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Pet Training & Behavior Topics

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Welcome to Diana Guerrero's Ark Animals Training & Therapy. This section is dedicated to pets, companion animals, and topics related to their care and training. This article discusses pet destructive chewing. You should always seek professional help for pet problems.

Pet Behavior Problems: Destructive Chewing

Chewing is a problem that most pet owners face at one time or another. Many people assume that it is a normal behavior problem that will correct itself and that has to be lived with; this is an incorrect assumption!

Chewing is destructive and can result in injury to your animal or severe damage to your household, yard, vehicle, and a variety of other items. The good news is that chewing behavior can be redirected, or eliminated, with a few simple steps and through persistent and consistent efforts.

Most behavior problems like this can be addressed immediately and save you heartache and stress--not to mention money spent on repairs, replacement of items, or veterinary bills. The risk to your animal from chewing, can also include electrocution, ingestion of foreign objects, and injury to the mouth or intestinal tract. Every animal has a different motivation for engaging in this type of behavior and it is one of the top reasons that people will get rid of an animal.

If you have multiple animals that are chewing, or are considering getting a companion animal for one that is chewing already--STOP and get help! Animals that engage in destructive chewing behavior can teach others to engage in the same type of behavior and you might end up with"double trouble!"

There are different reasons an animal will chew. Chewing is a symptom of another underlying cause. Once you identify the cause you can identify the best solution. Let's take a closer look at why animals chew:

  • Teething: trying to relieve the gums
  • Established habit: developed over time and usually triggered by teething or other reasons
  • Boredom: the animal finds this a suitable occupation
  • Anxiety: a stress releaser
  • Curiosity or exploration: young animals explore with their mouths
  • Generalization or training by accident: inappropriate guidance or learning, sometimes generalized from the wrong toys
  • Breed predisposition: animals that are more mouthy
  • Nutritional or dietary deficiency: ingestion or chewing of odd items, sometimes known as pica
  • Mimicry: learned from others

If you are already experiencing a chewing problem--GET HELP RIGHT AWAY! If you are just obtaining a new pet, or a young animal, make sure you understand the procedures on how to prevent and redirect improper behavior.

If you are experiencing this behavior problem help is just a phone call away! Hire Animal Expert

About the columnist: Since 1978 Diana L. Guerrero has worked professionally with both wild and domestic animals. Guerrero has been affiliated with, and certified by, a variety of animal programs in the USA and Europe. Based in California, she writes, consults, and speaks. Information on her animal career programs, training courses, and her books {What Animals Can Teach Us about Spirituality (SkyLight Paths, 2003), Blessing of the Animals (Sterling, 2007), Help! My Pet is Driving Me Crazy (Guerrero Ink, 2007), Animal Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners & Pet Professionals (Guerrero Ink, 2007)} can be found in this web site and in the shop. Questions for Guerrero should be submitted via the blog comments or membership forum.


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