Teeth off! The best sprays to stop dogs chewing

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  • Did you bite your nails as a child? Perhaps you remember that nasty foul-tasting liquid that was applied to your fingertips to stop you from biting. The same goes for dogs who are destructive chewers – anti-chew deterrents can help nip the habit in the bud and can be key when you’re trying to solve the problem of how to stop dogs chewing. As always, it’s key to find the root cause of the problem and train the dog not to gnaw through valuable items, however the best sprays to stop dogs chewing can prove a useful tool in conjunction. You may also want to prevent your dog from licking wounds, so you’ll need a natural spray that can be used on his skin.

    Anti-chew sprays taste disgusting but are harmless to your dog. They are typically made from a natural bitter ingredient, such as lemon or bitter apple, which discourages your dog from putting things in his mouth that he shouldn’t, such as cushions, furniture or wires. Bear in mind that you will also be able to smell the aroma for a while – especially on soft furnishings – after you have sprayed it, so it’s worth finding one with a scent you can tolerate in your home.

    Take a careful look at the ingredients, too. While the aim is to stop dogs chewing, and therefore he shouldn’t be ingesting it, you don’t want it to make your dog sick if he does. Some bittering agents contain substances that can be toxic, such as isopropanol or tea tree oil, however in the very small concentrations used they are considered non-toxic. Ingesting isopropanol has been found to result in significant clinical signs in dogs – but rest assured the amount they could lick as a chew deterrent would be nowhere near toxic levels. Some deterrents do only contain natural ingredients but the downside is that these are typically less effective (more palatable) and need to be applied more regularly. Some owners find that the dogs take one lick of a particularly foul-tasting spray and won’t touch it again, while some dogs actually enjoy the taste of some of the more natural flavours.

    If your dog is constantly on the lookout for things to chew, it’s likely he is bored and seeking his own entertainment – and you should solve this problem first if you can. Instead of constantly telling him off for chewing things he shouldn’t, find ways to stimulate him, such as exercise, one of the best puzzle games and one of the best dog chew toys that you give him – rather than Fido helping himself.

    Vet Karen Coumbe has a labrador and a spaniel puppy and says “it’s important to look at the bigger picture and ensure the pup is not bored, under-exercised or left on his own with temptation. I am a huge advocate of crate training,” she adds.

    And if you do have a chewer, best to avoid temptation by ensuring he has a nice tough dog bed for chewers. Once they have enjoyed the feeling of ripping open some upholstery, it’s a hard habit to kick!

    Best sprays to stop dogs chewing

    Best sprays to stop dogs chewing: Simply Natural no chew bitter spray

    Simply Natural No Chew Bitter Spray

    Flavour: Apple | Size: 400ml | RRP: £6.99 |

    This spray is infused with pet-safe essential oils, which leaves quite a pleasant scent. Because chewing is often a by-product of stress, this spray contains a blend of lavender and Roman chamomile which are used to keep pets calm and therefore tackle the root cause of destructive behaviour.

    The bittering agent used is denatonium benzoate, which is considered safe used at low concentrations as an aversive agent.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    Johnson’s Anti Chew Training Spray

    Johnson’s Anti Chew Training Spray

    Flavour: Bitter | Size: 150ml | RRP: £4.69 |

    This training spray is formulated to prevent pets chewing home furnishings and self-harm from licking wounds or body parts. It contains Bitrex (denatonium benzoate) – which is widely used as a safety measure in tiny concentrations for its exceptionally bitter taste to prevent children and animals from accidentally ingesting toxic products (for instance household and gardening products). This product is extremely effective.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or viovet.co.uk

    Grannick's Bitter apple spray is one of the best ways to stop dogs chewing

    Grannick’s Bitter Apple Chewing Deterrent

    Flavour: Bitter apple | Size: 237ml | RRP: £12.74 |

    Although this doesn’t smell much like apples, it is a highly effective deterrent, which seems to put off most dogs from chewing things they shouldn’t. It does contain isopropanol, which is toxic, however the tiny amount that a dog would ingest as a chew deterrent is not considered to be harmful, and they won’t be keen on another lick. If you are serious about stopping chewing, this does the trick.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, viovet.co.uk or petsathome.com
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Beaphar Pet Behave spray

    Beaphar Pet Behave Spray

    Flavour: Citronella | Size: 125ml | RRP: £5.49 |

    Contains citronellol and geraniol, and has a strong citronella smell (and taste) which is very effective at discouraging some dogs from chewing and scratching, while others don’t seem to care. Also works well to deter cats from nuisance scratching. A little goes a long way.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or petsathome.com
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    KinderPet anti-chew spray: best sprays to stop dogs chewing

    KinderPet Eco Anti Chew Spray

    Flavour: Bitter apple | Size: 500ml | RRP: £15.95 |

    This spray is 100% natural, being plant- and fruit-based. It contains no chemicals or additives, and is free from alcohol and parabens.

    It is meant to be a bitter apple formula, but smells more of citrus and vinegar. It can be sprayed on anything you don’t want your dog to chew, both indoors and outdoors, and it doesn’t stain. It doesn’t work for every dog, but for those who can’t abide the taste, it’s effective.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    Karlsten Bitter Apple anti-chewing spray for dogs

    Karlsten Anti-Chewing Spray

    Flavour: Bitter apple | Size: 500ml | RRP: £13.99 |

    This alcohol-free formula contains natural bitters that taste awful but cause no harm to your dog. It can be sprayed on any surfaces from plants and wires, to skirting boards and rugs. Even the best sprays to stop dogs chewing won’t work on every dog, and Karlsten offers a refund if you aren’t “completely delighted” – a handy guarantee as not all dogs find its taste completely unpalatable.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

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