Why Dogs Chew

The Resource for Everything About Dogs


Why Dogs Chew

by Janie Knetzer


There are many reasons that cause a dog to chew. A clear understanding into what is causing your dog's chewing will help you to correct the problem before it gets out of control.

Age is obviously a factor for puppies and young adult dogs. Like human babies, puppies will go through the teething stage and look for almost anything to chew on just to soothe their sore gums. Since teething can last for roughly six months, "freeze" toys are a nice way to ease the discomfort of teething puppies.

Unfortunately, after the teething period is over, puppies will still need and want to chew. Satisfying this need is especially important as the dog approaches young adulthood. Reasons for chewing will vary and often include boredom, lack of exercise and lack of interaction with the owner. These are just a few of the reasons that dogs begin destructive chewing. While dogs of all ages should be exercised daily, it is especially important for young adult dogs to release their energy with daily physical exercise. Regular walks combined with treats such as bones, rawhide dog chews and other chew toys are important ways to release this energy along with their need to chew.

A word of caution, never feed your dog cooked bones. If you are unfamiliar with feeding your dog a raw diet (B.A.R.F. diet) and you have little knowledge about this type of feeding, raw soup bones are recommended as a nice occasional treat. As dogs age their need to chew on a regular basis will decrease. However, it is still important to provide your dog with occasional bones or dog rawhide chews to help maintain the teeth and gums. Although gnawing on bones certainly helps to remove plaque from the teeth, brushing or rinsing your dog's teeth on a regular basis is critical to preventing periodontal problems.

It's unfortunate that so many people give up on their dog without ever trying to correct the chewing problem. Dogs require regular exercise and they must interact with their family. A dog that receives both regular exercise and interaction is a content dog and less likely to start destructive chewing.

A Pittsburgh area resident with over 25 years of dog handling experience. Janie is an avid dog lover and she has written numerous articles on dog nutrition, health and care.

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