Dogs love to chew on things, and if you’re not careful, they can end up chewing something that is not meant for them. Skirting boards are one of the items that dogs will chew on. They are low on the ground and it can be easy for them to get to.
It can be stressful to find your baseboards chewed on. It’s expensive to repair and isn’t good for your dog to chew on paint and wood either.
Read on to dig into the causes of this behavior and to learn what you can do to prevent it.
Why Does My Dog Chew Skirting Boards?
You may be confused as to why your dog has embraced this behavior, but it is likely due to one of the following reasons:
Your Dog Is Bored
If you don’t have much time to play with your dog or take it out regularly, it may become bored. This is a common case with younger pups as well as high-energy dogs.
If there aren’t toys around, a window for your dog to look out of, or people to interact with, your pup may resort to chewing on skirting boards as a way of relieving boredom.
This may be paired with other habits that arise from boredom, such as jumping on furniture, whining, and excessive barking.
Your Dog Was Left Alone Too Long
If your dog is left alone for too long without adequate stimulation, they will start looking for something to do. Since dogs can’t read or watch TV like we can, chewing on things that are low down and easy to access, such as skirting boards, seems like a lot of fun for many dogs.
This can also be the case if you have a new dog and are still adjusting to the new routine of taking care of it. It’s important to make sure that your pup has plenty of toys and activities to keep themselves occupied while you’re away.
You will also want to leave them clean water and should consider putting on white noise or relaxing music when you’re gone.
Your Dog Has Generalized or Separation Anxiety
If your dog is generally anxious or stressed, it may chew on things as a way of coping. This could be due to numerous factors such as prior abuse, being rehomed, or being left in an environment that they perceive as unsafe.
Separation anxiety is one of the most common types of anxiety disorders in dogs and can manifest itself in various ways. Separation anxiety is often exhibited when an owner leaves their dog alone and can include destructive behaviors such as chewing, barking, whining, and eliminating in the home.
Generalized anxiety is a less specific type of anxiety that can cause a dog to be fearful or reactive to numerous things in its environment. This form of anxiety is less predictable and is usually always present to some degree.
You’ve Encouraged the Behavior
You may be surprised to learn that you may have encouraged this behavior. For example, if you regularly scold or yell at your dog for doing this, they may perceive this as a way to get attention from you.
It’s important to be very intentional with your attention to avoid reinforcing the behavior. It is better to detach your dog from the area and habit non-dramatically, rather than showing them you are upset, which they may perceive as you being excited and engaged.
Your Dog Is Teething
If your dog is still a puppy, it’s going through the teething process. During this time, puppies will chew on anything and everything to help relieve the pain and soreness of their gums.
Skirting boards are an easy target for them because they’re low to the ground and often made of wood, which puppies love to chew on. The texture of the baseboard is hard enough for them to chomp on, but not hard enough for them to damage their teeth.
You can help your pup by providing some suitable teething toys that you know they will enjoy chewing on and keep an eye out for any holes or marks in the skirting boards where they may have chewed before.
If there is a problem with an older dog, you will want to take them for a checkup with their vet. They may have tooth or gum issues that are causing pain and lead the dog to chew on things as an analgesic response.
There’s Something on the Skirting Boards
Your dog might be chewing on the skirting boards because they can smell or see something that is of interest to them. This could include dirt, insects, food crumbs, and even dust. You would be surprised by what a dog finds to be tasty!
It’s a good idea to take a perimeter check to see what your dog may be attracted to and clean it up as much as possible. Be mindful that skirting boards are often treated with chemical cleaners, which could be toxic for your dog to ingest.
Consider changing to a natural or pet-friendly floor or wall cleaner to make sure that you are not exposing your dog to something potentially harmful.
They Learned It From Another Dog
They may also have seen other animals doing this in their pack, which teaches them it’s ok to chew there as well. If you have more than one dog in your home, it’s important to monitor their behavior around each other and make sure that they are not learning bad habits from each other.
Your Dog Has a Medical Condition
While it’s unlikely, there are some medical conditions that can cause dogs to chew on objects such as skirting boards. If your dog is chewing in an unusual place or has never done anything like this before, it’s important to take it to the vet for a checkup and blood test.
They may have something that requires medical attention, which could cause their anxiety and subsequent compulsive behaviors.
If you own multiple dogs, make sure to monitor their behavior around each other and make sure that they are not learning bad habits from each other.
Why Does My Dog Chew Doorframes?
In addition to skirting boards, many dogs like to chew on doorframes. If your dog is chewing the framework around a doorway, it’s important to consider why they are doing this and take steps to discourage them from continuing.
It may be due to many of the same issues mentioned above. Additionally, a dog may chew a doorframe if you have shut it out of a room that it wants to be in.
For example, if you are taking a work meeting in your home office and your pup wants attention or needs something, they may chew the doorframe in an attempt to get you to open it and give them attention.
How to Stop My Dog Biting Skirting Boards?
Here are some ways that you can discourage or stop your dog from chewing on skirting boards:
Create a Designated Space for Your Dog
Is there a room in your home that is unfinished? Or perhaps there is an area where you can cover up or block the skirting boards. If so, this is a perfect place for you to designate as the place where your dog is allowed to chew and play with their toys.
Crate Your Dog When You’re Gone
If your dog is chewing on skirting boards out of boredom, you can also crate them when they are going to be home alone for longer periods. This way, it will gradually discourage the habit when you’re not there to reinforce good behavior.
Monitor the Situation With a Camera
Placing a camera in the area where your dog is chewing can help you to understand what is attracting them to that spot. This will also help you to identify if there are any triggers that make your dog chew the boards.
For example, perhaps they get anxious when the mail delivery person arrives and start to chew the boards as a way to deal with that anxiety.
This insight can help you come up with a better plan of action to help you stop your dog from chewing the boards.
Provide Toys and Activities to Keep Your Dog Occupied
Another option is to provide your dog with plenty of toys and activities that will keep them occupied when you are not around. This way, they won’t have time or energy to chew on skirting boards. You can also try an interactive toy like a treat ball for dogs which works by allowing the pet to move it about in order to release treats.
Some fun activities that can help burn off energy and keep your dog entertained include playing fetch, going for a walk or run, swimming, and agility training.
This is a great way for humans to stay stress and anxiety-free as well, so consider it a win-win.
Train Your Dog
One of the most important things that you can do to help stop your dog from chewing on skirting boards is to train them not to chew on anything but their toys. You can do this by teaching them the “leave it” command and providing positive reinforcement when they obey.
Start with basic obedience commands like sit, stay, come, and down and then move on to the “leave it” command. This will require patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement on your part.
If you are consistent with training and providing activities for your dog to do, you should see a decrease in their desire to chew on skirting boards or other inappropriate items.
You can also hire a trainer to help with this process if you feel like you are struggling or do not have the time to train your dog yourself.
Keep Your Skirting Boards Clean
One thing that might be attracting your dog to the skirting boards is dust, dirt, or other “yummy” grime. Be sure to vacuum regularly and clean with a damp cloth to prevent this from happening. Use a non-toxic cleaner, and be sure to dry the boards completely afterward.
Use a Bitter Spray to Deter the Behavior
One of the simplest things that you can do to deter your dog from chewing on skirting boards is to spray them with a bitter-tasting substance. This may include vinegar, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar which will help your pup learn not to chew on those surfaces because it tastes bad.
How to Stop My Dog Chewing Things I Don’t Want Them to While Teething?
When your young pup is teething, it may seem like there is nothing you can do to calm them down and stop them from chewing on everything in sight. This is a common behavior for puppies and usually subsides around the age of six months.
In the meantime, there are some things that you can do to help stop your dog from chewing on inappropriate items:
- Provide plenty of safe chew toys for them to gnaw on
- Give your dog a good amount of attention so it doesn’t act out
- Rub a little bit of bitter apple, lemon, or vinegar onto surfaces that you don’t want them to chew
- Place your pup in a designated “chewing area” where they are allowed to gnaw on appropriate items only
- Monitor the situation closely and provide positive reinforcement when they refrain from chewing inappropriate objects
- Train your dog basic obedience commands like sit, stay, come, and down
- Hire a professional trainer to help with the teething process if necessary.
Be patient and keep in mind that this behavior won’t last forever. It’s a big responsibility to take care of a teething dog, but if you approach the situation correctly, you can save years of headaches down the line.