**Guest post from Jackie A.**
In light of Pets Dental Health Month, I thought I’d share a little story about a product that kept me from going insane. In a sense, it does promote healthy dog chewing, as it is a deterrent from chewing on inappropriate objects. I wanted to promote proper chewing of toys and treats, but did not want to sacrifice my UGGS in the process. Here is a little tidbit on how I was able to keep my dogs from destroying my shoes, house, and furniture with a product called Chew Stop.
When we got our second dog about two years ago, we didn’t anticipate the chewing that would ensue. Our first dog, Murphy, had a habit of chewing on shoes, but it was easily solved by the “don’t leave your shoes out where Murphy can eat them” rule. Soon, Murphy passed through his phase of wanting to devour our shoes, which was around the same time we adopted our second puppy, Baxter. We had no idea what we were in for. We soon learned that nothing was off limits for Baxter’s daily chew. The laundry list of items included things such as: socks, shoes, various headbands, leashes and harnesses, cell phones, a digital camera, the case for the digital camera, TV remotes, t-shirts, toilet paper rolls, the underside of our bed, and walls. Yes- you read that correctly – walls. We had just put new carpet in, re-textured and painted the walls on the main floor of our house. We did not have the trim up, and he chewed on the edge of the wall ripping off drywall and eating it. Mind you, Baxter was all of 3-4 lbs as a puppy, and doing the damage of a 100 lb dog (maybe a little dramatic- but man was he driving me bonkers!). We needed a solution and we needed it fast- he was like a gremlin that someone fed after midnight, and he was destroying our house.
Enter Chew Stop. I had come to work and thought, “We have to have something to combat this chewing phase.” We did all the things you’re supposed to do – lots of exercise/playtime, kept a watchful eye when he was out in the house, kenneled him during the day when we were not home, and corrected him when he was caught red-handed pawed chewing something inappropriate. (Other tips can be found in this article, Chewing Behavior: How To Control It. Yet, if we turned our back for a second, he was at the wall again chewing, or scurrying under the bed to gnaw on the bed frame.
With my sanity wearing thin, I went to our retail store and asked which product I should try to cease the chewing. I was lead to an isle where a small 8-ounce spray bottle sat before me, ready to bring back my sanity. Chew Stop is a bitter tasting deterrent that can be sprayed onto various items. It can even be used on your pet’s coat if they are chewing from hot spots, allergies, or boredom. The spray should be tested on various areas to be sure that it won’t ruin a surface, as items that are dyed or porous may become discolored. I used the spray on our wood bed frame at home, on our walls (lightly and cautiously as it is a porous surface), on the soles of shoes that were repeatedly abused by chewing, and so many other things. Guess what happened – the chewing stopped. I couldn’t believe it! I used the spray for a couple weeks on the notorious chew zones, just to be safe that the dogs would stay away. After some time, the chewing phase passed and I stopped using the spray.
The dogs have learned to chew on things that are given to them only. OK – well actually, my faux-fur bomber hat was sacrificed at the paws of our pit bull, Beau, a few weeks ago. BUT, in his defense, it did not have Chew Stop sprayed on it and it fell on the floor looking very toy-like. Our world is back to normal. I still keep the spray on-hand in the event someone wants to sink their teeth into an unapproved household object, but we’ve made serious progress thanks to Chew Stop. Keep in mind, all dogs react differently, but the spray is inexpensive and certainly worth a shot!
- Puppy Nipping and Mouthing – The “ouch!” technique, a gentle way to help puppies learn to inhibit their bites.
- When Do Puppies Lose Their Teeth? – Puppy chewing can be a bit less frustrating if you consider that for almost the first year of life, puppies deal with big changes in their mouths.
- Pet Dental Care – It’s Important! – The best way to avoid painful and costly dental disease in your pet is with a good dental health program.