Dogs love to chew on things, plain and simple. Chewing and eating are different, though, and a dog ingesting twigs can sustain serious internal injuries. Stopping this behavior requires a simple combination of substitution and supervision.
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Tip #1 - Remove whatever access to twigs your dog has. If you let him run around the backyard by himself, for example, make sure that the yard is clear of twigs that he may pick up.
Tip #2 - Give your dog plenty of hard chew toys. Chewing on a hard toy or bone gives your pooch a jaw workout and cleans his teeth, and if you don't give him something to nibble on, he'll take whatever he can get -- including twigs. Make sure that he has toys outside as a substitution for twigs, but also inside, so that he is getting in plenty of chewing time and developing good habits.
Tip #3 - Walk and play with your dog every day. A bored dog with excess energy to burn may develop odd habits like munching on twigs, and one of the best ways to curb that habit is to exercise him. Make sure he's getting sufficient time walking and playing every single day, or else pent-up energy and boredom may drive him to chew on things he shouldn't be chewing on.
Tip #4 - Use old faithful -- the "no" command -- when he grabs a twig in your presence. If you keep your yard clear of twigs and give your dog alternative chew toys, the only time he should come across them is when you're walking him, and he's under your supervision. When he goes for a twig, give him the "no" command.
By Tom Ryan
About the Author
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.