Why do dogs chew shoes? Allow us to misquote, and expand upon, the famous mountain climber George Mallory’s statement: Because they are there, and because they carry their person’s scent.
There are actually several other reasons if you think about it.
The shape is extremely well fitted to a dog’s mouth, as well. If you Google this, as we did, you will find many opinions… all quite valid. Dogs are alone, bored and anxious… chewing satisfies a need and thus calms the dog.
Suggested replacements are rawhide or rope chews, any number of alternatives to the shoe. If available, however, the shoe is the choice of dogs everywhere so put your shoes away. Think of your puppy’s penchant for your new pair of Adidas running shoes as a hint to avoid clutter by putting things where they belong (let’s be honest, we all know this but occasionally forget).
Whatever you believe to be the reason, lessen the stress and make life more enjoyable for both you and your fur baby or babies. Celebrations and extreme noise exacerbate stress and anxiety; so minimize your dog’s exposure to these aggravations. If your dog’s alone for extended periods on a regular basis, find something to entertain and invigorate him.
Take your friend for a good, long walk prior to leaving him alone. Leave curtains open so that outside entertainment is provided, unless this is a stress point for your dog. Find a neighbor or someone who would like to walk once during the day and work out a partnership. Walking is good for humans and dogs alike. Following these walks, hopefully your dog does a little three-circle salute and lies down to take a snooze. Have rawhide chews available, or perhaps a nice bone from the butcher shop. Leave items to chew that are safe and avoid problems.
Crating is an option as well, but should never be used as a punishment for unwanted chewing. Crating is meant to keep the dog safe and feeling secure, and it requires training.
Much as with a tending a child, remember you are the adult and must set safe options. Like teething children, puppies like to chew on things, too. It’s a way of working off stress in humans and canines alike. Occasionally, we see a dog get a shoe and bite down, growl, and throw his head from side to side as if ripping something. If your precious one does this, decrease the rough play. Or, at the very least, no rough play immediately prior to leaving the house without the dog.
A truly wonderful solution, but not always practical, is to have a dog sitter come in while you are gone. Dogs tend to get more stressed or anxious when left alone, and although you are immediately forgiven, the stress does not immediately dissipate.
In conclusion, dogs chew to alleviate stress or even aggression as well as for pleasure.
Take your love for long walks, talk with him or her, and have acceptable items to chew available. Do not buy chew toys that look like shoes… cute but misleading and detrimental to your overall goal.
No one is happy when you have to reprimand your fur baby. No one!
Craig Davis, CEO and Chief Happiness Officer at www.vet-organics.com
Craig is the founder of Vet Organics, where he and his team share additional pet-related articles on the company’s blog. Vet Organics is an eCommerce provider of EcoEars and an array of premium natural products dedicated to the health and wellness of pets.