It’s natural for our pets to nip at us as they learn who is in control and help their teeth to come through. However, it’s not typically a behavior that most of us want to continue for the rest of their lives. Here’s what to do if your pet keeps biting or nipping at you before it gets out of control.
Discover the reason
There can be a host of reasons that our pets start to bite or nip. Dogs might be playing while they are younger and not understand that their behavior is unacceptable, while cats might be warning us they don’t like where they’re being petted. Equally, tortoises have become aggressive if they are in a space that’s too open as they become defensive and panicked. Sometimes, identifying the problem could solve the issue with no further action.
Make some noise
Dogs communicate with each other with noise, and this could be the key to nipping their biting in the bud. Although puppies nip at one another as they play, this isn’t a behavior that most of us want around the home. So why not try talking dog? All you need to do is let out a loud yelp and let your hand go limp to tell them they have gone too far. Just don’t pull away or you could encourage their need to chase.
Distract their mouths
Many pets get distracted, especially when they are younger. If you don’t mind them biting certain toys to fulfill their need, then why not invest in a host of chew toys to keep them occupied? Hopefully, they should soon learn that these are fully acceptable to bite while nipping at their owners isn’t the answer. Hiding food in their toys is also a great way to get them interested in chewing other things other than us.
Redirect their attention
If you see your animal reaching out to nip you, then you may be able to redirect their attention before they make contact. Offering up a ball or toy before they get to our skin could be all it takes to take their attention away from where those teeth were heading. However, if you find that your pet is chewing through cloth toys too quickly, then you might want to invest in a rubber alternative to save yourself a ton of money.
Discourage the behavior
It’s best to discourage the behavior before it becomes a problem. There are many sprays on the market that are pet safe but come with a bitter taste that should teach them that biting doesn’t always get results. However, if you know that open-toed sandals are what sends your tortoise into a rage, or that playing with your hair sees your cat get its teeth out, then it might be time to compromise and change our behavior, too.
Thankfully, it looks as though all that biting and nipping might not have to be such a big problem after making a few adjustments. Now, we can all learn to live in peace once again.