Introduction: How to Stop a Puppy Chewing Wood and Cables

About: Inventor and Emergency Doctor.

We have an adorable new member of the family. Ethel is only 8 weeks old and joined us just a couple of days ago. She is delightful but really enjoys chewing us and the furniture, as well as any laptop cable she can find. I didn't want her to injure herself or get splinter stuck in her mouth so I thought I had better do something about it. We found that the best way to stop her chewing is to give her something else to do to distract her. If she does try to bite the furniture we say 'no' firmly and place our hand gently round her nose. This seems to make her let go but we still needed something to prevent her chewing wood and cables when we aren't in the room. I know that some people use cayenne pepper but this seems a little bit cruel to me so I decided to try some diluted vinegar.

You can buy sprays in the shops but they can pricey; apple vinegar is cheap and effective and won't damage your things.


An empty spray bottle from something non-toxic

A light-colored vinegar, for example cider or white wine

Step 1: Measure the Vinegar

Mix vinegar and water with a ratio of 2 to 3. Measure 200 ml of vinegar into a measuring jug. Top it up to 300 ml with 100mls of water. Using a light coloured vinegar minimises the risk of staining to woodwork.

Step 2: Tip Mixture Into Spray Bottle

Rinse out the spray bottle and give the handle a good few squirts to clear the nozzle through. This is less important if it was a harmless mild dilute soap that was in the bottle, as in this case. Tip the mixture into the spray bottle and put the lid back on.

Step 3: Spray Mixture on Wood and Cables

Spray the mixture wherever your puppy has shown an interest in chewing. Try the bottoms of chair legs, table legs, skirting boards, dressers and fireplaces. It is particularly worrying if animals chew a live cable. It would be best to unplug these where possible or run them where the animal can't access them.

If you do choose to spray them make sure that you use the minimum amount and keep water well away from the socket and live components such as the plug and boxes. Only spray the cable itself, unplug cables first and allow to dry after spraying before plugging back in.

Reapply weekly to keep it effective.