Dogs and puppies have a natural instinct to chew — and it’s actually very healthy for them. But sometimes dogs and puppies can become fixated on chewing on things that they really shouldn’t, such as shoes and furniture. Bitter apple spray for dogs is a harmless and safe way to manage this chewing instinct.
Using Bitter Apple Spray to Discourage Chewing
Scolding a pet doesn’t always work. Puppies may not understand why they are being scolded at all, because they cannot connect events chronologically; they won’t remember what they did before. In order to properly scold them, you would need to catch them in the act each time — and that means that anything done while you’re out of the house would not be able to be corrected at all.
Even if you do catch a dog in the act, they may not directly understand why they are being punished or scolded. Chasing a dog with a chewed up shoe is simply going to show them that you’re angry; it’s not necessarily going to tell them anything about the shoe or their actions. Puppies in particular lack the mechanism required to understand the consequences of their actions.
Because of all this, Grannick’s bitter apple is a far more effective method of discouragement. Bitter apple spray is simply applied to things that you don’t want your dog chewing. When your dog bites into it, they will immediately taste something unpleasant. This will tell them right away that it’s something that they shouldn’t be chewing on.
Bitter apple spray will mean that your dog won’t associate you with negativity or fear — they will just know that this is something that they should not do. As a completely safe solution, it allows for behavior correction without direct negative reinforcement.
As time goes on, you can usually phase out the bitter apple spray. Your dog will learn what things are pleasant to chew on and what things aren’t. These bitter apple sprays are specially formulated so that they won’t damage clothing, shoes, furniture, and other items — though they should still be tested in a discrete area beforehand.
Offering Substitutes for Chewing Habits
As mentioned, chewing is a natural thing that dogs do. Chewing helps to clean their teeth and to make their gums healthier, so it shouldn’t be forbidden entirely. Instead, you should give your dogs healthy outlets for their chewing, such as toys and rawhide. When training puppies, it’s usually better to offer a substitute rather than simply scolding them. Once they have reacted negatively to the pet chew repellent, you can offer them something that’s more suitable for them to chew on. This will not only show them that they shouldn’t chew on certain things, but will also tell them what they can chew on.
Preventing chewing isn’t just about protecting your possessions — it’s also about protecting your pet. There are many things they might chew on, such as wood, that could be potentially dangerous to them. Luckily, through a combination of training and bitter apple repellent, you should be able to break your pup of their bad habits entirely.