It’s normal for dogs to chew on things. Dogs do this to relieve frustration, anxiety and boredom. It’s also their way of exploring the world. For young dogs, however, chewing helps relieve pain that is caused by incoming teeth. But sometimes, things can get out of control and lead to a destructive problem.

While most pet owners are thrilled to be welcomed by their furry friend upon coming home from work, finding out that your new pair of shoes has been damaged because your dog decided to chew on it can be quite frustrating.

Here are some tips to get your dog to stop chewing.

Identify the cause

If your dog frequently chews things around the house, he could either be bored, lonely or anxious. In order to deal with this issue, you must first determine the root of the problem. Possible reasons could be boredom, separation anxiety, hunger, loneliness or a combination of any of these causes.

Exercise more

Dogs sometimes chew because they lack mental and physical stimulation. They need to do something to release pent up energy; thus, the chewing. To stop destructive chewing, be sure to provide your dog with plenty of exercise. Remember, a tired dog is a good dog.

If you’ll be away for several hours, then provide your dog with plenty of toys. Go to the store and find toys that your dog will like. Stuff some high value treats into those toys and encourage your dog to find them. This will keep him occupied for at least a few hours and provide mental stimulation at the same time.

Give him a chew toy instead

When you catch your dog chewing on your favorite shoe, stop it with a loud noise or a verbal command. Get the shoe and provide a chew toy. As an owner, it is your job to teach your dog which things are okay to chew on.

Take responsibility for your own belonging

If you don’t want the dog to chew on your stuff, then keep it in a safe place. Your dog may chew on things that are within reach. Keep books, shoes, clothing, wallet, remote control and other items in a closed closet to keep them safe. Or better yet, confine your dog to a small, uncluttered room.