The Chewing Habits of Dogs

by Ledan Seja
    That rubber hose may be the perfect chew toy in your pup's eyes.

    That rubber hose may be the perfect chew toy in your pup's eyes.

    Medioimages/Photodisc/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    Chewing: It's one of the biggest issues dog owners face. Your pup may not care that you have an Italian leather sofa. To him, it's just a big piece of leather that's ideal for working those jaws. He needs proper chew toys and for you to understand the whys of his chewing. Finding the underlying reason behind the destructive behavior can help you and him find a peaceful balance.

    Exploration

    Just like human babies, puppies learn about the world through picking things up. They put things in their mouths and chew on them, lick them or taste them to see what exactly is going on in the world around them. This is particularly dangerous in your house, as they will explore just about anything including power cords, medications, plastics, balloons and carpet. You name it and they might just chew on it.

    Teething

    Teething can be a trying time for a puppy owner and the puppy. As their baby teeth are becoming loose and their adult teeth are coming in, your pup is going through some pain, swelling and an all-around uncomfortable time. They'll chew on anything to soothe their gums. During this time, get your hurting pup some teething toys. These toys are specially designed for this stage of life and will help keep your pup -- and you -- sane during this monthslong process.

    Chewing to Chew

    Chewing is an instinctual behavior, and many adult dogs never lose the urge. Chewing exercises their jaws, helps keep their teeth clean and also gives them something to do. It's a natural behavior that helps keep their mouths healthy. If you have a chewer, give him a variety of good things to chew on such as durable chew toys; durable, tasty chewing bones; and toys. Having a variety will help keep your pup from chewing on your stuff or something more dangerous.

    Boredom and Anxiety

    For some dogs, chewing is a way to ease anxiety or stress levels. Many dogs suffering from separation anxiety will chew on things to keep their mind off of what's going on. It's a psychological behavior in this case. Separation anxiety stems from your pooch getting anxious when separated from you. Another reason dogs chew is out of boredom. Giving them a variety of proper things to chew on can ease this, as will stepping up your exercise routine and enjoying an extra half-hour or so of rough-and-tumble play time each day.

    Photo Credits

    • Medioimages/Photodisc/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    With a strong background in pets, gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Ledan Seja has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Real estate -- primarily commercial spaces and neighborhood trends -- has also been a main focus in her writing with her work appearing on 42Floors.com and more.

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