Sometimes your dog will bring home a long stick or log from the park and sit down for a long uninterrupted chewing session. Other times, after a long day at work, you might return home to find that your pup has spent the day chomping on the legs of tables or the wooden armrest of your expensive living room sofa.
Chewing is a natural dog behavior. Your dog uses chewing as a means to explore his surroundings in just the same way we humans use our hands. However, wood is not the best thing for your dog to chew on. You have to take active steps to help your dog lay off the wood.
We will help you to understand your dog’s incessant desire to chew on anything wood that is within his reach and why it is so enticing to your dog. You will also learn the dangers that chewing on wood can cause to your dog and the steps you can take in order to stop this habit so both your pooch and your expensive belongings remain safe. We will also give you some alternative products that you can offer to your beloved pup to chew on while he is teething so he remains happy and entertained.
Why Do Dogs Chew on Wood?
Chewing is normal dog behavior and is a way for them to explore the world and their surroundings. It also helps keep their teeth clean and jaws strong. If you have a young pup, chewing could also be its means to relieve pain caused by incoming teeth. If your dog is older, chewing can be a way for him to overcome boredom or even to release frustration, pent-up energy, or anxiety.
To understand the why, you should note whether your pup’s chewing habit is happening in your presence, or is something he does only when you are away. This will help you with why your dog is chewing. While a curious, teething, energetic, or under-stimulated dog would make chewing a pastime all the time, a dog dealing with stress and separation anxiety would primarily undertake destructive chewing in your absence as a means to relieve the anxiety he is feeling.
To understand what is causing this behavior in your dog, see some of the various reasons why dogs chew on wood.
Your young puppy uses its mouth to discover different textures and tastes. It is natural for your little furry side-kick to explore everything that is within its reach and chew on it. Add to this the various possible scents that your dog gets from wood items, and it can often become an irresistible chew toy for your dog.
Leaving your dog alone for long periods of time can lead to boredom. In the absence of your attention and with the lack of a stimulating environment or sufficient exercise your dog starts looking for other avenues to divert its attention.
If your furry companion is still a pup and is teething, you would probably already be seeing signs of chewing all around your home. This is because teething is causing your pup a great deal of pain and discomfort. It is likely that you have been one of his victims too.
Another serious cause that leads to chewing is separation anxiety. If your dog feels highly dependent on you it is possible that in your absence he feels high levels of stress and unease. In an attempt to relieve these feelings, your dog may resort to chewing on any material that it can access. Your wood furniture is likely to have your scent all over it, thus making it seem even more attractive to your beloved pooch.
There are times when your dog might resort to chewing on wood as a result of hunger. This might be the case if your dog is on a low-calorie diet or due to the presence of an intestinal parasite preventing the proper absorption of nutrients. Chewing on various products, including wood, is its attempt to find any additional sources of nutrition.
Dangers of Wood Chewing that are Harmful to Your Dog
Wood can adversely affect your dog’s health. Some of the damage caused by wood chewing might be able to be reversed, but in some cases, the wood can lead to life-threatening issues for your pooch.
- While chewing, wood items easily splinter and this results in small sharp shards in your dog’s mouth. Some of these shards could end up getting stuck in your dog’s teeth, leading to injury to the teeth or gums.
- If the piece of wood your pooch has chosen to chew on is hard, it can cause broken teeth or other damage your dog’s teeth and gums.
- Shards of wood stuck between the teeth can also result in infection.
- Swallowed pieces of shards have the possibility of getting stuck within the body and causing a rupture or internal damage and bleeding.
- A gastro-intestinal blockage is another possible adverse effect of your dog ingesting wood shards.
- Most dangerous of all is the possibility of your dog choking on a piece of wood that gets stuck in its throat.
How to Stop a Dog from Chewing on Wood Trim
While it is natural behavior, chewing on items of wood can cause severe health concerns to your dog. It can also lead to a lot of damage to your home and belongings. It is extremely important that you make sure that your dog is aware of what it is or isn’t allowed. The process must begin early and you must be consistent in your efforts.
Just like we teach our children what is safe to touch and explore, so must you teach your puppy what is safe for it to chew on. Every attempt to chew on things that are undesirable or unsafe for your pup, like wood trims, doors, furniture etc. must be stopped immediately with the help of proper training methods. While outside make sure your dog is aware that you do not want him to pick up unwanted pieces of wood.
Puppy-proofing the house
This is another effective means to make sure your dog has a safe environment where he can explore and play without access to items that might cause him harm. Find out how to puppy-proof your house and yard to keep your pup safe at home.
Dogs possess a denning instinct. This can be used to teach your dog to remain in a safe and calming environment when you are unable to give him the attention he needs. By placing your dog in a kennel or crate he is usually less stressed and also has restricted access to wood items around the house.
One of the best ways to keep your dog away from chewing wood is to put deterrent spray on it. These sprays have a smell that is repulsive to dogs, as well as an extremely bitter taste that would deter your dog from even going close to the wood.
Chew toys are made specifically to cater to a dog’s chewing instinct and can be a great way to let your pooch play, explore, and strengthen his teeth and jaw without causing any possible damage to himself or your things.
Choosing Safe Teething Products
Teething can be a stressful time for your pup. The constant discomfort and pain as a result of erupting teeth can lead to your pup looking for various ways in which to relieve those unpleasant feelings. To overcome this, there are a number of suitable and safe products that can be given to your puppy to help alleviate his distress. These teething products are available in a variety of forms. Some great options for you to try for your puppy are listed below.
Nylabone Puppy Chew Toys are a textured dog bone available in a variety of flavors. This safe, durable, and flavorsome product can help ease your puppy’s pain during teething. It is softer than adult bones and gentle on the teeth. The variety of shapes, colors, and flavors will keep your pup intrigued for hours.
Kong Puppy Dog Toy is a soft rubber chew toy for your puppy. It relieves pain and discomfort in your dog’s teeth while helping keep their teeth clean and soothe their gums. This product is designed to hold special treats and can be stuffed with food to provide mental stimulation and engage your puppy for long periods of time.
Mammoth Flossy Chews are soft knotted rope toys that are delicate on your puppy’s gums and the rope fibers help floss your dog’s teeth. This is a high-quality product and their fibers do not come off and get stuck in your puppy’s teeth. You can also soak these toys in water or freeze them overnight to give your pup’s gums a soothing effect.
While you should not completely restrict your dog’s natural chewing instinct, it is important to make your pooch aware of his boundaries when it comes to what they can chew on. Make sure your dog is aware of what are acceptable chewable items while also limiting his access to wood items in and around the house.
Take the time to understand what is causing this chewing behavior. Accordingly, you can then choose a suitable method to manage this habit. You can use our suggestions to help provide a safe, happy and relaxed environment for your beloved dog.
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