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Why Do Dogs Chew Their Bedding?

 by danielle on 24 Aug 2014 |
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You leave your dog for the day peacefully curled up asleep on their bed. When you return, it is as if it has snowed – white stuffing coats your lounge room and ripped fabric is spread all over the floor, only a scrap of your dog’s tattered bed left in one piece. What possesses dogs to destroy their beds when they are often their favourite things in the house?
 
Generally speaking, dogs will chew their beds simply because they wish to chew. As one of the most accessible items to them, a dog’s bed falls prey to determined puppy jaws simply because it is the item they are around the most often.
 
Chewing is a natural canine behaviour. In puppies, chewing helps relieve teething pains caused by the growth of incoming teeth. In adult dogs, chewing assists with dental health by aiding plaque removal and helps keep jaws strong. It is also a natural way dogs relieve boredom, anxiety and frustration.
 
By targeting their bed, a dog may be driven by any one of these motivations. If you have a puppy suffering teething pain, try and provide a tasty owner-approved option that will encourage them to leave their bedding alone. Flavoured dental chews or raw bones are usually a far more attractive option than wads of fabric and stuffing. Adult dogs similarly can usually be tempted away from destroying their bed if provided with alternatives.
 
If your suspect frustration or boredom to be the cause, exercise and increased play should help to alleviate your dog’s impulse to chew and destroy.
 
Anxiety is another major reason why dogs will take to chewing their bedding when their owners are away. If your dog only chews destructively in your absence, separation anxiety is the likely cause. Counterconditioning is known to be effective is resolving such problems. By giving your dog a treat or favourite toy before leaving for a short time can help create positive associations with your absence, rather than the threats and fear they expect. Extending the period you are away and always ensuring your dog has something enjoyable to do in your absence, their anxiety and bed chewing should desist. 

 

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