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D2006-11

Dear Daisy Dog

Our 6-month-old beagle is a rock chewer, so we can’t leave her in the yard by herself. What do you suggest?

Daisy Responds

My brother Sam is a rock chewer, too. Over the years, he has chewed on so many stones that his teeth are ground halfway to the gum.

Once he broke off an entire canine tooth, which required surgery. On several occasions, he has thrown up pieces of rock.

Fortunately, he never needed surgery to remove stones from his stomach or intestines.

To keep your pup from developing these problems, offer her a variety of safe chew toys.

If they don’t distract her, outfit her with a plastic-coated wire muzzle or a plastic basket muzzle, the kinds racing greyhounds use.

It’s the perfect outdoor fashion accessory for a girl that chews rocks. The muzzle will allow her to breathe and pant normally, but it will prevent her from picking up stones.

An alternative is a remote-controlled citronella collar. When your pup begins to chew on a rock, push the button on your remote, and the collar will release a burst of citronella.

We dogs dislike citronella, and we quickly learn that it won’t be sprayed near our noses if we leave the rocks alone.

Another option is what worked for Sam: lots of exercise. Tire out your pup, and she won’t gnaw on rocks.

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