by KYW’s Nan Talleno —

It may be inconvenient at times, but you’re never going to stop your dog from chewing altogether.  Dogs love to chew. It’s a natural activity for puppies who are teething. It can also be a way for dogs to explore their world. But it can be redirected appropriately.

Adult dogs that chew excessively may do so out of frustration, stress or boredom. (In that case, make sure your dog is provided exercise and mental stimulation in the form of a good structured walk daily.)

Excessive chewing may even develop from the lack of a proper diet. Check with your vet to make sure you’re providing the proper nutrients for your dog on a daily basis. A diet of soft food alone may encourage a dog to start to chew. Chewing can be even good for their teeth as it stimulates healthy teeth and gums.

Some dogs chew more than others. So it’s best to just redirect where, when, and what they chew.

Avoid dog toys that mimic children’s toys and ones that mimic household items like pillows or slippers to avoid confusion for your dog. “Kongs” are great because they can easily be filled with cheese or peanut butter and can even be frozen overnight for several hours of chewing. It’s a great way to keep them busy while you’re out.

Nylabones and Gumabones are good choices also. Avoid rawhide bones as pieces can get lodged in the throat. (And never allow your dog to eat chicken bones!)

Never ever punish your dog for chewing. Simply set him/her up to succeed by removing all non-acceptable items out of the way, while replacing with the safe and proper chew toys.