Pets' corner: My dog chews everything and its starting to get expensive

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I re-homed an unwanted terrier cross breed. He is a cracking dog but he chews everything. It is starting to get expensive! Please help.
Mary, Surrey

When we take abandoned animals into our homes and our hearts, we need to remember that there was a reason why someone else didn't want them. Usually this is because the pet has not lived up to its previous owner's expectations. This is where your dog's chewing problem may have come from. Chewing is a natural behaviour for dogs; as puppies, dogs need to be taught what they can and can't chomp on, and if they miss out on this vital training early on, it can cause difficulties in the future. You need to provide your pooch with toys and treats to feast on. Supervise him.

If you know that he likes shoes, don't leave them on the floor. Try to work out why he's chewing things. Is it because he's bored, anxious or just that he wants your attention? If he is being destructive when you are out, confine him to somewhere in your home where he can't do too much damage. Dogs depend on us for mental stimulation, so make your hound's world more interesting. Kongs dog toys – featured in the 50 Best pet accessories in The Information a few weeks ago ( www.kongcompany.com) – are ideal. If you feed him dry food, you might want to scatter it around your garden or in an area of your home so that he has to hunt for it; that should tire him out.

Send your queries to The Independent Magazine, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, or e-mail petscorner@independent.co.uk

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