How To Stop Dogs Eating Furniture

It is quite common in the early ears for dogs to chew on furniture and eat anything that they find. Most of the time this is because they’re curious, they could be teething and they could be bored. It’s always a great idea to understand why dogs eat furniture and how we can help them to stop doing it.

Why Do Dogs Chew Furniture

Dogs chew furniture for various reasons, often linked to their natural behaviours and needs. Here are some common reasons:

  1. Teething: Puppies, in particular, go through a teething phase where chewing helps to relieve the discomfort of growing new teeth. During this time, they might chew on anything they can find, including furniture.
  2. Exploration: Dogs explore the world with their mouths. Chewing is a way for them to investigate their environment, especially when they are young and curious.
  3. Boredom: When dogs are left alone for long periods without sufficient stimulation or exercise, they may resort to chewing furniture as a way to entertain themselves.
  4. Anxiety and Stress: Dogs can experience separation anxiety or stress due to changes in their environment or routine. Chewing can be a self-soothing behaviour that helps them cope with anxiety.
  5. Attention-Seeking: Sometimes, dogs learn that chewing furniture gets them attention from their owners, even if it’s negative attention. This can reinforce the behaviour.
  6. Lack of Proper Chew Toys: If dogs don’t have appropriate items to chew on, they may turn to furniture as a substitute. Providing them with suitable chew toys can redirect their chewing behaviour.
  7. Nutritional Deficiencies: In some cases, dogs might chew on furniture if they are experiencing nutritional deficiencies, leading them to seek out non-food items.

Preventing Furniture Chewing

To prevent dogs from chewing on furniture, consider the following strategies:

  • Provide Chew Toys: Ensure your dog has a variety of appropriate chew toys to satisfy their chewing instincts.
  • Exercise and Mental Stimulation: Regular physical exercise and mental activities can reduce boredom and anxiety.
  • Training: Teach your dog commands like “leave it” or “no” to discourage inappropriate chewing.
  • Use Deterrents: Apply bitter-tasting sprays to furniture to make it less appealing to chew.
  • Create a Safe Space: When you’re not home, confine your dog to a safe area with chew toys to prevent access to furniture.
  • Address Anxiety: If anxiety is the root cause, consider working with a veterinarian or a dog behaviourist to address the underlying issues.

Understanding the underlying reasons for your dog’s chewing behaviour is key to addressing and preventing it effectively.

Dog, labrador puppy, is gnawing on sofa in the house due to the eruption of new teeth.

How To Stop Dogs Eating Furniture

Dogs chewing your furniture can be a huge nightmare, even more so if they’re determined to remove your banister on your stairs, we know how that feels! There are ways you can stop your dog eating your furniture though, take a look.

To prevent dogs from chewing on furniture, try these strategies:

  1. Provide Appropriate Chew Toys: Offer your dog a variety of chew toys, such as rubber toys, dental chews, or stuffed Kongs, to redirect their chewing behavior onto items that are safe and appropriate.
  2. Supervise and Correct: Keep a close eye on your dog when they are indoors and correct them with a firm “no” if you catch them chewing on furniture. Redirect their attention to a chew toy instead.
  3. Use Deterrents: Apply bitter-tasting sprays or deterrents specifically designed to discourage chewing on furniture. These products create an unpleasant taste when dogs try to chew on treated surfaces, discouraging them from repeating the behavior.
  4. Provide Mental and Physical Stimulation: Dogs may chew out of boredom or excess energy. Ensure your dog gets enough physical exercise and mental stimulation through regular walks, playtime, and training sessions to help prevent destructive chewing behaviour.
  5. Crate Training: Use a crate to confine your dog when you are unable to supervise them, especially during times when destructive chewing is more likely to occur, such as when you’re away from home or at night.
  6. Address Separation Anxiety: Destructive chewing can be a sign of separation anxiety in dogs. If your dog exhibits signs of distress when left alone, work on gradually desensitising them to being alone and seek guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviourist.
  7. Provide Proper Training: Teach your dog basic obedience commands such as “leave it” or “drop it” to control their behaviour and redirect them away from chewing on furniture.
  8. Make Furniture Inaccessible: Limit your dog’s access to furniture by using baby gates or barriers to block off areas where they are not allowed to go unsupervised. Alternatively, cover furniture with protective covers or use pet-friendly deterrents to make them less appealing to chew on.

Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key when training dogs to stop chewing on furniture. By providing appropriate outlets for chewing, addressing underlying issues, and setting clear boundaries, you can help prevent destructive chewing behavior and keep your furniture safe.