Chewing is a normal behavior in dogs. Puppies, senior dogs, domestic and wild dogs all spend hours doing this activity and can chew just about anything, from bones, sticks, and various objects.
Chewing is essential as it strengthens their jaws and keeps their teeth clean. However, sometimes, your furry friend can chew and gnaw on inappropriate items like your shoes, furniture, carpet, etc.
If you wonder how to stop your dog from chewing the carpet, this article will help you out, and hopefully, save your home.
Why does my dog chew on the carpet?
Dogs chew your carpet and other inappropriate objects for various reasons:
Reason One: Teething
Puppies undergo teething when either their baby teeth erupt or when their permanent teeth are growing in.
Teething happens around three to eight weeks old and stops around four to six months old, or when approximately their adult teeth replace the baby ones.
Puppies undergoing teething experience severe discomfort and pain in their gums. As such, they chew to relieve this pain.
Reason Two: Curiosity
Dogs, especially puppies and juveniles, are curious creatures. They like to explore everything in the world around them and often do this by licking, sniffing, and chewing on objects.
Reason Three: Premature Weaning
Your dog’s destructive chewing can also result from premature weaning where it was weaned too early from its mother.
As such, their chewing and gnawing on your things acts as a substitute for their mother and allows them to nurse.
Reason Four: Stress Relief
While chewing for puppies and younger dogs is considered normal behavior, older dogs’ habit indicates destructive behavior. Usually, you can tell what is causing this and, as such, easily solve it.
One of the reasons your dog might be chewing is due to stress and fear, especially when your dog has separation anxiety.
If your dog tends to chew when they’re alone, then they might be doing it to relieve their stress and anxiety.
Stressful situations cause dogs to feel anxious and scared, and since you are not around with them, they find other ways to feel safe. Unfortunately, they choose such a destructive habit.
Reason Five: Lack of Exercise
Idle or sedentary dogs often have a lot of pent-up energy. As such, they tend to release this by chewing and gnawing on objects in their immediate vicinity.
Reason Six: Boredom
Dogs also feel bored whenever they have nothing to do or nothing to keep them occupied. As such, to relieve this, they tend to find objects to chew on as a way to get your attention and/or keep themselves occupied.
Reason Seven: Hunger
Dogs on a diet might also chew things to satiate their hunger. Their targets are likely objects that smell like or are related to food.
Is chewing on the carpet harmful for my dog?
Yes, not only does destructive chewing damage your furniture and other objects, but it also may pose problems for your dog.
For one, the fabrics, cloths, treads, wood splinters, and the like might get stuck between your dog’s teeth, causing teeth problems and other infections.
These objects are also choking hazards, such as when your dog accidentally swallows them, and these materials get lodged in their throats.
Your dog ingesting these materials may also result in stomach, intestinal, and other internal problems and damages, which can be fatal.
How to not punish your dog for chewing?
Many owners become exasperated and frustrated due to their dog’s destructive chewing. Aside from damaging the things around your home, your dog’s chewing may also lead to fatal problems and injuries.
As such, owners must nip this negative behavior in the bud. However, you will need to do this properly.
Negative punishments like hitting, spanking, or muzzling your dog might only aggravate the problem.
Sometimes, these actions might even cause your dog to lash out and engage in more destructive behavior. Instead, it would be best if you stopped that habit properly and positively.
How to properly stop my dog from chewing on the carpet?
Here are some ways you can stop your dog from chewing on your carpet:
Solution One: Dog- or puppy-proof your home
Look around your home and find items that can entice your dog to chew on them. Place these objects and other dangerous items out of reach from your pets.
Electrical cords and wires should be covered and wrapped or stowed safely away.
Keep loose items like shoes, socks, clothing, and other desirable items in their appropriate places to prevent your dog from getting to them. You can also block access to rooms that are not dog-proofed.
Solution Three: Supervise
Monitor your dog for all the times you are around them. When you see them chewing on an inappropriate item, scold your dog and confiscate the object.
Then, replace it with a substitute like toys and treats. Reinforce this behavior with praise, pats, or treats. Over time, your dog will distinguish items that he/she can or cannot chew.
Solution Three: Toys and Treats
You can encourage appropriate chewing by providing your dog with some chew toys and treats. Pay attention to what your dog likes to chew for a long time and, if possible, provide your pet with similar items.
Many owners recommend rotating these toys/ treats to prevent your dog from getting bored.
Most dogs enjoy playing with squeaky toys, balls, kongs, puzzles, and rubber bones. As for treats, you can give them natural bones, jerseys, and other flavored or dental treats.
Be careful with cooked bones and rawhide as this can get stuck in their throats, causing injuries or resulting in choking.
Solution Four: Chewing Deterrents
Chewing deterrents and anti-chew sprays have a foul odor and taste that your dog would avoid.
When you first use it, apply a small amount in tissue and allow your dog to smell and taste it. If your dog does not like it, he/she would automatically avoid getting near it.
Lightly spray the deterrent on your furniture, carpets, shoes, and other inappropriate items.
Re-apply this every day for two to four weeks. Once your dog gets a whiff of the familiar bad smell, he/she won’t go near it.
You can purchase these sprays online or in pet shops. You can also make your own using apple cider, vinegar, or lemon juice.
Solution Five: Exercise and Playtime!
Chewing can be the result of your dog’s boredom. As such, you can break that habit by tiring your dog out through exercise and playtime.
Choose an activity or game that suits your dog’s age, health, and breed, and aim to do it for at least thirty minutes to an hour every day.
Some dog owners also engage their pets with short play sessions. Make sure you do this for at least five minutes and at least three times a day.
Solution Six: Crate-training
Another reason for your dog’s destructive chewing is due to fear, stress, and anxiety. These feelings are especially heightened when you are not by their side, causing them to chew on objects to feel better.
If you cannot be physically around them all the time, you try crate-training them. You can leave your dog in a crate or a small room barred by a baby gate or a doghouse.
Make this a comfortable and safe space for your dog by adding toys, treats, and other things he/she can chew on. Over time, your dog will feel safe enough to be left alone.
However, keep in mind to let your dog exercise and spend quality time with them whenever they are not in their crate to make up for it.
Solution Seven: Visit your vet
Sometimes, chewing can indicate some serious medical problems and/or symptoms. For example, nutritional deficiencies, gastrointestinal problems, and intestinal parasitism can cause your dogs to chew.
As such, many dog owners also recommend visiting your vet to rule out any medical conditions that may cause such behavior.
Bonus: For teething puppies
Teething puppies relieve the pain and discomfort they are feeling by chewing on things they see around them. To prevent that, you can freeze a wet washcloth and give that to them instead. The cold will soothe their swollen gums.
Why does my dog only chew during certain situations?
On the one hand, if your dog’s destructive chewing only occurs when you are not around, then it might be a sign that your beloved pet has separation anxiety.
On the other hand, if your dog continues to chew despite the methods and distractions you are giving, it might be a sign that this behavior is compulsive.
In both cases, you should visit your vet and seek professional help. Luckily, separation anxiety and compulsive behaviors are easy to treat and correct.
A dog’s destructive chewing can cause a myriad of problems for its owners.
Luckily, they are easy to correct. Hopefully, we hope that we have answered how to stop your dog from chewing the carpet with this article.
However, remember to have realistic expectations when doing so. At some point, you would slip up and inevitably chew on something again. Remember to be patient when teaching.