reasons dogs chew

Reasons Dogs Chew

Posted Feb 22, 2017 in Care

We’ve all had our four-legged friend chew up our favorite shoes or pillow. Chewing is just something dogs do! It can be frustrating for us, but it is totally normal for our dogs to do. However, you can learn more about why your dogs chew and how to influence them to stop. Here are some of the reasons why dogs chew on everything, which hopefully will help you understand what your dog is doing a little bit more. 

Testing Out the Waters

Dogs don’t fully understand what everything in your home is. They use chewing as a way to better grasp what something is and to see if it useful to them. For example, you may find it odd that your dog is chewing on a table. But to them, they see and smell wood, something they could enjoy. Dogs often are just chewing to see, “Is this something I can play with or eat?” 

Puppy Reasons

If your dog is a puppy, they’re a variety of reasons they could be chewing. When they are young (2-6 months), a puppy’s teeth will come in and then start to fall out, being replaced by adult teeth. During this phase, they need to chew on things to relieve the pain and tenderness in their teeth. It is just their instinct and actually is helpful for them, so in this case you should allow your dog to chew. When they get a little older (6 months-12 months) they will chew because they are feeling like they need to hunt to protect their family. This is also just instinct and something they will learn to control. It is important to redirect this chewing and work to give your dog other outlets so it does not become destructive and continue long term. 

Physical Health

Dogs can also be chewers for their health! In a way, chewing is a form of exercise- for their jaw muscles! Along with the exercise, this chewing can also keep their gums and teeth clean. This is why there are toys that can be used as a way to clean your pup’s teeth and keep them strong. These are great, but you should also be sure you’re brushing your dog’s teeth. 

Mental Health

Dogs can also use chewing as outlet for other issues. Dogs who chew often could have anxiety or tension and use chewing as a way to relieve this and feel comfort. If you notice your dog carries an item in their mouth all day, this may be a sign their chewing is related to anxiety. Dogs can also start to develop an obsessive chewing disorder if they continue for too long and can’t stop. Be sure you are discussing your pup’s chewing habits with your vet. Your dog may also just be bored, using chewing as a way to be entertained. This type of chewing can be even more destructive and cause them to chew for longer periods of time.

Dogs also sometimes just chew because they’re hungry or are interested in something! There are many reasons that are good or bad that could cause chewing. Be sure to check in with your vet and be observant of your dog’s behaviors! 

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