How to Keep a Dog From Chewing Items

Provide your pet with toys he can safely chew on.

Provide your pet with toys he can safely chew on.

A major part of training your dog not to chew is to prevent him from finding opportunities to chew in the first place. This can be a real challenge because many dogs enjoy chewing on items around the house, such as electrical cords and sofa legs.

Keep loose items picked up and put away. This includes laundry, shoes, kid's toys and anything else your pet may find enticing. As much of a hassle as it can be, this also includes trash cans without heavy, closed lids. Open waste cans in the bathroom are the home to many treasures your dog may find irresistible. Keep them under the sink or in another spot until your dog stops chewing.

Invest in several quality dog toys. Have a selection of textures so your pet can select what he is in the mood for when chewing. A hard, nylon bone, a rope chew toy and a rubber ball provide a range of options. Do not use an old sock, stuffed animal or other household item and then expect him to know the difference between these items and the ones he is not permitted to chew.

Play with your pet frequently. Break his activity up over the course of the day to minimize boredom. You may also consider investing in a treat puzzle, where your dog must work out some problem to release some of the treat. Mental and physical stimulation minimize the desire to chew.

Use taste deterrents. These sprays taste and smell bad, discouraging your pet from chewing. Before using, teach your dog what they are by applying some of the spray to a cotton ball and offering it to your dog. Once he smells and tastes the product, he will want to avoid it in the future. Spray the taste deterrent on furniture legs or other areas your pet has shown an interest in chewing. Test a small area first to make sure it doesn't stain.

Items you will need

  • Dog toys
  • Taste deterrent
  • Cotton ball


  • It is normal for puppies to chew to relieve pain from teething. They also have no idea what they are permitted to chew on, so may chew on anything and everything.
  • Older dogs like to chew as well. It strengthens their jaw, helps them relieve anxiety and provides stimulation.


  • Do not discipline your dog after he chews something up. He will not understand what he is being punished for, and it will only make him more anxious, which can lead to additional chewing.

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Photo Credits

  • black labrador puppy chewing image by Scott Slattery from