Why Do Dogs Chew Things Around?

A chaotic house is something that every pet parent has witnessed. Chewed furniture, destroyed cushions and fabric sucking is most commonly encountered with. This destructive behaviour can leave pet owners puzzled and frustrated. To help you understand the reasons why dogs chew everything? Check this article and gain valuable insights on how to tackle this unwanted behaviour.

  •  Anxiety 
  • Dogs who seek relief from anxiety usually chew when left alone. This stress-induced chewing can include wooden items, plastics, balls, slippers, etc. Try creating a comfortable and safe environment, add playfulness with your arrival and gradually increase alone time to help control this anxiety. Moreover, instead of leaving them alone, dog daycare and boarding services can also be opted for. 

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  • Boredom 
  • Dogs who do not get enough physical and mental exposure look for other ways to keep them occupied and eliminate their boredom by chewing. Give your dog alternate items like bones and toys that are safe to chew. A fun way to stimulate their mind is by hiding their food in multiple places and letting them find it. Providing dogs with sufficient mental and physical exercises can help to prevent this type of chewing.

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  •  Hunger 
  • Dogs on a calorie-restricted diet might chew or destroy objects while desiring an additional source of nutrition. Such dogs end up chewing items that smell like food to them. To control this undesired behaviour, offer your dog some edible natural chews. Ensure that they are fed well when hungry. 

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  •  Exploration
  • Growing dogs use their senses to learn about the surroundings whereas chewing helps them know the texture, taste, and scent of things. Make sure that medicines, chocolates, soaps, and cosmetics stay out of your pet's reach. It's essential to provide plenty of positive attention to desirable behaviour and to ignore or redirect undesirable behaviour.

  •  Teething 
  • For young puppies, chewing is a way of relieving pain and the need to itch that is accompanied by growing teeth. Try giving them chew toys to facilitate their teeth development stage. Providing appropriate chews during this stage can help divert their chewing desire away from your belongings.

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  •  Attention-seeking 
  • Dogs are highly sociable animals that crave attention constantly. If they learn that chewing an object leads to a reaction from their owner, they keep repeating the behaviour to get noticed. Don’t punish them since they might not be able to connect your punishment with the misbehaviour they did minutes ago. Moreover, it might disrupt your connection with your dog. Instead, find a way to properly correct this behaviour.

  • Training
  • If a dog hasn't been taught what's acceptable to chew and what's not, he might end up chewing things indiscriminately. Thus, it becomes important to teach your dog the right behaviour. Proper training plays a significant role in eliminating unwanted behaviour. Consistent training and support can help your dog understand the boundaries.

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    Key Takeaway

    On their journey of exploration, it is common for dogs to chew objects around them. However, for older dogs, it is a way to keep their jaws strong and teeth clean. Chewing even fights off boredom and is an escape from stress and anxiety. By recognizing their natural instincts, addressing their physical and psychological needs, training and providing alternate chews, you can bring a positive change to this destructive habit. Remember, training is the key to guiding your dog on what is right.