Chewing is a great activity for your dog. It does not only strengthen his/her teeth, but also releases calming hormones, which will help them relieve stress. Moreover, chewing toys is an effective way to keep them busy, divert them to some quiet time or encourage them to stay in their bed or their crate. However, chewing can be destructive. There are numerous unacceptable chewing objects like clothes, carpet, paper “homework”, and furniture. Your dog can not differentiate the acceptable chewies from the unacceptable ones. Therefore, when you leave him/her alone, it is very hard for them not to chew on things in the house.
There are 2 reasons why your dog chews on things when you’re not in the house: He/She is either lonely/bored or Stressed/Anxious
For lonely dogs, they usually chew on things in the house because they are bored. There are a few things you can do to confine this activity.
a. You should make sure that your dog has enough exercise. Running, walking with your dogs or bringing them to the dog park are all effective. It will make them tired and calm them down when they are alone. Importantly, having at least 2 playing sessions with your dog everyday is healthy; throwing them bones, ropes or balls can tire them out quickly.
b. Provide them with a place that they can have all to themselves. A small bathroom or kitchen area would be good. However, you want to make sure that there are no unacceptable chewing objects around and leave him/her some toys to play with. Putting him/her in the crate would be fine as long as the crate is a happy place for them.
For anxious dogs, they are stressed out because they are not comfortable being alone. Dogs are pack animals. Therefore, they get anxious when they have a feeling of social isolation.
a. Again, finding a place that he/her can be secured. They need a comfortable place if they are left behind. You can make their crate a secured place. However, never use their crate as their punishment. Otherwise, this will only stress them out more.
b. Choose a bone/rope/toy. Make that toy the main thing to play with your dog. You should play with them at least twice a day, using your chosen toys. The toys will carry your scent. The combination of a meat scented bone and the owner’s scent can make it very pleasant for your dog to chew. This will help your dog feel calm and enjoy their time at home alone.