The Chihuahua is a charming, small dog that that is also obedient and agile. As a matter of fact, the breed is included in the top 10 watchdog breeds experts recommend. The Chihuahua is a fun-loving canine that wants nothing more than to be with his humans. This little saucy hot tamale is proof that big things come in small packages. His tiny body contains one humongous personality. One of the things Chihuahuas seem to love doing is to nibble on things, including blankets. If you are ever going to get a Chihuahua as a pet, it is important that you understand its quirky habits, so you can get along well with each other. So, what’s up with the nibbling?
The Root of the Behavior
Nibbling, gentle chewing, and mouthing can be signs of affection in dogs. Dogs lack verbal communication, hence they resort to using their bodies to convey how and what they feel. As puppies, dogs communicate as well as explore with their mouths. Nibbling can be cute and harmless if they are still puppies, but once they grow to become full-grown dogs, it can be destructive. This is why it is important to monitor and correct the behavior when necessary. One of the most common reasons for nibbling on blankets is boredom or anxiety. Although Chihuahuas need minimal exercise, it does not mean that they should be left to fend for themselves and entertain themselves because their boredom can result in destructive things such as nibbling and causing the ruin of fine blankets. You must set aside time to exercise and stimulate your dog mentally. If this is something you cannot commit to, you can try hiring a pet sitter.
Separation anxiety may also cause your Chihuahua to nibble on blankets. When dogs have anxiety, they seek to soothe themselves however they can and one of the many ways they do so is through nibbling. Allergies, pain, hormonal imbalances, and even parasites are potential causes of compulsive nibbling. In order to rule out these probable causes, it is important to see the veterinarian right away. If you still have a puppy, then teething can be one of the reasons of excessive nibbling on blankets but take note that this is only common up to six months of age. As your puppy’s teeth grow in, discomfort and itch begin, and this is only relieved by chewing or nibbling on things such as blankets. In this case, you should provide doggie toys that are appropriate and safe for little puppies. Avoid toys that can become choking hazards.
Encouraging the Behavior
Nibbling is something you want to discourage your dog from doing even though it is a natural instinct in most animals. Dogs are literally born to chew. Just like infants, they put objects in their mouth in order to explore their surroundings. However, if your dog is chewing on inappropriate things, such as blankets, you have to stop them. Give your Chihuahua a proper toy to play with so that his natural instinct for chewing is relieved. Giving chew toys and changing chew toys every couple of days or so will keep your dog interested.
When you catch your little Chihuahua chewing or nibbling on blankets, make a loud noise to get his attention and replace the blanket with a chew toy for him to chew on instead. When he stops what he is doing and takes the chew toy, throw him lavish praises to let him know that he has made the right decision. This will help him associate what things are inappropriate and appropriate to chew on. Boredom is one of the most common reasons why dogs resort to nibbling or chewing so give your dog plenty of opportunities to exercise to prevent destructive chewing. By providing him enough exercise, you are helping relieve tension in your dog.
Other Solutions and Considerations
It is important that you avoid putting your dog in stressful situations because this can lead to nibbling on blankets among other things. Dogs sometimes chew on inappropriate items because they are stressed or sad or bothered by environmental changes such as the death of a fellow pet or moving to a new location. Do everything to make your dog as comfortable as possible and show him that he is well loved when these situations arise. As a matter of fact, show your Chihuahua affection and love every single day and he will grow to become a happy and well-adjusted canine that loves everyone.
If you have a dog at home, it is more than likely that you will come home to find the newspaper or your favorite pair of shoes all tattered and shredded. Puppies just do not know any better until you teach them. Although it is normal for your dog to chew and nibble, it is something that you must put a stop to when it becomes destructive.
By a Chow Chow lover Jhoana Carla de Toro
Published: 05/08/2018, edited: 01/30/2020