Dogs have a reputation for chewing on just about anything they can get their teeth on, which includes wood.
This can be dangerous for your pet though, so you’ll need to find out the reason it is happening. There are certain things that your dog just shouldn’t chew on.
Dangers of Dogs Chewing on Wood
There are certain things that dogs can chew on without putting themselves in any danger, but wood is not one of them. The fact is that sharp pieces of wood can cut the inside of your dog’s mouth, causing wounds that might become infected.
It’s also possible that your dog ingests sharp wood splinters that puncture the inside of their body, which is equally as dangerous. A bacterial infection of the intestines can be very nasty, to say the least.
If your dog swallows a large piece of wood, it could lead to intestinal obstruction. This can be fatal in some cases, so it is definitely not something you should take lightly.
Reasons That Dogs Chew on Wood
Dogs chew on wood and other strange things for a wide range of reasons. When you are aware of these reasons, you’ll have a much easier time figuring out your dog’s behavior.
1. They Are Just Bored
Sometimes boredom can drive a dog to do all sorts of things that are bad for it, including chewing on wood. Your dog might be doing this just for something to do. This is why it is so important that you provide them with plenty of fun toys to gnaw on. It’s also crucial that you let your dog outside and play with it on a regular basis.
2. They Are Anxious
Anxiety is actually a fairly common reason for dogs chewing on wood and other things they shouldn’t. This often occurs due to separation anxiety after the owner leaves and the dog is left by itself.
If your dog has this issue, there are a number of approaches you can take. While your vet could prescribe an anti-anxiety medication, it is important that you try natural methods first.
Your dog might also start chewing on wood if it is nervous because of loud noises from fireworks, a thunderstorm, or something else. This is basically their way of coping with feeling on edge. If your dog has this particular problem, you should resist the temptation to comfort them with petting. This only reinforces that there is a legitimate threat in the dog’s mind. You should instead maintain a calm voice and give them a fun puzzle toy to play with.
3. They are Teething
Your dog’s wood chewing could just be a matter of teething. Dogs that are between four and nine months old have a tendency to chew on all sorts of things. It is very important that you have lots of fun toys for your dog to chew on, especially during this period.
You should also make a point of giving your dog treats that are specially made for teething. This can go a long way towards keeping their jaws off your furniture and other things they aren’t supposed to be chewing on. While this phase will eventually pass, it can certainly be frustrating to deal with.
Pica is a condition that actually affects quite a few dogs, and it can cause them to chew on all sorts of things. This condition is sometimes nothing more than a behavioral problem, but there could be an underlying medical condition. This is ultimately a determination that you’ll want to leave to your veterinarian.
Some of the other symptoms of pica in dogs include:
- Black stool
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
If you notice these symptoms in your dog, it is important that you get them to the vet right away. Your vet should be able to tell if there is an underlying medical condition that is causing this issue. It could just be a matter of behavioral issues that require proper training.
How to Get Your Dog to Stop Chewing on Wood
You will have numerous options when it comes to getting your dog to stop chewing on wood. Some of these approaches will work better than others, depending on what is causing this behavior with your pup.
1. Wrap Up Furniture Legs
It is highly recommended that you wrap up any furniture legs in your home with foam padding until you get your dog’s chewing under control. This can help prevent your dog from getting injured by ingesting wood splinters.
2. Use Commands
You’ll also want to make an effort to train your dog to respond to commands like “stop”. While it may take them a while to respond, it is well worth the effort. Some dogs are very stubborn and difficult to train, but they should get the hang of it eventually.
3. Distract Them
You can also try distracting your dog with a fun toy to play with. This is actually one of the most effective ways to put a stop to this behavior in the moment. While it might not be a long term solution, it is something to keep in mind.
- Chewing on wood can be very dangerous for your dog, as it might result in cuts to the inside of their mouth or even their intestines.
- Even a small cut inside of your dog’s mouth can easily get infected with bacteria, which poses a serious threat to their overall health.
- Some dogs start chewing on wood because are bored. If you aren’t interacting enough with them on a daily basis, there is no telling how they will act out.
- Anxiety is another common cause of destructive chewing behavior. This can be due to loud and startling sounds or separation anxiety.
- It is possible that your dog is chewing on wood because it is still teething. This is pretty common among puppies.
- Pica is a condition that sometimes causes dogs to chew on wood and other things that they shouldn’t. It can be a behavioral issue or caused by an underlying medical condition.