Why Dogs Chew Things

2:34:00 AM

Chewing is a natural dog behavior. However, some dogs chew excessively to the point that it can be annoying and destructive. Dogs chew objects for different reasons. Here are some of the most common reasons why dogs chew:

Chewing is common to puppies who are teething. Like human kids, puppies also feel discomfort or pain in their gums as they develop teeth. Thus, dogs gnaw or chew on objects to somehow alleviate their discomfort.

This is supposed to be a temporary stage that all dogs go through. To help a pup get pass this phase more easily, you can give him dog toys that are especially designed for teething. Ice cubes or a frozen wash cloth may also help soothe the discomfort of teething.

Older puppies may also get into the habit of chewing. At this stage, puppies may already have grown teeth which can be very sharp and blunt. Some dog owners may tolerate biting when playing with dogs but this can be very dangerous, especially in puppies, because even a gentle bite can cause a skin puncture or wound. Therefore, dog owners must completely discourage their pets from biting or chewing.

What about excessive chewing? If your dog is past the teething stage and still has the habit of chewing objects or belongings, this could either be a sign of boredom or fear. Dogs that are left alone for long hours may turn to the habit of chewing or even destroying belongings.

The best way to deal with this is to spend time with your pet. Take your dog for walks regularly- either in the morning or in the afternoon- whichever fits your schedule. If you’re at work most of the day and your dog is left alone, put things out of your dog’s reach and replace it with dog toys that he enjoys. When you get home, be sure to give your dog some attention.

A dog who is afraid or who is experiencing anxiety may also chew on things. In this case, you need to know the cause of your dog’s fear or anxiety. Usually, you can help a dog recover from his fear through desensitization process.

Another factor is the dog’s personality. Like people, dogs also have different personalities. Some dogs are more active than others. Some thrive for attention while others are quiet. Thus, a dog may chew on your belongings to attract attention.

Even negative attention such as anger can encourage a dog’s undesirable behavior. In this case, the best thing to do is not to pay attention to your dog when he’s behaving badly.

Pay attention and complement your dog only when he’s behaving well. Eventually, your dog would realize that chewing things would not get him the attention he wants, and would stop.

Dog owners should not tolerate this behavior because not only is it unpleasant and destructive, it can also be dangerous for your dog’s health. A dog may chew and swallow sharp objects that can damage his internal organs. If your dog has an uncontrolled habit of chewing, seek professional advice from a certified vet.

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