Dogs often exhibit behaviors that dog owners consider odd and bizarre; carpet eating is one of those behaviors. It’s not practical to replace the carpet every time your dog nibbles on it, nor is it a good option to replace the dog. There are however, some simple solutions that will help discourage your dog from snacking on your shag. Read the steps below for these simple solutions.
Step 1: Provide alternative chewing options. Your dog might feel the need to chew; therefore he needs to have a variety of options to “chews” from. Visit your local pet store and purchase several toys that you can trade out every few days so that your dog will not become bored with the chew toys. Purchase toys that encourage him to work at getting a treat, such as the cones that can be filled with peanut butter or some other treat.
Step 2: Stimulate him with exercise. Your dog might be bored and have plenty of energy to spare. If he is left home alone all day, it might be a good idea to exercise him in the morning before you head off to work. If you’re able to get a brisk run or walk in first thing in the morning, your dog will be less likely to look for mischievous ways to burn off his energy.
Step 3: Practice leaving him for periods of time. It’s possible that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, especially if you notice this behavior only occurs when he has been left alone. If this is the case, practice leaving him for short periods of time. If you return home and he has not eaten the carpet, reward him with affection, praise or treats. You can also leave a t-shirt that bears your scent; this might be of great comfort to a dog who is suffering from separation anxiety.
Step 4: Purchase a safe deterrent. Many dog owners have been successful in discouraging their dog from eating carpet (and other items) by spraying Bitter Apple on the area where the dog tends to chew. Bitter Apple can be found at most retail pet stores or online at petsmart.com. It’s safe, inexpensive and deters the dog with its sour taste.
Step 5: Catch him in the act. If you are able to catch your dog in the act of eating the carpet, you can scold him with a firm, “No!” Do not hit or kick your dog under any circumstance. Also, if you are able to catch him in the act, you can provide him with an alternative, appropriate chew toy. If you do not catch him in the act, do not waste your time and energy scolding your dog, as he will not know why you are doing so.
Step 6: Make the area unavailable to him. If the above steps are not working for you, you might have to consider crating your dog or putting up a gate to keep him from carpeted areas. While this is not the ideal solution, it will save your carpet until you’re able to train the dog from continuing this behavior.
Step 7: Don’t be afraid to visit the vet. If you feel that the carpet chewing could be a sign of a health issue, or it persists regardless of your efforts, it might be a good idea to visit the vet and check for any deficiencies or other health concerns.
This article was written by Collin Walker for pet-super-store a site carrying dog beds, pet fences and dog stairs.
With consistency and time, one of the above steps should discourage your dog from eating and/or chewing on your carpet. Be patient and don’t replace your chewed carpet until you’re sure the behavior has ended. If all else fails and the vet gives your dog the thumbs up, you might want to consider replacing your carpet with hardwood floors!