Posted on 11 Comments

My dog keeps chewing up my dog door flap!

Mischievous dogs will chew up anything. I know first hand because my yellow lab puppy who we call Dupree chewed up my wall this afternoon while I was out. For dessert he chewed on some wires leading into the gas water heater! Now my dog keeps chewing up my dog door flap

So, how do you stop your dog from chewing on your dog door. Actually, your dog is probably chewing up the pet flap causing it to leak air and allow bugs into the house. Unless you buy an indestructible metal dog door a dog that chews will find a way to chew any type of pet flap out there. Here is the best answer I can give you and it has worked every time for all of our customers. Buy some Habanero Pepper (this can be found in the spice section of most stores) and some Vaseline. Combine the Habenero Pepper and Vaseline and smear it directly to the pet flap including all the areas your dog has tried to chew and others that our vulnerable to chewing. One taste of this and problem solved!

You can try this on anything your dog chews and this will work. Let me know if this helps and if you have any other tips or suggestions on how to stop your dog from chewing on the doggy door.

11 thoughts on “My dog keeps chewing up my dog door flap!

  1. This is the stupidest idea ever! You don’t put that stuff out there for a dog to taste, it’s toxic!

    1. Hi Jessica! Thanks for taking the time to comment. While the pepper+petroleum jelly combo may not be something you prefer to use for your pets, it’s certainly not toxic, especially in the use pattern described.

      The ASPCA Poison Control guidelines for household products (link) says that petroleum jelly works as a laxative for pets, causing diarrhea in pets when they eat a sufficient quantity (like half a container or something). Cesar Milan recommends using petroleum jelly on your dog’s feet during the winter months to protect them (link).

      Similarly, hot pepper powder is food. To get any kind of toxic reaction, an average person would have to eat three pounds of dried powder of the hottest chili pepper in the world according to experts (link). As they say in the article, this is nearly impossible, because the unpleasant heat makes it essentially impossible to ingest a harmful amount.

      As stated in the blog post, this may not be right for everyone, and you should always check with your vet before using this or any commercial anti-chew formulation. However, classifying either petroleum jelly or chili powder as toxic to pets is inaccurate.

      1. No it’s not toxic but this mixture can easily get in their eyes while passing through the doggy door flaps. Combined with vaseline I’m sure this would feel great while the dog just smears the burning mess all over their face.

  2. I am laughing at this one! I tried this mixture on my shoes and he loved it so much, He licked it all off and then started right back eating my shoes. Just walking this pup is a chore!

    1. Yeah, some dogs are definitely incorrigible. They’re lucky they’re so darned lovable!

  3. Sounds like a great idea….and I tried it once with a dog I had. I had sealed the inside flap, as I needed to keep the dog out of that room to do some repairs. I heard him chewing on the outside flap, so I totally doused it in Tabasco sauce. With that, I proceeded to run some power equipment, drills, saws, etc. Upon completing my project, I opened the inside dog door, then stepped out on the deck to call the dog in. Much to my horror and surprise, my dog had completely eaten/destroyed the Tabasco slathered exterior flap to the dog door!

    1. You’re absolutely correct… there is no “silver bullet” that stops all dogs from chewing. Some view the heat as just spice.

      That being said, there are a couple of points I can make to your specific situation. The first is that you locked your dog out of the house using the security panel. This isn’t recommended, because the dog can’t see the security panel that is located on the inside. His reaction was fairly natural – chew, claw, bite, whatever it takes to get back inside his home! A little bit of Tabasco isn’t going to dissuade that intrinsic desire.

      I realize it’s a little late for your situation, but we recommend barricading the door from the outside when trying to keep the dog outside. This accomplishes two things – it keeps your dog safe (he or she won’t try to run through a locked door), and it presents a physical barrier from your dog trying to force his or her way back into the house by destroying the door. As you found out, never underestimate a dog’s desire and drive to return to his home!

  4. Won’t it stick to their fur? Or worse yet get in their eyes?

    1. Anne – Your point is an excellent one. The key to using any anti-chew remedy, whether it’s commercial or homemade, is to be diligent and conservative with its application. For our door specifically, if you choose to use an anti-chew product, it’s best to put a small amount on the outer corners of the flap seal (the outermost part of the flap system). This is the piece that dogs tend to chew, and it’s a location that doesn’t come into contact with the dog during normal use of the door. Keeping the amount small and choosing the location site well can minimize, but not necessarily eliminate, the risk of unintended contact. Always exercise your best judgement and consider consulting with your vet before using an anti-chew formula.

  5. Wouldn’t that prevent the dog from going through the door??

    1. Doreen – good question. No, using an anti-chew treatment won’t prevent a dog from using the door. Whether you use a commercial product or a home-brew like that suggested by Brad, it doesn’t have any effect on the dog unless it sticks the material in its mouth. Dogs are very smart, and they can distinguish between the door tasting bad and the door being scary or bad in and of itself.

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