Dog’s like chewing on things – and that’s normal. But sometimes this behavior can be extreme and even detrimental to their health (and your stuff!). For this reason, it’s important to be able to recognize normal, healthy chewing versus unhealthy, destructive chewing.
In this article we’ll discuss why dogs chew, and how to tell normal chewing from excessive chewing. We will also cover what problems can lead to destructive chewing, and ways to alleviate the cause.
Sometimes it is necessary to step in and use anti-chew sprays as a training tool to help keep your pup from causing destruction, so we will go over our top three picks for best dog anti-chew sprays as well.
See our best dog chew spray quick guide below, or read below for more detailed reviews!
- Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray –> see on Amazon
- Chewfix Extra Strength Bitter Spray –> see on Amazon
- Bodhi Dog Bitter Lemon Spray –> see on Amazon
Why Do Dogs Chew?
Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs.
Just like their wild counterparts, domestic dogs enjoy chewing on bones, sticks, antlers, and really anything! This keeps their jaws strong and teeth clean, and is also just a fun activity they enjoy doing that can even relieve stress or anxiety.
It’s a good rule of thumb to always have a variety of tough canine toys and doggie dental chews around for your pooch to chomp on!
Sometimes, however, this chewing can be excessive. Your pup can cause destruction to your home, and even harm himself if this behavior gets out of control.
By figuring out why your dog is chewing, you can often fix the problem in a gentle, humane way!
How to Stop Destructive Chewing
There’s no denying that destructive chewing is no fun! Here are some things you can do to put a stop to your pup’s chomp chomping.
- PUPPY/DOG-PROOFING: If your dog is notorious for chewing up your things, one of the easiest solutions is to remove the temptation and put items you don’t want to become chew toys in closets or out of your dog’s reach. You may also consider getting a playpen for your dog to have a restricted area where he can stretch his legs without getting into any mischief!
- PROVIDING CHEW TOYS: It’s good for your dog to know what toys he’s allowed to chew on and which are off-limits. Providing adequate chew toys will keep your dog from looking for fun things to gnaw on in the wrong places!
- EXERCISE: If your dog has excess energy, his search for entertainment may take him right to your closet full of shoes. Giving your puppy different ways to get all of his energy out will help keep him out of trouble!
- ATTENTION: Giving your pooch enough attention and mental stimulation will keep him from acting out and chewing on things he’s not supposed to chew on. Challenging puzzle toys or frozen dog chews can be good methods for keeping your pooch mentally engaged when he needs to be left on his own. Some dogs also chew excessively when they suffer from separation anxiety, in which case you’ll want to contact your veterinarian to figure out how to best help him!
- ANTI-CHEW SPRAYS: Bad-tasting sprays can work as a training tool to help you deter your pooch from chewing on inappropriate items in your house. They can also be used to keep your dog from licking or gnawing on himself if he has an itchy skin condition.
Experiences with anti-chew sprays vary a lot, as some dogs are adequately deterred while others seem to even enjoy the bitter taste. In this next section we will go over several different sprays to help you find one that works for you.
3 Best Anti-Chew Sprays to Stop Your Pup’s Chomping!
1. Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray
Grannick’s Bitter Apple comes in a 16 ounce bottle and is made from water, isopropanol 20%, bitter principles, and extracts.
- Discourages fur biting
- Eliminates hots spots to stop pets from licking, gnawing, and chewing fur, wounds, and bandages
- Non-toxic and safe
- Simply spray problem areas to discourage chewing
PROS: Most owners report this spray working well as a deterrent for their pets chewing on household items, including plants.
CONS: Some users report the spray only working when freshly applied and wish it would last longer, while others find their pets not being deterred at all by the spray.
2. Chewfix Extra Strength Bitter Spray
Chewfix Extra Strength Bitter Spray is a professional grade bitters formula made with no alcohol.
This spray can be used around the home and also on your pet to deter him from licking or chewing sores, hot spots, and bandages.
The no-sting formula can be sprayed over topical medication and can be an excellent, gentle way to keep your pet from licking post-surgical wounds.
Made in the U.S.A., this anti-chew spray comes in an 8 ounce or 32 ounce bottle, and includes a 100 percent money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
- OUR UNIQUE, PROFESSIONAL GRADE NO-STING BITTERS FORMULA will help deter and redirect your favorite...
- MADE IN A PROFESSIONAL FACILITY IN THE USA Barker & Pooch's Chewfix is proudly made in the USA.
- CHEWFIX CONTAINS ONE OF THE MOST BITTER SUBSTANCES EVER DISCOVERED The extremely bitter taste acts...
- 100% EMPTY BOTTLE 365 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE We want you running to tell your friends how great...
PROS: Most users were pleased with this spray as a chew deterrent for their pets.
CONS: Some owners report their pets being undeterred or even liking the taste of the spray.
3. Bodhi Dog Bitter Lemon Spray
Bodhi Dog Bitter Lemon Spray is veterinarian and trainer recommended as a training aid to humanely deter chewing.
This spray is 100% non-toxic and is made from a blend of natural bitters and lemon extracts. A plant-based spray inspired by nature, this product is perfect for pets with allergies or other sensitivities.
This anti-chew spray comes in a 17 ounce bottle and is safe to use on the interior and exterior of the home, including rugs, furniture, clothes, and even plants.
Made by a small, family-owned business in the U.S.A., Bodhi Dog Bitter Lemon Spray is created with locally sourced, sustainable ingredients and packaged with eco-friendly, biodegradable, recycled materials.
This anti-chew spray is animal cruelty-free product with a 100% satisfaction money back guarantee.
- DETERS CHEWING HUMANELY as seen in The Oprah Magazine December 2018!: Train your furry friend to...
- 100% NON-TOXIC AND SAFE: Our natural anti-chew pet spray won’t hurt your pet or the things its...
- SAFE AND EFFECTIVE: Our natural anti-chew pet spray won’t hurt your pet or the things its sprayed...
- SAFE TO USE ON THE INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR OF YOUR HOME: Our safe anti-chew remedy can be used on...
PROS: Most users see results with this spray without any negative impacts on the plants and other surfaces that are sprayed.
CONS: Some owners report that their pets seem to be unfazed by the spray.
Chewing can be annoying, but remember – there are many things you can do to help redirect your dog’s chewing or humanely train him to leave certain items alone!
Using an anti-chew spray is a helpful training tool to use along with other methods such as having chew-toys available, plenty of exercise, and minimizing temptations!
Have you used an anti-chew spray before? Share your stories and thoughts in the comments section below!
February 24, 2018
Is chewing a destructive behavior? Here’s the simplest answer: Only if he’s chewing on the wrong thing. So give your dog something that’s okay to chew.
Puppy chewing is an important part of the teething process. As adults, dogs often chew for fun, or to relieve boredom. Chewing or tearing things up (like paper) can also be a displacement behavior, a way to release pent-up energy or stress.
Best way to keep your dog off chewing on the furniture and other things is to give him interactive, engaging and durable toy it can play with and chew on it!
This genius little Bob-a-Lot is weighted on the bottom, so it wobbles all around like those inflatable “bop bags” we had as kids. It comes in a few different sizes. The yellow part at the top screws off, allowing you to put kibble inside, or any kind of small and fairly hard treats. If you feed your dog kibble, you can put his entire meal in this thing. It makes mealtime last ten times as long, which is a good thing for reasons both behavioral and healthful.
My dog Amos eats about four of his meals from it each week. A tiny sliding door over the outside hole and a movable flap covering the internal one makes it possible to basically set it to different levels.
The Bob-A-Lot Dog Toy is a great way to stimulate your dog mentally and physically. I prefer the Bob-A-Lot over the Kong Wobbler because you can adjust the level of difficulty with the Bob-A-Lot. This toy will teach your dog to work for her food, be patient and also to be a bit clever. You always want to stimulate your puppy and tire them out mentally and physically. A tired puppy tend to be less destructive. Tired puppy = good puppy.
February 24, 2018
Hey Maggie – we totally agree! That’s why we have several guides detailing the best chew toys to keep dogs occupied and chewing on the right stuff. Of course, you might still want to deter your pooch from eating up your furniture while you’re at it. Glad you’ve had good luck with the Bob-A-Lot. It’s a good one for sure! We detail several other dog puzzle toys here!
October 27, 2017
Tried Natures Mirical NO-CHEW to stop 16 wk GSD pup from chewing; Didn’t work, GSD pup licked it and seemed to like it ??? = NEXT???
November 20, 2017
Hey Jack – maybe try some of the tips outlined in our article about getting your pup to take their medicine?
August 14, 2017
I tried the Grannick’s bitter apple and.my Airedale loved it! Now I have a 3 yr old Airedale rescue and I’m not sure of his history, so I’ll try the Bodhi bitter lemon! Wish me luck, he has plenty of chew toys, bones, etc!
August 14, 2017
Haha oh no Barb! Good luck, keep us updated on the progress;)