The following is an excerpt from Petfinder’s FurKeeps Kickoff Live Facebook Q&A.
Q: My 2 1/2-year-old Greyhound tries to eat things like napkins, Kleenex, etc. She also chews on baskets and some of the kids’ toys.
Is this still puppy behavior? How can I stop it?
A: Your Greyhound is too old to be teething, so chewing is just something she finds rewarding. Some dogs are “hard chewers” all their lives — think Pit Bulls and Labs. You don’t see it as much in Greyhounds, but that just goes to show that each dog is an individual.
What can you do about it? Remove access to what she wants to chew, or shred in the case of the paper products (a very common behavior), and provide her with plenty of appropriate dog chew toys, and maybe even put her kibble in food-dispensing toys (such as a frozen Kong toy) so she has to work for her breakfast.
You can also try taste-aversives on things like the baskets. Use bitter apple furniture cream on wood or wicker and the pump spray on fabric. There are other brands on the market as well if you find she likes the taste of rubbing alcohol and crabapple juice.
Jacque Schultz, MA C.P.D.T.
Senior Director of Community Initiatives at the ASPCA
New York, NY