What Causes Puppies and Dogs to Chew Wood?

by Amy Brantley
    It's natural for a dog to chew on wood.

    It's natural for a dog to chew on wood.

    Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Dogs chewing on sticks may seem odd, but when a dog chews on wood furniture, that's a different story. Many dog owners have lost their favorite tables due to a gnawing dog. According to Petfinder, chewing can be very rewarding for your dog. Understanding why the behavior is rewarding can help you curb the behavior and save your furniture. This will ensure that you're happier with your dog and that your dog is satisfied as well.

    Natural Behavior

    Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs. Not only do dogs investigate the world with their mouths, but chewing is a primal instinct that springs from dogs being foragers. While your dog may no longer need to forage for food, she still enjoys chewing. Chewing on wood may not be beneficial for you, but having your dog chew on chew treats and toys can be. The key is correcting your dog when she chews on wood, but praising her when she chews on her toys. This will reenforce what is OK and not OK to chew on.

    Boredom

    Dogs may also chew on wood because they are bored. Dogs who are kept in the house all day without toys or entertainment will chew to help keep them amused. You can prevent the boredom by playing with your pet and providing him with toys to play with. Puzzle toys are a great option because the dog has to interact with the toy in order to get a treat. This can keep your dog amused for hours.

    Teething

    Just like babies will chew on things to alleviate the pain of teething, so too will puppies. This is one of the most common reasons puppies chew. You can give your dog teething treats to help her teeth without worrying about your furniture. Again, you will need to help reenforce what is OK to chew on and what's not.

    Separation Anxiety

    Dogs live in packs, which means they don't do well with being left alone. This can lead some dogs to chew to take their mind off being lonely. Toys can greatly reduce this behavior and the TV can provide background noise that makes your pup feel like she's not alone. If your dog is experiencing separation anxiety that you can't remedy, consider a dog sitter or doggy daycare. This allows your dog to interact with people and other dogs, which can keep her occupied until she can be with you again.

    Photo Credits

    • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.

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