After a long journey with my puppy, filled with torn wires, punishments, treats, and online tips, I can finally say I got him to stop chewing on cables!
The process was a bit long, but I can summarize it in a few steps:
- Hide electric cables
- Housetrain your dog
- Replace the cords with a chewable toy
- Use dog deterrents
- Use aluminum foil
But it doesn’t stop here. First, you need to understand why your pup chews on wires and what could go wrong if he keeps doing it. I’ll tell you how to train a puppy not to chew on wires and everything else you need to know.
How to Train a Puppy Not to Chew on Wires
Puppies are easier to train than senior dogs because they haven’t seen everything in life yet. They’re like pieces of clay you can mold into any shape. If you teach a puppy not to chew on wires, there’s a high chance he won’t ever do it again, even when he grows up.
Here’s a roundup of the necessary steps to prevent your puppy from chewing on wires.
Step 1: Hide All Electric Cables
All dogs have chewing instincts like some humans have an instinct for chewing their nails. Meaning, your dog’s nature will urge him to chew anything that appeals to him, electric wires included.
Typically, this instinct is triggered when your puppy sees an electric wire. If he doesn’t see it, he won’t think of chewing on it.
So, the best thing to do here is to hide all electric cables and keep them out of the pup’s reach.
The good news is, you don’t need to get a professional electrician to hide the cables. You can keep them hidden behind furniture or cabinets. Alternatively, you can run them around doorways, so even if the puppy sees them, he won’t be able to pull them out.
Some people also clip their cables on the wall. I know that’s not hiding them, but at least they won’t be dangling in front of your pup all day long. They’ll be safe from the pup’s teeth.
If you have so many cables that you can’t hide them all, you can resort to cable management boxes instead. These boxes will allow you to store all your electrical cords and keep them hidden away from both puppies and kids. You can also use them to store adapters, chargers, and similar accessories.
Step 2: Housetrain Your Puppy
Housetraining your puppy is basically establishing a routine for everything. So, your puppy eats at specific times, knows where to pee, and has a daily routine for going outside. You’d think that these don’t have to do with chewing wires, but a disciplined puppy will respond to warnings better than an untrained one.
You’ll find that house-trained puppies tend to chew less than untrained ones because they know it’s wrong. That doesn’t only go for electric wires, but for everything else as well, including shoes, slippers, and your bags.
[Related Article: Is It Too Late To Train My Dog After 2 Years Old]
Step 3: Give Your Pup Something to Chew On
Like I said earlier, dogs have a chewing instinct. They can’t control it, and it gets worse when they’re stressed or anxious. As a matter of fact, when the dog has something to chew on constantly, it eliminates the risk of separation anxiety and other stress-related conditions.
It’s a way of anger management. Like humans sometimes resort to painting and other activities to let off some steam, dogs go for chewing.
When you provide a simulation for your dog, he’ll stop chewing the electric cords and instead chew on the toy you gave him.
Luckily for you, providing something for the dog to chew is pretty easy. The market is full of chewing toys of every shape. This way, you can get your dog his favorite food as a chewing toy.
Some toys even have additional features that could be fun for the pup. For example, some chewing toys are actually food dispensers, and others are meant for teeth brushing.
Step 4: Use Dog Deterrents
Some people can’t hide the cables due to how their apartments are designed. If you have a cable running across the living room, it can be challenging to find a hiding place for it.
Instead of hiding it, you can spray a deterrent on it. This way, if the puppy tastes it once, it’ll become associated with the bad taste, and he’ll likely not chew on it again.
Any bitter spray will work, and spicy ones will work as well, but they may be harmful to puppies.
You can opt for sprays with scents that dogs hate, but their efficiency will depend on your dog’s preferences. Some scents repulse most dogs, but your puppy may enjoy the scent. You never know, so it’s better to resort to taste deterrents.
Just make sure the product you’re buying is made of pet-safe components. Of course, insecticides are out of the question because they’re all toxic for dogs.
Step 5: Add Exercising to Your Pup’s Routing
Some dogs chew on electrical cables and random items because they have pent-up energy. When they don’t have something to let some steam off, they’ll likely resort to running around without a purpose or chewing on anything they find in their way.
To keep your dog off these bad habits, you can indulge him in some exercises regularly. For example, you can let him accompany you when you go cycling. Some dogs love doing that, but make sure to go in a dedicated bike path to prevent the dangers of the road.
If you use roller skates or skateboards, you can also let your dog join your daily ride. Alternatively, you may keep it simple by playing fetch with your dog in the backyard daily. That’ll help if you don’t go out often—anything that’ll keep the dog moving.
[Related Article: How To Exercise A Lazy Dog – 6 Tips That Work]
Step 6: Use Aluminum Foil
No one would like to get a taste of aluminum foil in their mouth, and dogs are the same. One smart solution to the chewing problem is wrapping the electric cables in aluminum foil and keeping them unplugged.
When the dog sees them and attempts to chew, he’ll get a slight shock and an unpleasant feel from the foil, but he won’t be harmed. As a result, the dog will associate all cords with the unpleasant feeling, and he’ll likely not attempt to chew on them again even if it doesn’t have aluminum foil around it.
It’s worth noting, though, that this may not work for all dogs. Some breeds are intelligent enough to realize cables don’t have aluminum foil around them.
Why Do Dogs Chew on Wires?
Well, dogs don’t just chew on wires. They chew on anything they can find in their way. The list goes long, but it includes slippers, furniture, toys, and even indoor plants if you have any. It’s a part of their nature, and some situations may add to it.
For example, if your dog isn’t trained, there’s a higher chance he’ll chew on random items around your house. On top of that, some dogs with health conditions chew more than their counterparts.
The health conditions may be psychological, such as anxiety, stress, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Some dogs also chew on wires because they look appealing—at least from their points of view. They see them like they see chew sticks or bones, for example.
All in all, dogs have their reasons for chewing on wires. What’s important is to solve the problem because chewing could lead to dangerous situations.
What Are the Dangers of Chewing on Wires?
Needless to say, anything that has to do with electricity is dangerous, whether the culprit is a human or a pet. Chewing on an electrical cable that’s plugged in can put the dog at risk of getting shocked.
What’s even worse is, the dog’s owner may not notice if the dog doesn’t react. Common symptoms of electric shocks include burns around the mouth area and muscle tremors. Some dogs also encounter shortness of breath and elevated heart rates. If the shock was too hard, the dog might develop some serious symptoms like seizures.
If you suspect your dog has been shocked, don’t try to touch him. You may get electrocuted, too, even if it has a minor effect. The best approach then is to use any wood stick or item to move your dog away from the cord.
Aside from the injuries the dog may suffer, the house may be at risk as well. Some electrical cables result in house fires. If the fire erupts next to a curtain or a flammable material, the consequences could be disastrous.
Even if it doesn’t get to that, the wires will get exposed at the very least. And walking around the house with exposed wires isn’t exactly safe.
Dealing with puppies who love chewing on wires can be a bit of a hassle. Puppies are generally energetic, and they love to let steam off in any way they see fit, even if that means ruining your electrical cables.
As long as you follow the steps above, you’ll hopefully get rid of the problem for good.