Why Does My Dog Chew? Because in the natural world animals use their teeth as a tool and an expression of emotion.
What’s That Chewing All About Then?
Animals chew for a variety of reasons. Rodents & rabbits, for example, have constantly growing teeth (similar to our fingernails). Therefore, they need to chew something abrasive or stronger than their teeth to file them down. In the worst-case scenario they would end up not actually being able to open their mouth wide enough to eat. This seriously ridiculous/scary look would eventually mean they could not eat at all and would starve.
Beavers need to constantly chew for a similar reason. Sadly they do not possess serious chainsaw skills and qualifications so they rely on their super-strong teeth to be able to cut trees and construct their amazing dams.
Why Does My Dog Chew My Furniture?
But why oh why do our canine friend decide that the kitchen chair would look far better after some serious chewing? Similarly, perhaps that expensive and gorgeous new bed seriously needs ripping apart. Consequently when they feel that fun cushion/pillow/bin was “looking at me the wrong way” so I had to do something about it your house can start to look like a warzone. (though the latter 3 will always amuse me….!!!)???
Dogs have always chewed, and always will. The chewing phase is a way to explore their environment. Most dogs outgrow the puppy phase of chewing. In the natural world consider a pack of Wolves, Hyenas or Prairie Dogs – to survive they make a kill, have their fill and then chow down on the bones – IT’S IN THEIR DNA…..!!! Its what they do, especially after dinner to clean their teeth.
As well as totally natural teeth cleaning process, it aids digestion (well maybe not that cushion/pillow/bin) and is seen by many experts as their ‘dessert’……
So, moving into the domesticated canine world – WHY???
– The main way dogs relieve boredom is by chewing – tiresome for you, win-win for Staglers. Dogs NEED stimulation – You’ve just left the house; pooch lives in the moment and has no idea if you’ll be gone 4 minutes or 4 hours – ‘find something to keep me occupied and distract me’ – chew! That said it is not recommended to leave a dog alone for more than 4 hours. Dogs naturally have lots of energy, the bigger the dog, the more energy typically. Certain breeds will need you to release them from their “home” and let that do what they are so good at, run and use that brilliant nose to “seek out things”!
– Yep, that’s never gonna change. Those annoying, irritating milk teeth will drive any young dog to distraction. Until those adult teeth are in place (usually around 6 months old) – they will chew anything and everything in the same way a human baby does.
See ‘Boredom’ above
Lack Of Exercise
See ‘Boredom’ above……
Consider that all “toys” or natural chews are designed for your dog. If they are food-related remember restricting the number of chews is neither cruel nor harmful. Make sure she/he has their ‘favourite’ – the one they always present to you on your return home. Make that chew ‘special’ – perhaps even with a reward for fetching it.
Despite what your dog might have done, he doesn’t really know right from wrong so don’t be too hasty when you come home to find that lovely new dog bed is ripped to bits.
Think of it this way – You’re not home, dog rips something apart, you return, not happy, let the dog know it – ahhhh dog has now got your attention – what’s the best way for the dog to gain attention in the future……..???? Yep, you guessed it – do the same again…….
Why Does My Dog Chew by John Snellin, Director of family business Staglers