Why Your Dog Is Chewing (And What to Do About It)

Welcoming a dog into your home is a rewarding experience but also comes with its share of challenges. In addition to potty training and sleep training, pups also need to learn what's appropriate to chew on. However, the first step is understanding why your dog is chewing in the first place. When you can tackle the problem head-on, you're treating the root of the issue instead of the symptom.

Here's a look at why dogs chew and what to do about it.

Eases Anxiety

Dogs get anxious for all kinds of reasons, from strangers approaching the door to their owners being out of the house for an extended period of time. Exercising your dog more, especially before you lease the house, can help release excess energy. Dog lovers should also spend more time petting, cuddling, and lightly massaging their dogs to soothe their worries and help the bonding experience.

Teething

Just like human babies, puppies teeth and instinctively want to chew on everything they can. Whether it's your baseboards or furniture, puppies feel compelled to chew to relieve their pain and soothe their gums. 

Teething will usually resolve itself within six months of age, but your vet may recommend offering ice chips or frozen washcloths to numb the pain. Discouraging your puppy from chewing on things they shouldn't with the help of Stop the Chew can also redirect their attention. Our alcohol-free formula contains natural bitter agents and ingredients that are safe for the home and free of harsh chemicals.

Lack of Appropriate Toys

Your dog's chewing behavior could point back to the toys you're offering. Hard, plastic toys that have no give is hard on your dog's teeth and can even lead to tooth fractures. Dog bones are also a problem for teeth, as well as digestion. When small parts get trapped under the teeth or swallowed, your dog experiences pain and is likely to chew and suffer in silence. 

Choose soft chew toys made of tough rubber or nylon materials to help promote jaw strength and health. Veterinary-approved dental chews and rubber bones may also be appropriate for your pup.

Combats Boredom

When dogs are bored, they often look for things to entertain themselves and stay busy. Chewing, barking, and destructive behaviors usually follow and become a compulsive habit over time. Dogs thrive on human interaction and need engagement through fetch, chase, obstacle courses, and even chores that can help. Your dog can help carry sticks out the yard or move their toys to their bin when it's clean-up time. 

Exploration

Puppies and dogs naturally explore their environment through chewing. Teaching your dog appropriate "mouthing" behaviors, like licking peanut butter off your hands instead of nipping, is one place to start. Offering appropriate chew toys also helps redirect their need to chew. Some dogs are also stimulated to nibble during a game of chase or tugging games. Avoid triggers and continuously teach them how to gently touch your hand or objects with their nose to redirect how they explore their world.

Signals Separation Anxiety

Dogs experience separation anxiety when they're upset the people they're attached to have left. Chewing, howling, digging, and urinating are common side effects of separation anxiety and can diminish the gains in obedience training.

Over time, chewing could lead to an injury like broken teeth or cuts. Offering your pup a special toy or treat often helps ease the anxiety and lead to a positive association with their caregiver leaving home. Try our Premium Chicken Jerky Dog Treats.

Hunger

Dogs on calorie-restricted diets are prone to chew to satiate their hunger. Asking your vet about an appropriate diet or increasing their healthy snack and food options can help. The idea is to keep your dog satisfied and full, so they never feel the need to graze on your baseboards and furniture. 

Final Thoughts

Dogs chew for all kinds of reasons, but the good news is you can give them the comfort and accessories they need to soothe their troubles. Simplify your chewing challenges with our selection of premium, all-natural treats with no additives, fillers, preservatives, colors, or added flavors. We also offer Stop the Chew and Pet Dental Health spray to give your dogs the care they deserve. Shop now.