Marg

Chewing

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Hi everyone. Rosie has been doing really well, finished her boosters at the vets and been to the groomers with no problem. The last couple of weeks she has taken to chewing things if left to her own devices. To date she has chewed a cushion, pair of slippers, her bed is in tatters and this morning a pillowcase. She gets lots of attention and always three walks a day sometimes four. The most she has ever been left for is two hours and that was only on one occasion. This morning she was taken for a walk then left for just under an hour and chewed the pillowcase while we were out. I don't know why she has started chewing now has she is now 20 months old so not getting teeth. She hasn't come into season yet and we don't know when she is due so is that the reason. At a loss here so thought I would ask more experienced Shih tzu owners for advice. Thanks ladies

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Hmmm . . . you say she does it when "left to her own devices." Does that mean the inappropriate chewing only occurs when she's home alone? If so, I'd consider that you may be seeing the beginning of separation anxiety. If so you'll want to start doing some work (training) on that right away to nip it in the bud.

When you leave do you give her some kind of treat or chew toy? I'm a huge fan of hollow, sterilized bones stuffed with a bit of cheese or stuffed, frozen Kongs. Yogi isn't really food motivated and he doesn't have a drop of separation anxiety, but he does seem to enjoy his "cheeser" every time we leave the house.

Also -- she really hasn't come into heat at 20 months? Ever? I'm not an expert but I would have expected three heat cycles by that age. Hopefully someone who knows more about that than me can give you some advice. 

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Sorry maybe should have given some background. Rosie has only been with us for 10 weeks so we don't know when she last came in season. She has been to the vet on four occasions since we got her for up to date boosters and general check up. The only problem she had was infected anal glands which were treated with steroids and antibiotics. The vet has checked on each occasion for any signs of coming into season and up to now non. She has a bed upstairs and one down and the one in the bedroom is the one in tatters. She sleeps in the bedroom and chewed the slippers during the night. She has different toys left when we leave her which is very rarely and is pretty much spoiled rotten. We dote on her and have done since we got her so wonder now does she get too much attention and then chews because she's bored.

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I think chewing is very necessary. :)

if they are chewing the right things, then it stimulates their minds, occupies them, entertains them, cleans their teeth, and massages their gums... so I feel chewing should be encouraged. It also tires them out (result!).

problem is, we only want them to chew things that we choose! :roflmao:

my two were always given really interesting sniffy stuff to chew.  Chicken and turkey feet, pigs ears and snouts, dried intestine, raw bones, freeze dried tracheae... always non processed and natural.

we always made sure that there was a sniffy and fascinating chew option every time we left them, crated them, or similar (taking great care they were safe chews, of course, and not choking hazards!)

as I write this, Mr C, both mutts and I are sharing our king size bed with two large pigs ears.  Oh joy.  But Cato sometimes likes a few minutes of feverish chewing at bed time.  Then he sleeps right through... a good bout of serious chewing can be as energetic as a walk! Haha!

nowadays, they actively look for proper chews, partly I think because whenever they started chewing the wrong stuff, we gave them a better sniffier approved chew.  Now they prefer them. :)

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