Do you come home after a long day of work only to discover that your Chihuahua has chewed up everything in sight? This type of behavior can be discouraging to say the least, and it even forces many owners to give their Chihuahuas away. After all, no one wants to continue replacing rugs, carpet, clothes, furniture and other items that frequently get chewed up. If this sounds like a familiar situation, you should take note of what I'm about to tell you.
A lot of owners blame the chewing behavior on their Chihuahua's destructive personality. Sure, some Chihuahuas are naturally more energetic and curious than others, but you can't place the blame on them. The fact is that all Chihuahuas, regardless of their personality, can be taught not to chew on furniture and other belongings. It may not happen overnight, but with time, dedication and lots of treats, you can teach your Chihuahua the boundaries of what's acceptable and what's not when it comes to chewing.
Top Reasons Why Chihuahuas Chew On Things
The first step in preventing a Chihuahua from chewing on things they shouldn't is to understand what the driving force is behind this behavior. Contrary to what some people may believe, there's always a reason why a Chihuahua chooses to chew on things, but it's up to the owner to find out what it is.
Here are some of the most common reasons why Chihuahuas chew:
- Boredom - Probably the most common reason why Chihuahuas chew on things they shouldn't is simply because they are bored. Because of their small size, some owners neglect spending the necessary time playing and mentally stimulating their Chihuahua. As a result, the Chihuahua will try to fill this void by chewing on things to pass the time.
- Too much energy - Highly-energetic Chihuahuas are also more likely to chew than those with less energy. So how are you supposed to reduce your Chihuahua's energy level? The answer is simple - take them outside for exercise more often. When you're cooped up inside the house with nothing to do, put a leash or harness on your Chihuahua and take them for a walk around the neighborhood. Once you get back home, they will likely be too tired and exhausted to even thing about chewing.
- Separation anxiety - Does your Chihuahua whine and pitch a fit anytime you leave the house? This is known as separation anxiety, and it's one of the most common causes of chewing. Essentially, your Chihuahua is acting out in a fit (much like a small child) when you leave. They want to create a mess by chewing on things so you'll take notice of them.
- Nervousness - Yet another reason why Chihuahuas chew on furniture and other things they shouldn't is because they are nervous. If you introduce other pets or new people into the home, it may trigger a nervous outbreak where they chew on things to relieve their stress.
- Teething - When a young puppy begins to develop their teeth, they will experience an itching sensation that can only be soothed through chewing. Th
Give Your Chihuahua Something They CAN Chew On
If there's one piece of advice you take away and follow after reading this, it should be to give your Chihuahua something that's acceptable for them to chew on. You simply can't expect a Chihuahua to stop chewing on things they shouldn't unless you give them something they can chew on. This will allow them to safely satisfy the urge that's driving them to chew without destroying your home or your belongings in the process.
Here are some great chew items to consider purchasing for your Chihuahua:
- Rope toys
- Kong toys
- Rawhide chews
- Squeaky toys (Chihuahuas love these)
What To Do When Your Chihuahua Chews On Things They Shouldn't
No matter how hard you try to prevent it, chances are your Chihuahua will chew on things they shouldn't at one point or another. It's important to keep a cool head and not get angry or assertive when this happens, as doing so may send the wrong message to your Chihuahua. When you notice they've chewed on the furniture, rug or something else they shouldn't. Call their name in a stern manner so they know what they did was unacceptable. Most Chihuahuas are well aware of what they did and will try to run into a different room of the house to hide. Don't allow them to hide, but instead go and find them and bring them back over to the mess. Once they are in front of it, say "No" or "bad boy/girl" and immediately take them to their crate for a time out.
In addition to letting your Chihuahua know that chewing on furniture and other belongings is unacceptable, you should also encourage good behavior through rewards. If you allow your Chihuahua to roam the house free when you're gone, give them a treat when you come home to a non-destroyed house. You want your Chihuahua to know that you're appreciative of their good behavior, and treats are the perfect way to accomplish this. I recommend giving them crunchy milk bones, as these are healthy, low in fat, and they even help clean tartar off your Chihuahua's teeth as they chew them.
Other Tips To Prevent Your Chihuahua From Chewing
As long as you follow the advice previously mentioned, your Chihuahua should catch on and stop chewing on things they shouldn't. If you are still coming home to a destroyed home, though, try utilizing some of the following tips:
- Put your Chihuahua in a crate when you are unable to watch them. If they don't have access to other rooms where carpet, rugs, curtains and other items are, they won't be able to chew on them.
- Consider using fabrics that are more tough, rather than soft to discourage chewing. Polyester rugs are naturally a better choice than wool or cotton rugs.
- Immediately stop your Chihuahua when you see them chewing on things they shouldn't. Whether it's the rug, curtains or even your hands, you need to let them know that it's unacceptable and not tolerated inside your home.