Dogs and shoes - the timeless duo. As long as people have had a dog best friend, they’ve also had torn-up shoes. But what is so alluring about shoes for your dog? Why do dogs seem to destroy shoes time and time again? Well, the answer is actually quite straightforward. In this post, we’ll explore the reasons why dogs chew up shoes and how to best prevent them from destroying your favorite pair.
Why Do They Do It?
As mentioned above, the answer is very predictable. Dogs chew up shoes because shoes are almost always readily available to them. Generally, people take off their shoes by the door and leave them on or close to the ground, i.e. perfectly within their dogs’ reach. Furthermore, most shoes are relatively soft or made of materials like leather which are perfect for a dog to gnaw on. Chewing is a natural tendency for dogs that stems from their instincts prior to domestication. Dogs may chew to relax, get out a burst of energy, or just for fun. Though it may be irritating when they take it out on your shoes, chewing is healthy and relaxing for most dogs. Therefore, the solution is not to reprimand your dog and get them to stop chewing but instead to have them chew on the right things.
How to Reduce Shoe Chewing
Though it can be very frustrating to find one of your favorite shoes torn to shreds, try not to take it out on your dog. As discussed above, chewing is a natural instinct for dogs. If they can get ahold of your shoe to chew it, they probably will. So, the best way to save your shoes is to prevent your dog from having the opportunity to chew them in the first place.
First, remove all shoes from your dog’s reach. This means removing shoes from the floor and low shelves. It is a good idea to create a permanent, higher structure to store all of your shoes. Even better, invest in a drawer or chest - something that is not open. If your shoes are stored in a high, closed-off place rather than on the floor right in front of your dog, you have already made it significantly less likely that your dog will be able to chew them. It can be difficult to establish a routine, especially if you are used to taking your shoes off and leaving them by the door, but making sure to place your shoes in a place inaccessible to your dog every time you take them off is the best method of prevention.
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If you’d like to decrease your dog’s overall urge to chew so they don’t move from your shoes to your couch, try investing in more chew toys! There are plenty of toys designed to fulfill all of your dog’s chewing needs. Getting fun chew toys for your dog will both allow them to happily chew away and allow you some relief knowing your shoes are safe.