• My dog goes through phases where he eats uneatable things, like DVDs, books, and shoes. At first, I thought it was his age and he'd grow out of it, but now, at a year-and-a-half old, it seems more like a pattern. Hard treats, like bully sticks, curb his instinct to chew, but I just can't figure out how to help in the long term. Any suggestions?

    Destructive behavior can be caused by a few different things. In puppies and young dogs this can be from a curiosity about the environment and not knowing what objects are okay to chew. Trying to redirect his chewing behavior with treats and toys like you are doing with the bully sticks can help with this.

    In most cases, as they learn about what is appropriate to chew this behavior goes away. The age that this occurs can vary between individual pets. In some cases the destructive behavior can be secondary to a condition like separation anxiety. In these cases, it may take a behavior modification plan or even medications to treat the behavior.

    If the behavior continues or does not improve with redirecting the behavior to toys or treats, I recommend that you take him to see your veterinarian. They can get a thorough history of the issue and let you know if it is secondary to separation anxiety or another issue. They can also recommend a treatment plan that is specific to your pet and his environment. Good luck!


Need more information or advice?

Contact your nearest Banfield Pet Hospital to schedule an appointment today.



Ask a Vet Archive

When it comes to your pet's health, there's no such thing as a dumb question. Search questions real clients have submitted to our popular Ask a Vet Q&A series, and then submit a question of your own.