Shoes and sofa cushions suffering an early death thanks to Fido? Many dogs chew on things when they're bored, lonely or suffering from separation anxiety -- all of which are a possibility when you're not home. Unless you're ready to quit your job to stay home with Fido all day, action is required.
Close the doors to any room full of precious objects. You don't want Fido's eager teeth to find your bookcase or get access to your bathroom stuff. This could be dangerous for your doggie -- the bathroom is probably full of very dangerous and poisonous products -- and also a recipe for disaster. Let Fido spend time in the kitchen, living room and other rooms you're able to pet-proof.
Move things higher. Anything you leave at ground level -- or eye level, on top of coffee tables or chairs -- can easily become fair game for Fido. Sure, your ultimate goal is to get him to stop eating your stuff, but until that happens, don't leave tempting items all around the place. And remember -- "tempting" to your dog could be anything from a potted plant to the remote control.
Give your dog a chew toy or bone right before you leave the house. With bones or rawhides, make sure you're giving him something big or strong enough to last a few hours. If it's gone in 5 minutes, he'll start looking for something else to chew.
Spray bitter apple or tabasco sauce on anything Fido tends to chew on regularly. This might not be the best option if you have to spray your couch or shoes, but furniture, electric cords and other items might work.
Make the separation less traumatic. Some dogs suffer a lot of stress and anxiety when their owners leave them home alone. This could be because they hate being alone or because they think the owners won't come back. One solution is to get a companion for your dog to make time alone less, well, lonely. You can also try leaving something with your scent -- a shoe, a flip flop -- in the room where he'll be. Just make sure it's something you don't mind getting chewed up, in case he gets that urge.
by Tammy Dray
About the Author
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.