Chewing is a natural behavior that is very comforting and fun for dogs. So how can we let them indulge in this behavior without losing our possessions?

The best tool to help prevent destructive chewing is to use a crate. A crate is an indoor kennel that comes in either mesh wire of hard plastic with plenty of ventilation. A crate should be used whenever you cannot supervise the dog. Dogs are den animals and by using a crate, you are creating a den for the animal. The dog feels safe and secure when in his crate. The crate will keep the dog safe when you're not around and will keep your home safe from destructive chewing.

You will want to give your dog appropriate chew toys, while both in and out of the crate. Nylon bones, sterilized bones, and Kongs work well. If your dog doesn't show any interest in his toys you can try smearing a little bit of peanut butter or cheese on it to get him started. Typically, once a dog gets started, he will get the point and enjoy chewing.

Inappropriate chew toys include things like old shoes and socks, stuffed animals not designed for dogs, and children's old toys.

Although supervision of a dog is crucial to preventing chewing, it may be helpful to use a product that you put on your furniture that tastes bad and deters chewing. Usually these are bitter apple or citrus, both of which animals find displeasing.

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