If your dog has been chewing its bed a lot, you’re probably wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do to get your dog to stop.
So, why does my dog chew its bed? Possible reasons why your dog chews its bed are that it is teething, it has anxiety you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior or that it has been doing it compulsively.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to get it to stop doing it.
Why your dog chews its bed
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely.
The reason why your dog has started doing it could be that it is teething. This would be more likely if it is young, it has started doing it suddenly and it if has been chewing on other things a lot as well. In this case, it would help to give it other things to chew on and to give it lots of positive reinforcement training and “leave it” training.
It could also be the case that something has been causing it to be anxious and it has been chewing its bed as a way to calm itself down. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more at times when it might be anxious such as when you are about to leave home. It would also be more likely if it shows other signs of anxiety such as pacing, crying or shaking. If it has been showing serious anxiety symptoms, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Encouraging the behavior
The reason why it chews on the bed could be that you have been inadvertently training it to do so. This would be more likely to be the reason if you tend to give it things that it wants such as attention, treats or toys when it chews the bed. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it does not do it and to try to redirect its focus when it seems likely to start doing it.
The reason might be that it is due to an obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is where it has an irresistible urge to chew on its bed so it keeps doing it. This would be more likely if it has been chewing on the bed constantly for a few weeks now. In this case, the best option would be to get help from a vet.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when it first started doing it
If your dog did not always chew on its bed, it would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started doing it since it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as if you started leaving it for longer periods causing it to get anxious, teething or it might have learned that it gets rewarded for doing it.
What is different when it does it
If there is a certain time that your dog tends to chew on its bed, it would also help to consider what is different at that time. For example, if it tends to do it more when you are not home, it would be more likely to be the case that it does it due to separation anxiety.
What to do about it
Below are a number of options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.
Avoid encouraging it
As mentioned above, it might be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior by giving your dog rewards when it does it. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it does not do it, to wait for it to stop before giving it any rewards and to try to redirect its focus when it seems likely to start doing it.
Ensure it is getting the right diet
It would also help to make sure that it is getting the right diet. You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your dog.
Give it other things to chew on
In addition to the above, you could also give it things to be distracted with so that it is less likely to want to chew on the bed. Things that you could give it could be toys, puzzle games or bones.
Reduce reasons why it might be anxious
If it has been doing it while you are away, it would also help to try to limit reasons why it might be anxious when you are gone. Ways to do this would include, letting it pee, eat and get exercise before leaving it and to try to periodically checkup on it if possible.
Get help from a vet
If your dog has been doing it excessively, the best option would be to take your dog to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out more serious causes.
“Leave it” training
You could also do lots of leave it training with your dog. To do this you would:
- Get some treats that it likes and something it normally chews on
- Tell your dog to leave it
- Reward it for not chewing it
- Take the item away whenever it tries to chew it
- Repeat the above until it learns not to chew it
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