Having a dog is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. You need to prepare to keep anything of value out of reach from the dog. The reality is, like humans, dogs don’t know what they don’t know.
If they find something is exciting and can be a chew toy, they are going to chew it, and frequently eat it. You want to avoid the dog eating things they aren’t to eat.
If this behavior continues, your pet could end up with some medical issues and miserable in the long run. Here are eight tips to teach your dog what they can and cannot eat.
It’s essential to ensure throughout the home you have chew toys available for the pet to use. Dogs have an instinct, especially young ones, to chew. Its function is very similar to human babies.
When a baby is teething, they are growing teeth and aiding the process by chewing on whatever they can find.
Encouraging your dog to chew on their toys is a great way to ensure they don’t end up destroying something of yours.
Make sure you invest in things that will satisfy the dog’s desire. If the toy or item is too cheap, they’ll destroy it much quicker than the more quality made products.
Correction is key
When you find a dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have, it’s essential to pay close attention going forward. You want to make sure you’re able to catch your pet in the act at some point.
Once you catch the dog, make sure to let the dog know verbally, the dog isn’t allowed to chew the object, usually with a firm “NO”. Following the firm “NO” ensures you have something they are allowed to eat or chew on nearby so you can refocus their brains.
Here’s how it works, when a dog is ready to chew or eat something, they enter a specific mindset. So presenting them with items they are allowed to eat or chew on while they’re in chew mode will help them to learn what they can and can’t chew on.
Avoid physical correction
The coming question will seem harsh, but it’s a question to consider during the topic at hand. If you find a baby is chewing or eating something they shouldn’t be, would you hit them? If your answer to the question is no, then you shouldn’t do it to your do either.
Your dogs have a very similar mindset to babies as they aren’t performing these acts to be rude. They simply don’t know they shouldn’t do it, so punishing them physically just doesn’t seem like a fair punishment.
Over time, as you continue to correct them and stop them, you will teach your pet what they can and can’t eat.
Dog proof your home
Before you bring a new pet home, it’s an excellent idea to dog-proof your home if you can. Very similar to baby-proofing a place, you’ll want to keep things out of reach. Try to keep anything that shouldn’t be eaten off the floor and put away somewhere the dog can’t get too.
Dogs can be curious, so at times, simply placing an object isn’t enough. A closet, a drawer, or even a latching cabinet is a good home for things you want to be safe.
Another good idea is to create an area exclusively for your pet when your pet has a place for them. The likely hood of the animal wanting to spend time there, which decreases. The likelihood of roaming and in turn, eating your items.
As dogs grow, so does their appetite. At times merely increasing the amount of food your dog is eating during the day can lower the want or need to chew and swallow.
Think of how humans operate, and if we aren’t getting enough food during the day, we are more likely to eat things we don’t want to eat or end up snacking more than we would like. An excellent place to check is the back of your dog’s food label.
The bag typically recommends amounts and how often the dog eats. Another way to find out how much food your dog should be eating is to consult your vet to see what they recommend.
A large key to dog training, in general, is making sure they’re getting adequate exercise. Making sure a dog is tired out before entering a training session of any kind is an excellent way to help ensure they don’t listen and pay attention.
They simply won’t have the energy to be defiant. The same goes for eating things they shouldn’t eat. If they’re tired, they simply won’t have the desire to even engage in that activity.
Besides, if you make sure you use the correction tips during this period, the likely hood of them learning not to eat everything becomes much higher.
It’s common for people to have reservations about a muzzle. The main goal is to ensure the safety of our furry friends. So at times, you will have to take measures that may be unpopular to some of our peers. A muzzle is an excellent option to ensure our dog doesn’t eat everything in sight.
Muzzles could be a potential short term solution because often our little friends grow out of this habit. Muzzles aren’t only for vicious animals, it’s a great tool for helping correct undesirable behavior.
There are times when dogs have a medical condition and merely correcting them won’t be enough to stop them from eating things they aren’t shouldn’t. Things like Parasites, thyroid disorders, and diabetes can be the reason a dog is continuously looking for things to eat.
If correcting your dog for some time just doesn’t seem to be working, call your vet so they can run some tests and determine what’s going on. An additional resource could be other pet lovers.
There is a chance they’ve been through the same thing and could provide more helpful tips.