Remote controls

Q. Why does our dog always chew on the TV remote? We’ve lost three!

A. Dogs love chewing things that smell like family — it’s reassuring to them. And few household items are more likely to be packed with the smell of so many family members than a remote control. In a way, your pup's persistent gnawing is a compliment — clearly, he's fond of you!

It would seem that a lot of dogs are turning to the remote as a form of reassurance. The folks at list “the dog ate it” as the No. 2 reason people order new remotes, right behind “lost it” (which may also involve the dog chewing on the remote, if you think about it).

The size and shape of a remote may also factor in, since they’re not that different from many dog-bone-style chew toys. But unlike other basic household items, which are attractive primarily to younger dogs, the remote seems to be popular for gnawing on far beyond the puppy and adolescent dog stages of chewing. Which brings us back to that wonderful smell of family.

The best advice on how to keep your remotes safe, by the way, is training: Start by training yourself and your family to put the remotes out of your dog’s reach when you’re done using them. And then work on training your dog not to chew on your things.