Destructive chewing is an unfortunate side effect of dog anxiety. Leave the room for a brief moment, and your stressed pup might seize the opportunity to shred your throw pillows! This unwanted behavior isn’t just frustrating for pet parents. Your home is filled with choking hazards your dog can’t wait to put between their jaws.
Household objects don’t have to be the target of your pup’s nervous chewing habit. Durable toys, bedding and crate pads hold up against destructive behavior, giving you the ability to help your pup handle the stress in a healthy way. Here’s how stressed pups (and your home) can benefit from chew-proof products.
Figure out what’s stressing your pup
Durable toys, beds and crate pads are merely quick fixes for a dog’s destructive behavior. These products only address the chewing—not the underlying problem. Dogs never chew on objects for the sake of it. There’s always a reason behind it. For many dogs, destructive chewing is a symptom of stress or separation anxiety.
Your dog could be stressed or anxious for any number of reasons. Maybe you just introduced a new member to the family, whether they’re a person or another pet. Some dogs feel anxious when they’re left at home by themselves. This may stem from a history of abandonment with previous owners. Whatever the reason, treating your dog’s stress or anxiety is the most effective way to mitigate destructive chewing.
Why dogs need sturdy toys and bedding
Pet parents need a lot of time and patience before their pups can overcome chronic stress or separation anxiety. Toys and bedding might serve as a distraction until that day comes. These products are a healthier outlet for nervous energy. They direct chewing away from furniture and household objects that might pose a choking hazard.
However, it’s important to note that some toys and dog beds could be quite dangerous for stressed-out chewers. Avoid giving destructive dogs small plush toys with ribbons, squeakers or other tiny pieces. Determined pups will dig out squeakers and stuffing, which are small enough to become lodged in their throat or digestive tract. Cotton bedding is easily torn to shreds and may end up in your dog’s stomach, too. Anxious pups need sturdy products that can stand the test of time and prevent a trip to the emergency vet clinic.
The best supplies for relentless chewers
Plush toys and flimsy crate pads aren’t your only options. The market is filled with toys, beds and crate pads designed specifically for destructive chewing behavior. Here are some key features to look for in durable dog supplies.
- Elevated dog beds: These beds are sturdy alternatives to the ones your pup can easily tear apart. Ripstop fabric is suspended above the ground on a supportive frame. This frame is usually constructed with aluminum or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Elevated dog beds are a great choice for stressed-out chewers because the hard frame can hold up against a canine’s sharp teeth. Plus, the tear-resistant tarp is just as cozy as a stuffed dog bed. The fabric cradles your dog above any hard, uncomfortable surfaces on the ground. However, with this type of bed, there’s no fluff for Fido to tear out!
- Tear-resistant covers: You can still give your pup a traditional dog bed that’s resilient against destructive behavior, too. If your pup prefers stuffed dog beds, look for one that comes with a tear-resistant cover. This will let your dog enjoy soft, pillowy bedding that’s still intact after a session of relentless chewing! Tear-resistant covers are available for dog beds and crate pads of many different sizes. A crate pad with a cover is the best solution for crate-trained dogs, since elevated dog beds aren’t designed to fit in an enclosed space.
- Durable fabric: As you shop for a new bed or crate pad, pay attention to what materials are used for the outer shell. Don’t buy anything made from cotton, fleece or polyester because a stressed pup can chew through these fabrics within minutes. Instead, look for a durable design wrapped in canvas, denim, nylon or ballistic material. A sturdy bed or crate pad will also feature reinforced stitching along the seams.
- Rubber or nylon toys: Stressed pups need toys that can endure hours of gnawing, biting and chewing. Dog toys made with nylon or hard rubber will retain their original shape and keep your dog occupied all day long. Unlike plush toys, rubber and nylon bones won’t get torn into small pieces. If you have a large-breed dog, make sure the toy is too big to swallow.
Sturdy dog supplies are no cure for a stressed or anxious pup. However, durable toys and bedding are safe alternatives to chewing on furniture and hazardous objects. Chew-proof products can help calm their nerves while protecting your home. When you treat their stress or anxiety, your dog might even stop the destructive chewing for good!