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Why dogs chew and how you can help

Puppy chewing on a shoe

Dogs are curious creatures, and chewing is their way of exploring. While we have some great places for shopping – including buying new furniture and other household goods – in the greater Wilmington area, you certainly don't want to have to make a special trip because your four-legged family member ate your sofa for lunch.

Puppies are especially active chewers, so they provide toys and treats that can keep up with their high activity. Older dogs chew to keep their teeth clean and their mouths strong.

However, if your dog destroys shoes, furniture, toys and anything else it can get its teeth on, it might be more than just playful fun. Keep an eye on when and how your dog chews. Here are some typical behaviors you might notice:

Separation anxiety: If your dog is left alone for extended periods and you arrive home to a living room full of destruction, your pup might suffer separation anxiety. Give your dog regular exercise before you leave and lessen the time you are gone. Let your dog run and have fun with friends at the Wilmington Dog Park at Empie Park. This off-leash park on two acres is fenced in and has two separate play areas, one for large dogs and another for dogs under 20 pounds. You and your four-legged friends will have access to water and plenty of shade. There are also waste stations because you'll want to pick up after your pooch. Or head to one of the dog-friendly trails in the greater Wilmington area. If your dog continues to chew, it's time to consult your veterinarian.

Teething: If your dog feels discomfort in its mouth, it will seek ways to relieve it. Puppies are more likely to exhibit this behavior as adult teeth come in. Keeping your dog's mouth clean and healthy will help prevent destructive chewing. Of course, some chew toys are designed to help clean teeth while dogs chew. You can also brush your four-legged family member's teeth. Make sure you use toothpaste specifically for dogs; don't share yours! Some dogs may need to have their baby teeth removed by a professional, so make sure you pay attention to your dog's mouth health. If you're concerned about your pooch's dental health, it may be time for a check-up.

Boredom: If your dog is not getting enough exercise, it may turn to other forms of entertainment. This commonly means playing and chewing, and that often leads to destroying property. Keep in mind that your pet is not intentionally trying to reduce your home to ruin. Dogs are curious. Your pooch is just looking for fun. Give your dog room for activity and enough toys to satisfy their eager minds. Puzzle toys can slow down the destruction of soft toys. And anything is better than the destruction of your items! Check out the toys available at Coastal Paws.

If your dog can't slow down its destruction, consult your veterinarian for additional tips. Dogs are creatures of habit, so replacing this habit with a new routine — that you stick to — will keep you and your dog happy.

While you are working with your dog to break their chewing habit, the last thing you want to have to do is clean up the yard after your pet. We get it! You could use one less thing to worry about, so let us take care of your dog's business. You can get a free quote and learn more about our services on our website or call (910) 361-2090. We scoop poop in the greater Wilmington area, so you don’t have to.