Post # 1
So, we have had my dog for 6 years, she has NEVER chewed up anything. When we lived in the apartment (3+ years) we always crated her. For those 3 years, no issues. We kept her toys in the crate & she would just play with them or sleep, never chewed on herself.
So a year ago we move into our house and are excited about leaving her in the backyard to roam around. So, again, no problems with chewing she would just hang out.
Well for the past 6 months she started chewing things when we weren’t around: she chewed on the side of the house, chewed up our chaise lounge chairs. So around this time it was too cold to keep her outside, so back into the crate. She then begun to chew the bottom of the crate (a plastic bottom) so we had to take that out. We put toys in her crate, but started to notice when we came home after work she would be WET, and she started to chew out the hairs on her arms and her chest & stomach fur would be sopping wet with her saliva.
We thought it might be fleas, so dipped her, nothing changed. We took her to get groomed & they told us she doesn’t have fleas, no skin issues, they think she is just “bored.”
We bought some no chew spray that you can use directly on the dog’s fur – but she doesn’t care, she still chews.
I don’t know what to do?! If we keep her in the crate she chews on herself, if we keep her outside she chews on the house. The strange thing too, is that she NEVER chews on herself or anything when we are around or if we stay home from work.
So Bees, have any of you experienced this? Any advice?
Post # 3
I have a dog that does this, but it tends to be only certain times of the year. It’s tricky because you have to figure out why they’re doing it. They could have really dry skin right now with the change in seasons, or they could have allergies. Try not to wash her for a couple of weeks, in case it is dry skin. Also, put raw egg yolks on her food, not only will she LOVE it, but it really helps the coat. (so does chicken/turkey skin, but dogs can have allergies with those).
Best of luck!
EDIT: If she is chewing out of boredom, try wearing her out in the mornings before you leave – play with her until she’s too tired to play, and that will make her sleep more than be bored.
Post # 4
I could be wrong, but this doesn’t sound like boredom to me; have you talked to your vet?
Our older dog used to chew everything (including himself) but it was anxiety-related. He stopped with age and some confidence-building exercises. My sister’s dog is also a big chewer (he literally ate the siding off my parents’ house), but he has also gotten better with age. The strange thing to me about your post is that your dog has been fine for 6 years, and is only now starting this behavior. That’s why my intial reaction is that he’s not chewing out of boredom.
Post # 5
@Mrs. Spring: Thats what I am wondering too – she typically chews on things when we arn’t home, in the past she was fine w/ her toys, but since we moved it has been the house, chairs, and now herself.
I know dogs can act out when they move, so we chalked it up to that, but its been getting worse since then.
One thing I didn’t mention is the reason we crated her previously, at the apt is b/c she would throw fits when we left. She would take all the rugs int the apt and flip them upside down & pee inside w/in mins of us leaving. So we thought we found the solution when we crated her b/c she would just play w/ her toys, no other chewing, no accidents.
I do believe she has seperation anxiety, and has always had some level of this, but I really don’t want to put her on medication.
Post # 6
I’ve heard that Kong toys are great for nervous chewers, but I really can’t say from personal experience.
Post # 7
@AnnieAAA: Maybe talk to your vet AND a trainer. Our dog I mentioned above (Louie) has never been on anxiety meds, but we have done a lot of work with him to build his confidence and manage his anxiety. My understanding is that not all dogs need to be on medication; some respond really well to training, and you can manage their anxiety with just that. Also, our trainer recommended us getting Louie a companion, and for a long time we didn’t want another dog. We finally got our second dog (George) about 2.5 years ago, and Louie’s anxiety has gotten much better. Louie had a problem with us moving as well, but I think the additional training mixed with George’s companionship helped ease the transition for him.
Of course every dog is different, and what worked for Louie won’t necessarily work for your dog, just thought I’d share our story. It really doesn’t sound like your dog is boredom chewing to me, but you know, I’m just some random person on the internet, lol. 🙂
Post # 8
I’m not really sure because I’ve never experienced this but maybe she felt safe in her crate and now she’s outside alone?
Post # 9
They have some sprays that might help. Our last dog did this and we used a bitter apple spray. We later learned that he was allergic to grass so his paws were bothering him.
Post # 10
We had a chewer too! She chewed on EVERYTHING and it was definitely separation anxiety. Crating her helped for sure, and we just let her chew on safe things (like frozen knuckle bones, or hollow bones filled with peanut butter and treats) while we weren’t home to let her get it out. Once she realized that when we were gone she got a knuckle bone, she actually liked us being gone! We also make sure to really exercise our dog before we leave the house via the dog park, bike rides, runs.. whatever you can manage to get some energy out. Dogs are routine animals, and so to have the same schedule everyday, even when in the new environment, will help them adjust. Definitely I would talk to your vet though, just in case its something more serious too.
Post # 11
Bring her to the vet to rule out anything medical going on. If nothing medical, I would consider the amount of exercise she gets. How often is she exercised? This may be a lack of stimulation type thing. Also, if all medical causes are ruled out, and she is exercised regularly, I would consider trying an anti-anxiety med. Sometimes dogs need something to take the edge off when they get older, especially during a stressful time, like a move. Talk to your vet, they can tell you about the different meds available. 🙂
Post # 12
Is she exercised regularly?
My motto is a tired dog is a good dog. Maybe she has too much pent-up energy and needs to take it out somewhere.
Also, try a kong with peanut butter and kibble frozen on the inside – working for her food will challenge her mind if bored.
Post # 13
My advice would be to choose your dog breed more carefully (some need more stimulation to keep from starting behaviors like this). I would also recommend not owning a dog if you have to leave them all by themselves allllll dayyyyy longgg. It’s kind of cruel. You could have a dog sitter come over and play with them, or live closer to work where you could check in on them. If those aren’t options, i’d say – don’t own a dog.
Post # 14
@FMM: that is a good idea about the food inside the toy, I know she will love that.
@crayfish: She is a golden, and I havn’t heard of them being more prone to anxiety, but I could be wrong. My husband goes home for lunch everyday & she is all wet at that time & when I get home too 🙁
She isn’t getting as much exercise as she was before – so we will step that up, I’m surprised I didn’t even think about it, but her exercise amount has decreased in the last 6 months for sure!
@breezybri19: thats a really good idea too – we know her favorite toys are the non-rubber toys, she loves soft toys that she can shred, but the problem became that she would shred them in like a day, and the next day turn back on herself. But, if it were food related, like bones, I know she would be more then happy to chew on that while we are gone.
Post # 15
A tired dog = a happy dog.
Post # 16
I also would definitely discuss this at a vet visit!! Otherwise a Kong with frozen dog food will keep them entertained for awhile. There also is a plug-in diffuser and a spray called DAP that helps to calm nervous dogs through phermones.
We her age and breed I would wonder about an allergy- perhaps something at the new house? You really need to discuss this with her vet.