We’ve all seen the internet photos of houses covered in white fluff with a patient pup sitting nearby with a guilty look in their eyes. Some of us have even experienced this dog-bed-snowstorm first hand.
Destructive chewing by your beloved pet can be one of the most tiring and frustrating things for pet owners, both new and seasoned. And while your house may seem like a revolving door of dog beds, don’t lose hope.
This article covers many of the reasons behind why your dog is chewing their bed, along with a bunch of great ideas and simple solutions that can be your first step to a chew-free bed.
Why Do Dogs Chew At All?
So, why do dogs even chew beds in the first place? Short answer: So many reasons. Chewing is normal for dogs. It can happen because your dog is teething because they’re anxious or even just bored. What’s important is having the correct tools and gear to set your pup up for success.
It is normal for canines to chew as they explore the new world they live in. It's also a natural way, especially for older dogs, to keep their jaws strong and teeth clean.
For younger dogs, it can help relieve the pain they feel when their adult teeth start to come in, just like how human babies chew when their teeth are growing in. Chewing also combats boredom and can relieve mild anxiety and frustration.
Another interesting phenomenon exhibited by many dogs is fabric sucking, also called suckling. This is a compulsive behavior that can be traced to puppies being weaned too early from their mothers. As many dog beds are made of cloth, this can result in bedtime destruction.
Some dogs chew when they’re hungry. Others simply chew for fun, stimulation, and to reduce anxiety. Sometimes it's even a result of lack of exercise.
Whatever the reason is, the object of this chewing by your pup is all too often the carefully chosen bed you’ve provided for them.
Keep reading for some ways to keep your pup happy and their bed intact.
Ways To Stop Dogs From Chewing Their Beds
Just like us, puppies lose their baby teeth and experience pain when new teeth grow in. This causes dogs to chew anything and everything to ease this pain. Although this usually ends by the time your dog reaches the six-month mark, it can yield a chewed-up bed nonetheless.
Here are two easy solutions to help your pup through this teething period:
- Provide frozen treats. One thing that will help your dog with teeth pain and keep them from turning to their bed as the newest chew toy is frozen treats. Whether this is something as simple as an ice cube or a rope toy you can wet and freeze, it helps numb the pain that comes when puppies begin teething.
Provide edible chews. Another helpful tip is to give your dog something edible to chew on, like a bully stick. This will incentivize your dog to turn toward something that tastes good and is entertaining for them while they chew, deterring them from gnawing on their new bed.
Chewing is normal but sometimes can be directed toward inappropriate items such as shoes, furniture, or their own beds. When dogs are left alone for too long, are very hyper, or don’t get enough exercise, they become bored and look for stimulation in chewing.
It is important to teach your dog what to chew and what not to chew. When they chew on something like their own bed, direct their attention immediately to a toy that they are allowed to chew on instead.
Provide Chewable Toys
Make sure that your dog has plenty of toys and bones to hold their attention. For dogs that need extra supervision and stimulation, try providing varied types of toys, rotating them out every few days, so they stay interested.
It can also be helpful to identify the times of day when your dog is especially likely to chew and provide them with a puzzle toy filled with something delicious to keep them occupied.
Give Your Dog Plenty of Exercise
Make sure your pup is getting the exercise they need to avoid boredom as much as possible. Especially if you crate your dog for brief sections during the day, they will need extra outdoor time.
Supervise Your Dog
Watch your dog and use verbal communication. Give a verbal command when your dog chews something they aren't supposed to and immediately replace it with something they can. Diligence will be your best friend here. Well—aside from your pup.
Upgrade Your Gear
If none of the above proves successful, at least equip your dog’s sleeping arrangements with the best line of defense between their teeth and the layers of stuffing within. Many dog beds are too thin, so try an option like this Forever Pet Bed from CordaRoy’s. A bed like this is made from durable materials, has a washable, removable cover, and a lifetime guarantee. Yes, lifetime.
Anxiety-induced chewing can be aggressive and harmful to your pup. Especially when involving a cloth bed full of stuffing, pieces can become lodged in a dog’s digestive tract, leading to serious health issues. Does your dog display symptoms of anxiety?
Oftentimes, anxiety chewers are the hardest to stop. Because of this, it is important to arm yourself with the best products that will withstand your dog's teeth while you work with them to eliminate anxiety-inducing triggers and train them to find other outlets.
Identify and Eliminate Stressors
It’s important to identify the things that set off your dog. Although many triggers may be beyond your control, if there is a particular noise, person, or dog that makes your pup nervous, establish boundaries for your dog to make them feel more secure.
Whether this means physically separating your dog from the people and dogs that cause them stress or prohibiting loud music in the home at bedtime, your pup (and their bed) will thank you.
Stay Calm and Quiet
If your dog experiences noise-related anxiety, such as thunder or loud music, try moving their bed to a quieter location in your house. Often, when these stressors occur during a dog’s sleep, they are prompted to chew their own beds. Additionally, remind family members and housemates to remain calm during the noise rather than add to the commotion.
Synthetic Pheromone Products
These are a great option and can come in the form of a collar, diffuser, or spray. Essentially, it mimics the pheromone released by the mother for her puppies and can be extremely calming for dogs. CBD treats and oil can also be an option for managing your dog’s anxiety.
Find the Best Bed
This. This is the one. A bed that can withstand your anxious dog’s chewing is the key. Try to find a pet bed option with a lifetime guarantee and a durable inner liner so that, while you never give up on your dog, their bed won’t either.
Once you have a quality pet bed, you’ll want it to last. Buying a pet bed with a removable cover can be an absolute game-changer. If your dog chews on this cover or even does that weird bed digging thing our four-legged friends do, you can swap out the cover, toss it in the wash, and keep their bed looking oh so comfy.
Leave the Radio On
If you are someone who has to be out for long stretches of the day, try leaving the television or radio on so that your pup doesn’t feel so alone. This can help with separation anxiety and bed chewing.
What Not To Do
It is extremely important to be patient with your dog while they learn to avoid destructive behaviors. Remember not to take it personally, and that even problem chewers never do so out of spite.
Do not punish your dog for chewing their bed. Just interrupt them, redirect, and praise them for chewing the sanctioned toy.
Never hit or use physical reinforcements or punishment with your dog. This will only create an environment full of fear and anxiety for your dog, which may even further contribute to chewing. Your dog will not be able to create the connection between hitting or yelling and chewing, so avoid these harmful behaviors at all costs.
Ideas To Chew On
Although it may at times seem like your dog will never stop chewing, don’t lose faith. Set your dog up for success by keeping off-limit items out of reach and filling your spaces with dog-friendly chews. Try to rule out problems that can cause destructive chewing first, and then learn with your dog about how to combat the issue.
Chewing is a tough part of having a dog, but we wouldn’t change our furry friends for the world. This is why we’ve given you a comprehensive list of steps to take to stop your dog from chewing their bed. Equip yourself with the best pet bed, teach your dog good chewing habits, and help them eliminate the factors they cannot control. You’ve got this!