"My dog has eaten every bed I've gotten him." Sound like something you'd say? We hear this all the time from pet owners all around the country. If you're like us, you've probably come home to a big pile of fluff and a guilty looking dog more than once in your life. We asked Mikkel Becker, certified dog trainer and Vetstreet contributor, for her advice on how to combat puppy chewing.
"Most dogs simply chew on their beds because of a lack of mental stimulation, and providing alternative outlets is the way to go," says Mikkel. She recommends having ample food, puzzles, toys and other chews in the area - making sure to reward and praise when used. We particularly love Kyjen smart puzzles and frozen stuffed Kongs.
Additionally, some dogs chew due to seperation anxiety and it's important to treat and train for the behavior to go away. "The biggest thing about working with dogs that like to chew on their beds is actually to teach them to relax on their mat area. The easiest way to train this is with the "go to your mat" command. Essentially you teach your dog that the mat area is for lying down, and is never a chew toy," says Mikkel. Check out this great Vetstreet video of Mikkel mat training her pug Bruce!
Lastly, Mikkel notes that "during the training stages dogs should not be left alone with their nice beds, but rather only use them under supervision and use towels or other items they are less likely to chew until they have proven over time they can be left alone with their nice beds."
What about you? How did you help your pup get over the chewing phase? Leave us a comment below!