all materials and surfaces. This means no matter what your carpets, rugs, and mats are made of, this product will be non-toxic and effective. The taste is offensive and unpleasant to most pets and it has a strong scent that most dogs will want to avoid. Being all natural and derived from only plant products, this is a suitable product if your pet has allergies or a sensitivity.
Make sure you understand the reasons behind your dog’s chewing behavior. Evaluate if it a natural habit or if it is compulsive in nature. Identify whether your dog resorts to it only in your absence or at all times.
Then you can choose the right means, or a combination of them, to make sure your dog learns what is expected of them and put a stop to chewing on carpet.
You should also make sure your pooch has a safe environment where he can play and run, feel safe and most importantly relax.
While your dog must be allowed to chew to help it learn, explore, and stay healthy, care must be taken that it is on the appropriate toys and items.
P.S. Help a friend learn how to stop a dog from chewing on carpet by pinning this!