Teaching Your Dog to Chew Using Chew Toys A quick guide on how you can get your pooch to chew without being aggressive or destructive by using chew toys

Teaching Your Dog to Chew Using Chew Toys

Dogs love to chew, but sometimes, they canโ€™t chew properly or tend to be a bit destructive with the process. Thus comes the need to teach your pooch how to chew properly, and the best way to do so is by using chew toys.

If you’ve ever owned a dog, you’ll know this for sure – dogs love chewing. Sometimes, however, their chewing can get a bit out of control. At other times, you’ll come across dogs that struggle to chew properly. 

That’s why many dog parents try to teach their furry friends how to chew using dog chew toys.

Teaching your dog to chew using chew toys is not only a way to protect your household items. It’s also crucial for your pup’s dental health and mental stimulation.

Dr. Brittany Grenus, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), emphasizes on the importance of mental stimulation for dogs. From her experience, she shares that mental stimulation for dogs is just as crucial as physical exercise. One of the easiest ways to ensure this mental stimulation is to help dogs with their chewing, especially using chew toys and dog treats.

Dogs have an innate desire to chew, and channeling this behavior toward appropriate objects is vital. That being said, let us share a few insights on how you can teach your canine companion to chew using chew toys for dogs.

Understand the Chewing Instinct

Do you know why dogs chew? Well, dogs chew for various reasons. Teething in puppies, exploring their environment, or alleviating boredom and anxiety are all common reasons why dogs chew. Understanding these motivations is the first step in effectively teaching your dog to chew on designated toys. 

Puppies, for example, chew to soothe their gums as their teeth come in. Then there are older dogs that chew to clean their teeth or as a way to cope with stress. 

Recognizing the underlying cause of your dog's chewing can allow you to choose the right toys and training methods.

For instance, if your dog wants to chew just to have fun, you can give it the KONG Squeezz Ball. This particular product is from KONG, one of the best dog toy brands out there. Customers mostly use this toy to play fetch with their dogs. The Squeezz Ball makes playtime more fun and exciting for canines. 

Find the Right Dog Chew Toys

When choosing toys for your dog, consider their size, age, and chewing habits.

Puppies often prefer softer rubber toys because they are gentle on their developing teeth. For aggressive chewers, it's important to opt for more durable materials like nylon or hard rubber to withstand their powerful jaws. Take the time to find the right type of chew toy to ensure your dog stays happy and safe.

The Petstages Dogwood Stick is an excellent chew toy that can withstand even the most aggressive of tugs from your pooch. 

This is a non-toxic chew toy that is made using real wood and creates a scent that dogs love. It functions as a 2-in-1 toy, serving as both a chew toy that scrapes away plaque and tartar while your canine chews. You can also use this dog chew toy for a game of fetch during playtime.

Also, remember to choose toys that are appropriately sized. A dog toy that is too small in size can lead to a choking hazard, while a large one may not be that engaging.

You might also want to opt for toys that can be stuffed with treats to make them more appealing. The KONG Goodie Ribbon Dog Chew Toy is a good example of such a dog toy. 

This toy has pocket spaces that you can fill up with dog treats and let your pooch mentally challenge itself. That’s because getting the treats out of the pockets requires a bit of effort. Challenging, fun, and tasty, all at the same time in just one dog chew toy. 

Introduce the Toy Positively

The way you introduce the dog chew toy should be a positive experience. 

You can start by giving the chew toy to your dog and letting it sniff and investigate it. Encourage interaction by playing with the toy yourself, showing enthusiasm and excitement. 

You can also rub a bit of peanut butter or place a treat inside the toy to make it more enticing. Ensure your dog associates the toy with fun and rewards. This positive association will make your dog more likely to return to the toy in the future.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Each time your dog chews on their toy, offer praise and a treat. This reinforces the behavior and makes it more likely to be repeated. 

For treats, you can try the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Rewards Crunchy Biscuits Treats. These dog treats contain a mix of sweet potato and venison meals. From puppies to senior dogs, all can enjoy this dog treat, so these are perfect as rewards for positive reinforcement. 

Be sure to deliver praise immediately so your dog can make the connection between chewing the toy and receiving a reward. Over time, your dog will associate chewing on the designated toys with positive outcomes, reinforcing the desired behavior.

Rotate Chew Toys

Dogs tend to get bored if you keep giving them the same toys every time. Therefore, to keep your pup interested and engaged, try rotating their chew toys regularly. 

Store a few toys out of sight and rotate them every few days. Introducing new toys periodically can also keep the novelty factor high. This helps ensure that your dog remains interested in their designated chew items rather than seeking out alternatives.

Address Underlying Behavioral Issues

Dr. Lauren Smith, DVM, reports that excessive chewing is a symptom of underlying behavioral issues such as anxiety, boredom, or lack of exercise. Ensuring your dog gets enough physical activity and mental stimulation is crucial. Regular walks and interactive toys can help reduce boredom and anxiety. 

If your dog’s chewing is driven by anxiety, consider behavioral training or consult a veterinarian for advice. Addressing these root causes can significantly reduce the likelihood of destructive chewing.

In summary, teaching your pooch to chew using dog chew toys is a process that requires patience and understanding of your dog’s needs. By keeping these suggestions in mind, you can successfully direct your dog's natural chewing instincts toward appropriate objects. 

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